How do you play Jesus in a show and please everybody?

GREENWICH -- In addition to the help he received from his director and choreographer, South Central sophomore Brady Dotson said he “prayed a lot” about the iconic role he will portray for this fall’s school musical.

Praying is particularly apropos in this case, considering the role Dotson, 16, will play: Jesus.

“I’m obviously extremely proud to play him,” said Dotson, who added he’s a devout Christian who regularly attends church and plans to become more active in its youth group.

The musical he and his fellow students will perform is “Godspell,” the first major musical theater piece from three-time Grammy and Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz.

In the show, a small group of people help Jesus Christ tell parables through games, storytelling, comedy...and, of course, music. Songs include “Day By Day” and “Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord.”

Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6 as well as 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7.

Dotson, the son of Jen and Steve Dotson of Greenwich, conceded Jesus can be tough to play.

“There’s always concerns with playing a big part like this,” he said, adding someone might not believe your portrayal was true to the way Jesus was.

But Dotson said he’ll just try his best to make the audience happy and, considering of the nature of the show, feel other emotions.

“Hopefully we can get the crowd to shed tears,” Dotson said.

He said in the first act, he portrays Jesus as a human being speaking about the word of God, but takes on the persona more of a deity in the second act.

The first act is “happy and upbeat,” but after intermission, Jesus realizes the people aren’t following his ways and eventually raises his voice to the point of yelling.

Dotson has been acting since fifth grade, but mostly in minor roles. He looked up to his older brothers, Noah, 19 and Haydon, 20, who played leading roles in high school theater and he wanted to be like them.

This year, “I really did want to go out for a big part,” he said.

And his reaction after he learned he would play Jesus?

“I was extremely happy,” Dotson said, laughing.

Dotson said he was nervous.

“It was definitely a little bit scary a little nerve wracking,” he said.

But he said he relied on family, friends, God and the guidance of director Linda Jackson and choreographer Lisa Stoneham.

“They’re some of the best choreographers and directors you’ll find around here,” Dotson said. “They just inspire. ”They’re really helping me push through all this and overcome my fears of this.“

Dotson added he’s gained confidence as rehearsals have progressed.

Still, Dotson said Jesus has been the hardest role he’s played.

Nevertheless, Dotson said he’s enjoyed his rehearsal time.

“It’s been great,” the teenager said, adding he feels it will be a “great show.”



WHAT: “Godspell”

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6 as well as 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7

WHERE: South Central Middle School cafetorium

HOW MUCH: $8. Call 419-681-5552 or 419-752-3354.