Springwood School portraying Jesus’ life with a Deep Southern twist

Published 12:00 pm Friday, May 6, 2022

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Most people in the Greater Valley area probably have at least a basic understanding of Jesus’ life, according to the Bible. If they’d like to see it retold with a Deep Southern twist, they may want to attend a play being put on by Springwood School. It portrays the birth, life and death of Jesus in Georgia and includes some of his parables.

“It’s based on the book of Matthew,” said Jeff Sargent, the theater, drama and chorus teacher at Springwood. “Instead of Bethlehem, Jesus is born in Gainesville, Georgia. For Palm Sunday, instead of going to Jerusalem, they go to Atlanta.”

The play was written by Tom Key and Harry Chapin. Sargent noted that Chapin is the singer of the famous song, “Cats in the Cradle.”

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The play’s music, written by Chapin, is in the styles of bluegrass and country.

“The music is very spirited, and of course, with the passion of Christ going on, it’s very poignant toward the end, there,” Sargent said.

Students in the play started rehearsing for it about seven weeks ago, Sargent said, and did three to four rehearsals a week. Sargent said there are probably about 30 students involved in the play. About 19 will be on stage, and the rest will work behind the scenes. Students from the fourth grade through the twelfth grade are participating.

This is the fourth play Springwood has put on this school year.

“We had done a one-act play in the Trumbauer competition,” Sargent said. “Then we did ‘Junie B. Jones.’ Then we did ‘Clue.’ And now, this is the final play of the season.”

Sargent said the play is from Matthew’s perspective. Matthew will be played by Garner Dorminy and Jesus will be played by Brady Spradlin.

Springwood School will present “Cotton Patch Gospel” on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. on campus in the Fine Arts Center. Tickets will be available at the door. They will cost $5 for students and $10 for adults.

Sargent said the Fine Arts Center will open at 6:30 p.m.