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Steeple Players to perform ‘Superstar’

A cast of 18 teenagers will tell the story of the last seven days of Jesus Christ’s life in the Steeple Players of First Congregational Church of Southington’s production of the classic rock opera, “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Directed by Rich McCarty, the show will take on a post-apocalyptic theme where all that’s left are teenagers in a church versus state conflict.

“The message in terms of the story for me is what would we have done if we were faced with different situations?” McCarty said.

The costumes, he said, will be military coats with yellow triangles on the back. Some triangles will be right-side up, and others upside-down. He said the inspiration came from an old Star Trek episode where members of the same alien race were conflicted with each other because of a minor difference in their skin color. Their faces were half-black and half-white, split perfectly down the middle, but the colors were switched around, putting them at odds.

“There’s no reason for war,” McCarty said. “What’s the miniscule difference that leads us to conflict?”

The story focuses around the conflict of Jesus’ influence on the Jews and shows how characters like Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, and Pontius Pilate, the king who sentenced Jesus to crucifixion, handled the dilemmas before them.

Sal Conti, 17, a senior at Southington High School, is playing Jesus in his first role with the Steeple Players. He said he enjoys the environment of the group and has quickly meshed well with the cast.

“I learned quickly this is one big family,” Conti said. “You really get to know each other”

Carolyn Hricik, another SHS senior, is playing Mary Magdalene. She said the show has taught her quite a bit in how to look at all sides of a problem.

“It’s been really interesting to see a different side of who she’s portrayed as,” Hricik said of her character.

McCarty said he’s noticed how well the cast has come together, and said it’s been really great working with them.

“It’s 18 young adults who won’t be together again as this 18 and they recognize and embrace that,” McCarty said.

Conti will be performing with his sister, Alana, who is playing the role of Ciaiphas, the high priest. She said it’s a little strange having to be mean to her brother, but the show has been a good experience nonetheless.

“We all click with each other,” she said. “I feel like I’ve known everyone for a really long time.”

McCarty said he suggested the show to the Steeple Players board as a good show to keep the youth engaged. Producer John Zimmerman said he is always amazed at the level of talent he sees in the teenagers of Southington.

“I feel so fortunate to work with such a great group of kids on such a meaningful and impactful show,” Zimmerman said.

“I strongly believe it’s going to be a fantastic show,” Sal Conti said.

“Jesus Christ Superstar” will run five shows and be performed at FCC, 37 Main St., Jan. 31, Feb., 1, 7, and 8 at 7 p.m. There will be a matinee Sunday, Feb. 2, 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at www.firstchurchsouthington.org or by visiting the church office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.



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