Scott Seidl directs an April 2023 rehearsal. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News
Scott Seidl directs an April 2023 rehearsal. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

‘Epic’ production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ to open Players’ 80th season

(Featured photo: File image of Scott Seidl directing an Augusta Players’ rehearsal in April 2023)

Although there are two main stage shows left in the current Augusta Players’ season, its artistic and executive director finds it hard to contain his excitement about the group’s 80th season, especially its blockbuster opener.

“It’s going to be epic,” said Scott Seidl of the season which opens with the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice classic musical “Jesus Christ Superstar,” which will be at the Imperial Theatre Oct. 4-6.

 Seidl promises it will be like no other version ever presented.

In addition to the actors, a 42-piece orchestra, a 20-person choir and a children’s choir will be on stage for a total of 90 people.

The exterior of the Augusta Players new Ellis Street building. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

Also, the walls of the Imperial Theatre will be video mapped to provide an immersive experience for audience goers.

Read More: ‘Season of Dreams’ brings Augusta Players a new home

It’s been many years the Players did “Jesus Christ Superstar.” In one version, Roy Lewis, who works with the Augusta Junior Players, played the role of Jesus; while the late Debi Ballas, the Players’ longtime director, was Mary Magdalene.

Seidl has already put about two years of planning into next season, and although the 2023-2024 season isn’t up yet, auditions for the lead roles of “Jesus Christ Superstar” will be held March 23.

Several of his musician friends outside of Augusta have asked about the possibility of being in the show and spending their own money to participate.

The Players announced the mainstage season, which has a theme of “finding home,” on Feb. 19.

The theme is a nod to the Players’ permanent home. The organization acquired a property in downtown Augusta in 2023, and Seidl said plans for its renovation and a bigger thrust of a capital campaign are in the works.

He’s been in meetings with contractors this week to find out the details on the scope of the work needed to renovate the space and how much it will cost.

Other shows planned for 2024-2025 include the perennial favorite “Annie,” which will be Dec. 13-15. While it might not seem like a Christmas show, Seidl said it’s often performed during the holidays and the final scene takes place Christmas Day.

Read more: New building offers new opportunities for Augusta Players

The cast sings the opening number of “Little Shop of Horrors” in the Augusta Players’ new building Sept. 25, 2023. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

 What’s a season focusing on finding home without Dorothy discovering “there’s no place like home” in “The Wizard of Oz”? The production will use a version that more closely resembles the film and will be performed Feb. 28, March 1-2, 2025, he said.

And the season will end with “Anastasia” May 9-11, 2025.

There will be shows for the Augusta Junior Players, readers’ theater and ArtReach. Some details are still being worked out on that, he said. One of the shows they’d had initially gotten the rights for had to change after it became unavailable.

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News and Inspiring: Women of Augusta, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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