​WaterTower Theatre Announces Cast & Creative Details for JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

WaterTower Theatre Announces Cast & Creative Details for JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

Addison (TX) – WaterTower Theatre Producing Artistic Director Shane Peterman and Associate Producer Elizabeth Kensek are proud to announce casting and creative details for JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, the blockbuster rock opera by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. This is the first production of WaterTower’s 27th Season.

In 1970, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber released JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR as a concept double album. It became a massive global best-seller, which led to a hit Broadway show, and motion picture that became a global sensation. WaterTower Theatre is proud to be one of the first theatres in the nation to obtain the rights to produce JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR following the 50th Anniversary Tour production. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’, ‘Gethsemane’ and ‘Superstar’. It will run on the Terry Martin Main Stage from November 30th through December 11th, 2022 at the Addison Theatre Centre. WaterTower’s production is led by director Natalie King, music director Cody Dry and choreographer Kelly McCain.

The first musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to be produced for the professional stage, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR has wowed audiences for over 50 years. A timeless work, the rock opera is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary and universally known series of events but seen, unusually, through the eyes of Judas Iscariot. This hit rock opera has not been produced with an all-local cast & creative team in DFW in over 25 years! Loosely based on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the show follows the last week of Jesus Christ’s life and told entirely through song, exploring the personal relationships and struggles between Jesus, Judas, Mary Magdalene, his disciples, his followers and the Roman Empire. WaterTower welcomes audiences to see this classic with a fresh perspective.

Director Natalie King, who most recently directed A RAISIN IN THE SUN at WaterTower in 2021, shared the following regarding her vision for the production:

“I am thrilled and honored to be directing the rock classic, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR here at WaterTower Theatre. I am so grateful for Shane and Elizabeth’s focus on inclusion and their embrace of a broader scope of creative vision.

I was around 13 when I first heard Paul Nicholas wail “Gethsemane” on the original London 1972 album. As we all know, 13 is the age of rebellion which includes asking the question ‘Why?’ to everything your parents tell you. So, hearing Jesus question God in the garden of Gethsemane was a revelation to me. Like Jesus, I argued with my parents, but always ended up obeying. Am I Jesus like I thought? Can a Black girl in America be Jesus like? It made me see a commonality between the plight of Jesus and of a Black girl growing up in the South who was questioning her world. Despite our obvious differences, there was an inner struggle that was the same. That made a lasting impression on me about the inner commonality between different human experiences. In my approach to JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, I am seeking to move beyond the limitations of form to find the common humanity within. This is the perspective in which I cast the show. It is also the inspiration for the direction of the show. The story is the same. It is as ancient as time and as universal as human nature. It is the story of doubt that can bring down the freedom movement of an occupied people. It is the battle between fear and faith, something we all understand.

We have a great cast and I expect it to be a powerful performance. I hope you will all come experience this innovative and modern retelling of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR.”

The production stars Feleceia Wilson as Jesus, Christopher J. Deaton as Judas, John Michael Marrs as Pilate, Caitlin Chapa as Mary Magdalene, Ellen Eberhart as Herod, Nikka Morton as Simon, Jason Hallman as Caiaphas, Anthony J. Ortega as Annas, Nijel Smith as Peter, and an ensemble of skilled singers, dancers and actors including Aren Hugo, Kevin Davis Jr., Mikki Hankins, Spencer Laboda, Johanna Nchekwube, Lisette Sandoval Perez, and Daniel Vanegas who will all portray apostles and many other characters.

The cast will be joined on stage by a live band led by Music Director, Conductor & pianist, Cody Dry, featuring Vonda K. Bowling (keyboard 2), Jesse Ramirez (guitar), Brittany Hart (bass), and Kami Lujan (drums).

The creative & production team includes Kennedy ‘Kae’ Styron as Set Designer, Megan A. Liles as Costume & Properties Designer, Aaron Johansen as Lighting Designer, Mark Howard as Sound Designer & Engineer, Dwight Sandell as Production Stage Manager, and Rebecca Bongiorno as Assistant Stage Manager.

The production has been approved by Actors Equity Association under their fully vaccinated safety protocols for indoor productions, ensuring the safety of both artists and patrons alike.

Contains adult situations. Recommended for ages 12 and above.

WaterTower Theatre’s 2022-2023 Season Sponsor is the Town of Addison.

About Natalie King, Director

Natalie King is an accomplished actor, director, and teacher here in the Dallas-Ft Worth area. After beginning her career as an actor, she fell in love with the art of storytelling. She created a performance company called Universal Connection which toured dozens of elementary schools in Dallas and Mesquite with Young Audiences.

Her gift for storytelling was noticed by a casting director at Walt Disney World. King became the first African American Storytelling character at Walt Disney World and one of the few performers of color as they experimented with the programming for Walt Disney World's newest park, the Animal Kingdom. After several months as a Storyteller, King was asked to create a storytelling show to be performed exclusively for Walt Disney World's American Express Gold Club Members.

When 9/11 gutted the tourist industry, King returned to Dallas to begin a journey into the field of arts education. To her surprise, she was good at it. The teaching job that was supposed to be a pit stop became a second career. She became the theatre director at South Oak Cliff High School and in 7 years transformed the SOC theatre department from vandalized sets and spontaneous fighting to award-winning one-acts and full-blown musicals. She is now the Theatre Director at Skyline High School.

King’s passion for teaching came naturally as she is a third-generation educator. Although her paternal great grandmother was a slave until she was thirteen years old and had no opportunity to get a formal education, three of her ten children became ministers or spiritual educators. King's maternal family members were mostly educators. Her grandmother Laura earned three degrees and taught during the 1930s and 1940s, and her mother, Gloria King, earned three degrees and began her career as an English Teacher in an all-white school in the 1960s. King's aunt, Dr. Evelyn E. Thornton, was head of the Math Dept. at the historically Black, Prairie View A&M University for fifty years. There was no escaping the fact that the art of teaching was in her blood.

King, however, never stopped performing and directing, even while running a High School theatre program. King believes that there is no better way to speak your truth than the theatre and feels blessed to do what she loves.

King graduated from the Theater Cluster at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She continued her education at Stephens College in Columbia, MO, where she earned a BFA in Theater Performance and a minor in Playwriting. In addition to a rich career as an actor, storyteller, and teacher, King's work as a director has been seen on DFW stages such as the South Dallas Cultural Center, Deep Ellum, Soul Rep, Theatre Arlington, and Circle Theatre in Ft Worth.

Show Run Dates: November 30- December 11, 2022

Single tickets are on sale now.

This production will be staged on the Terry Martin Main Stage at the Addison Theatre Centre at 15650 Addison Road, Addison, Texas 75001.