Much of the energy is in the music. The prologue has an African flavor; John's baptism of Jesus is set to a reggae beat. There's a bit of motown, a bit of funk and hard pop rock, and even a hoedown tune about the coming of the Lord. And when the devil appears, the stage lights turn red and the band erupts into a heavy drum and base groove.
"I don't know where the music came from," he said, "It just came through me; a lot of it I can't account for."
Energy also is felt in the enthusiasm of the talented cast, made up of both high school and college students, including Monaghan, who plays Jesus. Many, like Monaghan, have graduated from Wood; several are currently students there and at Mount St. Joeseph Academy in Flourtown.
The group first worked together last spring for the May production at Our Lady of Good Counsel. They came together again in June for a performance at Father Judge High School in Northeast Philadelphia, where they raised $1,000 for the school. This time they volunteered their time to support service, ministry, cross country and soccer at Wood.
"The Word" is the second musical Monaghan has written. He co-authored with a friend his first peice, "Brunswick 2057," a story about ghosts in a theater. He's also written a children's ballet and has directed performances of several other musicals. On Saturday mornings he can often be found working with children at Theater & Kids in Lansdale.
Monaghan is modest, though, about his achievements.
"I don't exactly know what my calling is," he said. "It's neat. I didn't expect all this stuff to happen ... I started this because I really wanted to write something ... I really didn't care if we made a big deal about it."
On stage, chaos erupts again as the actors prepare to rehearse the beginning of Act II. Suddenly they burst into song and the chaos is gone. "Sing, sing, sing, sing hosanna" echoes through the auditorium.
"The Word" will be shown in the Sophia A. Friedman Auditorium at Archbishop Wood High School, 655 York Road, Warminster.
|This Article appeared in The Intelligencer/Record in Volume 104, Number 282, on Friday, 24 November 1995 on page A1 and continued on page A9|
The Word: The Web Site