By Carson McKinney
Oxford High School Theatre is sending off its 2018/2019 season with a hootenanny and a holler.
OHS Theatre’s production of ‘Cotton Patch Gospel’ promises to entertain viewers through a re-telling of The Bible’s Book of Matthew set to Bluegrass music in Southern Georgia.
OHS Theatre Director John Davenport said this is the largest production of the season, and he hopes it will be a memorable send-off for audiences and graduating actors.
“I felt like our students would appreciate the humor behind this one and how relatable it is,” Davenport said. “It takes a well-known story and puts it in a modern setting, essentially asking us how would society react and behave if Jesus Christ lived today.”
On Wednesday, the theatre program hosted a special preview show during their dress rehearsal for local church youth groups and faculty.
Guests included First Presbyterian, First Baptist, St. Peter’s and Oxford Unitarian.
“The cast needs an audience to respond to for this one,” Davenport said.
OHS Sophomore Graham Golmon plays the lead role of Matthew. Golmon said Matthew in the musical is sarcastic like him, but his character and Jesus also bring depth to the show.
“The hardest part of this character for me so far has been realizing the funny parts and the parts where this means something and pacing and talking the right way to make that obvious,” Golmon said.
David Torrent, an OHS senior, portrays Jesus in this rendition of the show and promises to make his performance entertaining, but respectful.
“Being a Christian myself, He’s the person I’ve looked up to and tried to mold my life around,” Torrent said. “Trying to be that for everybody else is difficult because I don’t want to mess up the way I deliver a line. I don’t want to oppose anyone’s view. I’m just trying to play a character that just happened to be the center of Christianity.”
This is the final OHS show for seniors like Torrent; Davenport said he appreciates the time he’s spent with his senior theatre students.
“I’ve done this for 19 years, so I know there’s a time for everything,” Davenport said. “When it comes to seniors who graduate, by this time in the year, it is time for them to graduate. It’s bittersweet. I’ve enjoyed working with all of the kids who are seniors, and this is their last show. I’m thankful that we have this opportunity one more time.”
‘Cotton Patch Gospel’ begins every night at 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday at Oxford Middle School’s Kayla Mize Auditorium. Tickets are on sale both online and at the door for $11.