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Danbury Girl Tackles Role Of Jesus In Wooster's Production Of 'Godspell'

From left, Jackie Logsted, who plays Jesus and Will Santella, who plays Judas, in the upcoming production of "Godspell" at Wooster School in Danbury. Photo Credit: contributed
Jackie Logsted is playing the role of Jesus in the upcoming musical "Godspell" at Wooster School in Danbury. Photo Credit: contributed
Jesus (Jackie Logsted), Judas (Will Santella), and other cast members at a vocal rehearsal for "Godspell." Photo Credit: contributed
Lauren Gazzardi, Jackie Logsted, Tess Riley, Brianna Cacciola, Caitlyn Strauss, Renata Abiali, rehearsing for "Godspell." Photo Credit: contributed
Student Assistant Musical Director Alex Wu, Musical Director Claire Simard, and Director Andy Barrett Photo Credit: contributed
Demetrius Nekos, a member of tech, working on costumes Photo Credit: contributed

DANBURY, Conn. — While many actors like to take on roles that take them out of their comfort zones, 17-year-old Danbury resident Jackie Logsted will be playing a role that tops it all.

Jackie, a junior at Wooster School in Danbury, is playing a female Jesus in her school’s production of “Godspell.”

Although she has performed in over a half-dozen shows since the fifth grade -- at her school and at the Musicals at Richter in Danbury — this is her first lead role. And what a lead it is -- she speaks a total of 130 times throughout the musical production and has 300 lines of text.

As soon as Jackie found out the school would be putting on "Godspell," she knew she wanted to take on the role. “I went into the audition singing one of the songs Jesus sings in Godspell called 'All For The Best,'" Jackie said. And she nailed the part.

Playing Jesus has been both challenging and intimidating, Jackie said. “He's such a big historical figure, and I’m not really a religious person so I didn’t know what his beliefs were."

Yet, she unexpectedly — and happily — found a strong connection to both the production and to Jesus.

"In the play, Jesus shows essential themes to live by which I can relate to,” Jackie said. “These are to love other people and to acknowledge where you have gone wrong and try to grow from it."

"Whether it’s in shows, books or movies, no matter how different a character appears to be from you, if you take the time to get to know the character, you’ll find parts where the two of you meet up," Jackie said. “All of our roles in the play are really an extension of ourselves in their characters. I’m Jesus, but I’m also me.”

The Wooster School version of “Godspell” differs from the traditional version in that it has a circus theme that's loosely based on the Gospels. The run-down circus is filled with outcasts who are looking for direction.

“Jesus knows the whole time that he will be crucified and wants to leave messages with these people before he’s gone that they will remember," she said.

Jackie has received mixed reactions from people when they learn the role she's playing. "Sometimes people say, 'Oh that is so cool,' and sometimes I get a weird look in a surprised kind of way," she said.

Aside from acting, Jackie also loves to write and is co-author of "The Sisters 8," a children's book series about octuplets whose parents disappear.  The series has sold over a quarter-million copies. For more information on "The Sisters 8," click here.

Showtimes for “Godspell” at the Wooster School, 91 Miry Brook Road, are Friday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 25, at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Friday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, March 4, at 7:30 p.m. To reserve tickets, click here . Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

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