University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film & Television presents ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’


CONTACT: Kerryn Negus, Director, Advancement and External Relations •  •
The University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film & Television

15-minute intermission • Christie Kerr, Director •

Tucson, AZ – November 13, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. – The School of Theatre, Film & Television (TFTV) is proud to present Jesus Christ Superstar, the iconic rock opera from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, Nov. 12 – Dec. 3 in the Tornabene Theatre.

The first musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to be produced for the stage, Jesus Christ Superstar has dazzled audiences around the planet for over 50 years. Loosely based on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Superstar follows the last week of Jesus Christ’s life. The story, told entirely through song, explores the personal relationships and struggles between Jesus, Judas, Mary Magdalene, his disciples, his followers and the Roman Empire. The iconic 1970s rock score contains hit after hit, including “Superstar,” “Gethsemane,” and the beloved torch ballad “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.”

Sophia Scarsi during rehearsals for ‘Jesus Christ Superstar.’ Photo by Tim Fuller.

The rock opera portrays a universally known story as seen through the eyes of Judas Iscariot. In a twist, the character is played by senior Musical Theatre major Sophia Scarsi (pictured).

“I think the idea to ‘genderbend’ Judas allows for such a cool dynamic for a ton of different reasons,” says Scarsi. “It creates a different vibe between Mary and Judas and their relationship to Jesus — making it a bit of a triangle. Making Judas a woman also brings to the forefront the societal position of women in biblical times. If Judas had been a woman, she would never have been allowed to be in Jesus’s position. It informs my portrayal of the character’s jealousy and disapproval that eventually turns to betrayal.”

TFTV’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar is directed and choreographed by TFTV Assoc. Professor Christie Kerr, with musical direction by Asst. Professor Jamie Reed. Kerr has worked as Director and/or Choreographer on previous TFTV productions such as Legally Blonde the Musical, Into the Woods, Pippin, and Spring Awakening. Kerr was recently awarded the Ted and Shirley Taubeneck Superior Teaching Award for her course Gotta Dance! Celebrating Musical Theatre Dance. The course was part of the Humanities Seminars Program (HSP), a lifelong learning program offered to adult learners by the University of Arizona.

“I have chosen to set this piece in the modern day, and have discovered that the themes of the show are very applicable to the world today. I believe our contemporary look at these characters will illustrate the more human aspects of them against the historic writings of the Bible,” says Kerr.

The School of Theatre, Film & Television will present 10 performances running from Nov. 12 through Dec. 3, including a special post-show discussion with members of the production on Friday Dec. 1. Ticket discounts are available. This production qualifies for our free student ticket program, provided by the College of Fine Arts via support from the Office of the Provost.

What      The University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film & Television presents JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
Where      Tornabene Theatre, 1025 N Olive Rd, Tucson AZ 85719
When      Nov. 16 – Dec. 3, with a preview performances on Nov. 12 and 15

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of The Really Useful Group.

Kerryn Negus
Director, Advancement and External Relations
School of Theatre, Film & Television