Godspell has a small cast, generally 5 men and 5 women.
The two primary characters are Jesus and John the Baptist / Judas who possesses the attributes of the Biblical figures. The original cast defined the personalities of their characters and their character names were generally their actual first names. You may adapt this to your production to help improve the interaction of the ensemble.
The actor portraying Jesus has the most demanding role requiring high energy while presenting a calm demeanor. The suggested age range for Jesus is 18-30 and for John the Baptist is 18-35. The remaining cast should be age appropriate to the main characters.
All ten actors are on stage throughout the show.
The following notes are from Stephen Schwartz and were taken directly from the Godspell Libretto/Vocal Book.
Jesus - Must be the most charismatic individual in the cast. High enegy, charming, funny, gentle but with stregnth. He is the sort of person others instinctively follow.
John the Baptist/Judas - He has attributes of both Biblical figures: he is both Jesus' lieutenant and most ardent disciple and the doubter who begins to question and rebel. Like Jesus, he is also charismatic, but in more of an overt revolutionary way. Usually played by someone handsome and masculine, with an undertone of sexuality. He is the most "serious" and intellectual of the group, though as with all the actors, he must still possess a good sense of physical comedy.
Jeffrey - Very high energy. Impish and playful. In the original, he played several musical instruments, including concertina and recorder.
Lamar - Not the brightest in the bunch, he is a little slow on the uptake. But there is a great sweetness and innocence about him. Because he sings "All Good Gifts," he must be a very good singer.
Herb - The comedian, the class clown. The guy who can do a hundred voices and imitations. This is also the role that sings the least, so it is wise to cast it for a comedian rather than a vocalist.
Robin - A bit of a tomboy, but basically open and sweet. She is the first of the group to commit to following Jesus in the song "Day by Day."
Peggy - The shy one. Sometimes a little slow to get things, but when she does, she commits all the way. Has an "earth mother" kind of warmth to her.
Sonia - Sassy and slightly cynical, the most urban of the group. Also the "sexy" one, but her sexiness contains a large element of put-on, in the manner of Mae West or Madonna (who in fact once played this role).
Gilmer - The female equivalent of the class clown. Goofy and a cut-up. this is the female role that sings least, and therefore should be cast with a strong comedienne.