(Posted March 11, 2016)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Last spring was the first time in years that Jefferson Local Schools staged a musical. The production was very well received and Rachel Herman, new vocal music teacher at the high school and middle school, is riding that momentum.
“I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about last year’s show,” Herman said. A combined cast of high school and middle school students performed “Grease.”
Herman decided to follow that upbeat production with another lively show, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Curtain times are 7 p.m. March 17-19 in the high school auditeria. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. Tickets can be purchased at the door or pre-ordered by calling (614) 879-7681, ext. 2307.
The storyline is based on the trials and triumphs of Joseph from the Bible. Two narrators, played by senior Mollie Hiss and sophomore Hope Schwind, tell the story. Their audience is a children’s choir, played by 20 third- through sixth-graders. The rest of the 45-member cast acts out the story’s various scenes.
The inclusion of the younger students has made for a unique dynamic, Herman said.
“They bring fun energy to the show. The older cast members, serving as roles models, perform a little bigger and better when they are here,” she said.
Sophomore Andrew Weber plays Joseph, whose 11 brothers become jealous when their father gives Joseph the prized dreamcoat. They sell Joseph into slavery and tell their father he is dead. Joseph ends up in Egypt where, through no fault of his own, he is thrown in jail.
A pharaoh, played by senior Grant Dersom, learns that the jailed slave can interpret dreams. When Joseph tells the pharaoh his dreams foretell seven years of rich abundance followed by seven years of severe famine, the pharaoh makes Joseph his second in command, tasked with preparing for the lean times. When those lean times come, the people of Israel, including Joseph’s brothers, are starving and hear that Egypt has food. The brothers travel to Egypt, unaware that the kin they cast out is responsible for Egypt’s survival.
“You’ll have to see the show to see how Joseph tests his brothers to see if they’ve turned to good,” Herman said.
The musical’s score is peppered with wide-ranging music styles, from the rock ballad “Close Every Door” to the disco-driven “Go, Go, Go Joseph” and the Elvis-inspired “Song of the King.”
“It’s really a fun show,” Herman said.
She added that she appreciates the support she has received from staff members, parents and students in pulling the show together. Additionally, London High School and the Madison County Arts Council, both of which staged “Joseph” in recent years, supplied some of the costumes and sets.
“We’re going to have a good show because of all of the work everyone has put in,” Herman said.