November 9, 2018—This weekend, The Excelsior Springs High School’s Performing Arts Center will be bringing to life the story of “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
ESHS Director Jeff Haney said when choosing a fall musical for the school year, reminding the community dreamers exist in the world became part of his reasoning for deciding on Joseph.
“Joseph is a dreamer,” he said. “And in Joseph, we need to remind ourselves that when we do believe in higher ideas like love and forgiveness, that it can carry us through some very dark times.” Haney said.
Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote “Joseph” in 1967, with the first performance taking the stage in 1968. The show tells a re-imagining of a Biblical story about a young man named Joseph, the favored son of the elderly Jacob. After receiving a beautiful coat from his father, Joseph’s 11 jealous brothers sell Joseph into slavery.
As the years pass by, Joseph’s own virtues and talent for dream interpretation dispatch him on a heartfelt journey of slavery, imprisonment and on to become the right hand of the Pharaoh.
Haney said when casting for the show, he knew ESHS contained students with the skill sets that it would take to pull off a show like “Joseph.”
Haney and PAC Technical Director Julia Ubert oversaw set construction. Throughout the school days, Haney taught multiple classes contributing to the musical’s progress.
Set Design classes work tirelessly to construct everything from set pieces to individual props to costume adjustments. He said the students will be building costumes until Wednesday. It takes a solid seven weeks, he said.
Preparations have moved along beautifully but at the same time, he said, the show contains many details. He said to keep the show moving, they created special pieces that can roll on and off stage. The biggest challenges will be rolling off the pieces carefully and efficiently.
Haney said he has never been more pleased with how beautifully things travel in a show.
The heart of the show, he said, reminds the audience not to turn bitter, but to find forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a noble thing in itself, Haney said, but it also involves self. Forgiveness saves self. He said the musical shows it to be an absolute necessity for us to forgive people that do us wrong.
“Joseph, in his own moment, forgives his brothers for selling him into slavery,” he said. “He turns to his brothers and says ‘I forgive you.’ It is very hard to (do) that, and I think that, that message is very vital.”
In a carefully combined mix of artistic vision and talent, ESHS’ theater department embodies another fast-paced and touching tale across its stage.
“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” will run this weekend from Nov. 9 through Nov. 11. The show will start at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Adults may purchase tickets for $10 and students, $5. Tickets can be purchased at the door upon arrival.
By Austin Cecil