Amidst the Homecoming anticipation, the Theatre Department has been busy putting together its fall production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Like always, Homecoming weekend is full of exciting events like the volleyball and soccer games, but this play is a must see.
The story of Joseph is a well-known one, found in the book of Genesis. The story follows Jacob’s favorite son, Joseph, who has been blessed with vivid dreams that allow him to see the future. His brothers become very jealous and decide to sell him into slavery. Joseph takes on his situation with his heart to God, and eventually becomes Pharaoh’s right-hand man.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, musical’s composer, really played with the idea of what it means to tell a story in the medium of musical theatre. He has weaves about five different musical styles together in the show, including French cabaret, country-western, Jamaican calypso, and a 1920s soft shoe number.
Tara Brooke Watkins, the show’s director, stated that she really enjoys the show and the fact that she gets to produce it in a Christian environment. This removes the pressure of explaining the context and background details of the story from Watkins, and gives her more freedom to try different things with the script.
Watkins said, “Because of the audience that I’m presenting this story to, I don’t necessarily need to go into a lot of detail about how the story is told.” The play was written in a way “to have a lot of fun with it,” and Watkins is taking advantage of that. She expressed excitement in being able to play with her theatrical twist that “anybody in the audience could have been in Joseph’s position.”
Watkins explains, “Joseph is a normal human being like all of us. What I think makes him special is that he used his talents for God constantly, even when it wasn’t favorable for him. It put him in jail, and it made his brothers hate him more. I think that is really inspirational.”
Beyond simply telling a story, Watkins wants this production to instill an appreciation of theater in the audience. Watkins wants people to leave having a new love and respect for theater.