Hiland Music Dept. set to stage musical ‘Joseph’

Hiland Music Dept. set to stage musical ‘Joseph’

Image Credit: Dave Mast

Fans of high school musicals will be thrilled to step back into biblical times for Hiland High School’s upcoming production.

The Hiland High School Music Department will present the musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” in the Hiland High School auditorium Nov. 18-20 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 21 at 3 p.m.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is a musical with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The story is based on the coat of many colors story of Joseph from the Bible’s Book of Genesis. This was the first Lloyd Webber and Rice musical to be performed publicly and features one unique aspect.

The show has only a few lines of spoken dialogue, almost entirely sung throughout the entire program. It’s a family-friendly story with familiar themes and catchy musical numbers.

“It’s your typical story of Joseph and his multi-colored coat from the Bible, where his brothers get jealous and sell him into slavery,” Kaufman said. “It’s been a very challenging show full of musical numbers, and we have been working really hard on it because it’s 90 minutes of music.”

Hiland music director Alexander Looney said this is a different kind of musical.

“It’s all music, so that brings a unique set of challenges,” Looney said. “There might be two or three spoken words, and that is including the narrators, who sing everything they say.”

Looney said neither he nor co-director Melanie Clay have ever directed “Joseph” before. That and the challenging set pieces and nonstop music have created plenty of challenges.

“Our students have worked incredibly hard, and the end result will be something spectacular,” Looney said.

While the department created a performance last year, it was done in front of a very limited crowd. Getting back to a full house of charged-up audience members is something all of those involved are looking forward to.

In addition, attendees will get their first chance to experience the brand-new LED lighting and updated sound system that were recently installed in the auditorium.

“It’s so nice to be able to perform in front of a big, live audience again,” said Kaufman, who has been involved with Hiland musicals since he was in elementary school. “It’s been satisfying to come up through so many musicals and land a role like this. It is hard to do all the blocking and preparation, but it is so worth it to get out there and perform.”

Brenna Moan and Brooke Pringle will play the key roles of narrators. Joseph will be played by Sam Kaufman. Joseph’s 11 brothers include Anthony Miller, Tristina Tucker, Grace Schlabach, Lainey Miller, Cade Keim, Levi Rubio, Ethan Hershberger, Elliot Mullet, Kate Bodiker, Courtney Schrock and Madi Keim. Potiphar will be played by Elliot Mullet, and Lainey Miller will be Mrs. Potiphar.

In a unique twist that strays from the usual casting in high school plays, the role of Jacob, Joseph’s father, will be played by Erik Beun, East Holmes Schools superintendent.

“It’s a new concept here at Hiland,” Looney said of Beun joining the cast. “I did it at my last school, and people loved it. I think both he and the students are excited about it, and it will be neat for the community to see their superintendent in a little different light.”

In addition, there will be a live orchestra in the pit, something Looney said always adds to the inspiration of any musical.

“This is a Bible story that many people are familiar with, but it is presented in a really unique style that can shed light on it in a new way,” Looney said. “It really does follow the story from the Book of Genesis quite closely.”

While the performances will take place on stage, the actors will perform in a different setting the evening of Saturday, Nov. 20, which will feature an additional performance.

That evening will include the musical dinner gala, in which patrons may purchase tickets to a dinner prior to the performance and enjoy a catered meal by Log Cabin Catering. For $25, patrons can purchase a ticket for the meal and the show.

“It is something that gives our cast a chance to interact with the public in a unique way,” Looney said. “They will be in character, and it’s always fun to see them interact with people during dinner.”

Tickets for that event also are available online and may be found on the drop-down tab, “musical dinner gala plus performance,” which allows them to select a seat and the meal.

All tickets are available online at www.eastholmes.k12.oh.us/hiland/activities/theatre, or tickets may be purchased before each performance at the door if seating remains.