When Peninsula sophomore Ally Brown was first cast in the ensemble of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” she almost dropped out of the musical.
“Two songs and four sweaty dance numbers later,” she said, “I wouldn’t want to be any other part. It is an amazing power behind this beautiful production. The sound, the color and energy on stage is nothing short of the name.”
Peninsula High School will present the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical in the school’s Milt Boyd theater May 15-17 and May 23-24 at 7 p.m. There will also be 3 p.m. matinees on May 18 and May 25.
Based on the story of Joseph and his “coat of many colors” from the Book of Genesis, the musical is a fun-filled, family-friendly journey of Joseph and his struggles to live out his dreams and find peace with his 11 brothers. It first opened in 1968, made its way to Broadway in full musical format in 1982, and since has frequently been revived. Full of catchy, upbeat music, by 2008 it had been produced by more than 20,000 schools and amateur theatre groups.
This is the first musical production at PHS for theater director Kara Beloate. “I am so thrilled to have such a wonderful cast and crew,” she said, “and so fortunate to have our community volunteers who have worked tireless hours in costume, set, and light designs. This is a huge production.”
True. It involves 90 students; 69 PHS cast and crew members joined by a children’s chorus made up of students from local elementary schools.
“In this production there are no small parts,” said freshman Jacob Huffer. “Everyone is important and needed. All ensemble members have stage time to be seen and heard.”
Many of the PHS cast members said being in the musical was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“Being part of this production and theatre has been life changing,” said senior Ayrlee Rogers, lead dancer and one of the many “wives” who figure in the show. “The wonderful people and everyone’s passion to make something so huge possible is inspiring. I regret not participating in it every year of high school.”
Said lead dancer Samantha Richards, “In such a short time we have all become family. Our group is so cohesive and there is so much talent it’s kind of unbelievable. I’ve never been so proud or felt so accomplished being part of something and couldn’t think of a better way to end my senior year.”
The lead role of Joseph is played by Tanner Peavey, a sophomore.
“I love this show!” he declared. “Being part of this cast has meant the world to me. We are truly a team.”
That’s important, agreed junior Anthony Easley. “I’ve learned how to be a team member more than anything,” Easley said. “Getting close with other cast members has been amazing. I’ve built so many friendships. The confidence I’ve gotten the past few months has been better than ever. I honestly thank Mrs. B for that.”
Dylan Biewals, production manager and head sound technician, said “doing tech” for the last two years was “great experience. I’ve learned a lot about leading others and taking direction.”
Agreed Madeline Breland, a junior, “Being costumes and properties manager has been a big accomplishment for me. Participating in plays and musicals has made my high school experience full and memorable.”
For sophomore Cat Tyler, “This musical is full of color, fun and amazing music! It is so much fun to be a part of and has given me a great opportunity to expand my theatre experience.”
“This experience has been really great, not only in the learning aspects, but in getting to spend time with so many amazing kids,” said freshman Anna Marshall. “There is so much talent here. I am lucky to be a part of this amazing production.”
Said Beloate, “We would like to thank all parents, volunteers, administrators, and classified staff who have helped in every way from ticket sales to student supervision, make-up, and bookkeeping. You help us make magic!”
Non-reserved open seating pre-sale tickets are available at the PHS main office for three hours in advance of each show or through the theatre box office Saturdays, May 2 and 9, from 9 to 11 a.m. Tickets are $9 for students and seniors and $12 for adults.
A sellout crowd is expected for all performances. Better get tickets early.
We will!Hugh McMillan is a longtime freelance writer for The Peninsula Gateway. He can be reached at 253-884-3319 or by email at hmcmnp1000@ centurytel.net