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CHS theater puts on techni-colorful musical

Senior+Ethan+J.+Miller+starred+as+the+title+character+in+the+musical+%22Joseph+and+the+Amazing+Technicolor+Dreamcoat.%22
Senior Ethan J. Miller starred as the title character in the musical

Senior Ethan J. Miller starred as the title character in the musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

PHOTO COURTESY OF BILL WU.

PHOTO COURTESY OF BILL WU.

Senior Ethan J. Miller starred as the title character in the musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

By Sofia Williamson, Online Editor-in-Chief

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The CHS performance of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” took place Nov. 10, 11, 12, 17 and 18 in the Gertrude G. Bish Auditorium.

The play tells the story of Jacob’s son, Joseph, as told in the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament. Joseph is one of eleven brothers. However, Joseph is Jacob’s favorite son and therefore Jacob gives Joseph a splendid, multi-colored coat to show everyone that he favors him to be the ruler of all of the brothers. This causes the other eleven brothers to become jealous, and they sell their brother to Egyptian travelers as a slave. Joseph eventually becomes slave to the Pharaoh, who hears that he has a distinct ability to interpret dreams.

Joseph was played by senior Ethan J. Miller, a frequent lead in CHS musicals during his time here and a frequent winner of regional theater awards. Ethan’s acting and singing abilities yet again captured his character flawlessly, expressing utmost sorrow that was transferred onto his audience in the scene when Joseph is jailed, to expressing overwhelming joy when the Pharaoh elevates his status.

The musical was narrated by senior Josie Weinberg and sophomore Heather Kirchner. Both actresses matched their vocal pitches in a manner that resembled the singing in a church choir, further contributing to biblical theme of the musical. Both were very expressive, despite not having characters in the play, in a way that made them seem like protectors watching over Joseph.

The cast of 11 brothers were played by various CHS students. Across the board, they were all able to use their acting and singing skills to impress onto the audience their roles as immature, near-children with jealous tendencies towards their brother. This was accomplished when they would sing all together, or when their dances were coordinated. However, it seemed to be difficult to coordinate these lines in a louder or clearer manner, as sometimes it was hard to hear lines the brothers were singing together.
The most notable solo was performed by senior Nick Schapp, who played one of Joseph’s brothers. While standing atop an elevated surface, Schapp held a note for approximately 10 seconds while the background music cut out, and it provided some comic relief while showcasing the incredible singing abilities of this CHS student.

In terms of costume choice, it is easy to say that this was by far one of the best set and costume ensembles CHS has seen in several years. Most notably was the “technicolor dreamcoat” itself created by senior Katherine Nation. The coat used LED lighting to light up in the striped colors of the rainbow, and tech crew assisted in showcasing its beauty when they turned off all the lights at the end of a scene to showcase the lights on the coat.

The set itself was also very bright and innovative, using multiple platforms and an area for exit in the center of it. However, it was in the shape of a pyramid, although this set primarily applied to Act II. Given that the CHS theater program had the resources, it may have been wiser to use two different sets so audience members are not confused.

The tech crew should be applauded for fostering new and interesting effects. Using lighting alone, they were able to create almost another set on stage. According to sophomore Becca Stolz, the crew was able to program one of their spotlights to create the effect of light shining through jail bars on Joseph’s face when he was jailed. This was an impressive innovation on behalf of CHS members, and we can only hope to see more of it in the future.

However, there were some technical glitches. For example, many times microphones would not function at proper volumes, making it hard to hear lines that were crucial to the story’s plotline. It can be assumed that many students at a public high school would not be familiar with biblical scripture necessarily. That’s why it’s particularly important to establish clarity.

Overall, “Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat” was a success. Hopefully the minor issues will be resolved, but based on this performance, CHS will be priveledged to see many more talented and engaging shows in the coming years.

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The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.
CHS theater puts on techni-colorful musical