AAHS and the Amazing Technicolor Musical: Going Behind the Scenes of the Upcoming Production

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AAHS and the Amazing Technicolor Musical: Going Behind the Scenes of the Upcoming Production

Students sitting onstage

Students sitting onstage

Students sitting onstage

Students sitting onstage

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Ancient Egypt, the groovy lights of the 70s and biblical characters spontaneously erupting into totally tubular beats: to the average reader these sound like the ramblings of a far-out hippie.

Yet, these seemingly incongruent aspects are the bread and butter of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (“Joseph”).

The wacky adventures of Joseph will be new territory for AAHS performers, technicians and audience alike. This fun and slightly goofy romp through ancient Egypt is a far cry from last year’s “Les Miserables.”

However, AAHS theater director Susan Manst explained that the show provides some welcome changes.

“[The AAHS] theater program offers our students a wide variety of exposure to genres…it had been a while since we’ve done something more based in fun… ‘Les Mis’ was deep and dark and serious…’Into the Woods’…was a blend of both. This year it felt appropriate to do something just off the map,” she said when explaining the reasoning behind “Joseph’s” selection.

The show’s story follows Joseph, a dreamer with a bit of a superiority complex and the youngest of Jacob’s 12 sons. Joseph is the favorite child, so his father gives him an amazing technicolor dreamcoat (as one does). This, in turn, illicits rage and envy from his siblings who respond by selling Joseph into slavery (also a reasonable response).

Junior Isaac Whitaker plays the lead role of Joseph. “Joseph is kind of a jerk. Nobody likes him and it’s for good reason. He’s a bit of a butt-kiss. [But] The thing that I like about him is his constant positivity and his ability to work to make things go his way,” he said when asked to describe his character.

And so begins Joseph’s journey discovering his prophetic talents and meeting a cast of vibrant characters along the way. Some highlights include an Elvis Presley-esque Pharoah and Joseph’s radical dancing brothers.

“The writers of the show did an amazing job thinking out of the box and being very creative with [characters],” Manst said.

Senior Landon Dills plays the Pharoah in the show. He explained, “The Pharoah is… [well he’s] Elvis.”

In addition to a variety of interesting characters, the show also has a myriad of funky beats that viewers will be grooving to for months after.

“It’s got a lot of variety musically. We’ve got a Calypso song, a Southwestern kind of Cowboy song. We’ve got a French bistro kind of vibe for a little bit,” Manst said of the musical numbers in “Joseph.”

A favorite among tech and crew members was “Those Canaan Days” which you can listen to below.



“Joseph” will also sport a meticulously crafted set, and will be brought to life with vibrant lights and vivid sounds courtesy of the amazing tech crew.

Senior sound worker Tori Kohlman explained the process of bringing the stage to life. “Mr. Hoit, a year in advance, makes a to-scale model. They frame it all up and put canvas on it. We have an artist come in and paint it. She does a great job,” said Kohlman.

Kohlman also emphasized the need for a cohesive, team effort to fully realize the absurd vision of the show.

“Everybody has a meaningful part. We need everybody we have to meet all hands on deck,” she stated.

Indeed, the cast and crew have been working tirelessly to perfect the production for the AAHS stage. They practiced every day after school for two hours and this week have increased practice time to three hours. Next week, they will practice for four hour intervals after school leading up to the big show.

They have also invested time on Saturdays, practicing for up to four hours a day six days a week.

Cast and crew members agreed that the show is wildly entertaining and excellent for families. It has everything a viewer could possibly want, including a surprising number of dance parties.

“You could go all three nights and see a completely different show each night depending on which part of the stage you’re watching,” stated Whitaker.

The musical as a whole is a lot of pure, light-hearted fun. Dills and Whitaker both concluded that the show is “funky fresh.”

“[This is not] one of those little boring felt board bible stories when you were in church as a kid…this is a really colorful piece of artistic expression,” Manst stated.

However, despite all its wacky antics and absurdity, “Joseph” still packs an emotional punch. “The story is all about the struggle and trying to make the best of situations…offering forgiveness and reconciliation. Life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it. Joseph as a character really is a great example of that,” said Manst.

Tickets for the musical go on sale March 1. Make sure to purchase online at showtix4u.com to reserve seats. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

ASL students are encouraged to attend the Thursday night performance and sit on the right side as there will be ASL interpretation available at that performance.

Performances will be 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday March 14, 15 and 16. Come to support our Kadet actors and tech crew, and to see all their hard work on stage!

Members of the “Joseph” cast and crew strike some goofy poses. Senior Tori Kohlman hides behind a potted plant. Sophomore William Patten stares pensively into the distance. Senior Landon Dills does an obscure form of yoga. Junior Isaac Whitaker turns his back to the audience defiantly.