Local Stars Align for TA’s Production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”
May 10, 2021
TA’s musical theater production class will present Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23 at 6:30 p.m.
For most of the school year, even this outdoor, socially distanced production seemed improbable. But when Vermont recently revised its recommendations for music education, Thetford Academy’s performing arts teachers were ready to embrace new safety protocols in order to get students back on stage. After a year of remote learning, TA drama and chorus teacher John Luce noted that “students were hungry for an authentic experience.”
Despite a limited rehearsal schedule–the Spring Musical class meets in person only once per week–students are excited about putting on Joseph. The show has come together with a little bit of ingenuity, some great luck, and a lot of hard work and community effort.
With masking and distancing requirements in place, Luce has been working with his students on ways to enhance their performance. “Diction, eye expression and body language have become crucial elements of theatrical performance”, says Luce. A courtyard behind the school’s arts and science building provides good acoustics for an outdoor performance, with a natural elevated seating area for the audience and convenient hallways for backstage space. Students in TA’s World Civilizations classes will help paint backdrops with ancient Eyptian motifs. “We just have to get used to dancing on gravel,” laughed Luce.
Joseph is known for its colorful costumes and, with the help of a well-timed email from local costume designer Beth McGee, Thetford Academy’s performance will not disappoint. McGee contacted Luce about some friends cleaning costumes out of a Lebanon storage space–and just like that–TA’s Drama program acquired Joseph costumes from a professional costume company. The boxes in storage included costumes for everyone from the Pharoah to Joseph and his 11 jealous brothers. Luce was amazed, “The fine detail, the colors, the fun Egyptian costumes – everything was there. It seems like we were meant to do Joseph this spring,” he said.
Thetford Academy juniors Tate Whiteberg and Katherine Waterman play Joseph and the Narrator, respectively. Senior Dylan Moody-A’Ness appears as the Elvis-inspired Pharaoh. A limited number of tickets for the show will be available, with priority going to students’ families. Family “pods” will be able to sit closer together to enjoy the outdoor shows.