Chartiers Valley production enables students to be creative
The star of Chartiers Valley High School's performance of “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat” won't be the multicolored coat, but the multitalented students.
Joseph will play violin. The Pharaoh will play guitar. The marching band drumline will perform in the show's finale.
“We're trying to incorporate their unique talents,” said high school teacher and musical sponsor Kimberly Giffin. “We want to find opportunities to showcase those talents.”
The story focuses on the Biblical tale of Joseph and his coat of many colors. Joseph is his father's favorite son and blessed with prophetic dreams. His jealous brothers sell him into slavery, and he ends up in Egypt where he is tested both spiritually and physically. Egypt's Pharaoh learns of Joseph's prophetic powers, and he becomes his right-hand man. His jealous brothers eventually find themselves groveling at Joseph's feet, not realizing who he is.
Giffin said audiences should not expect a church play, though.
“It offers more than you would expect from a Biblical theme,” she said. “There's a lot of humor and a lot of quirkiness.”
The theme, though, has pushed students to be more creative, she said.
“It's a stretch for a lot of them to relate to a character they have nothing in common with,” she said.
Another aspect of the show that makes it different, she said, is the music – there is no dialogue in the performance, just song.
“The challenge was getting them to relate and communicate a story through nothing but music,” she said.
Audiences should expect a high-energy show, she said, with genres of music range from pop to calypso to country western.
For freshman Devin Moore, who plays Joseph, it is his favorite part.
“I love the music. It's just so cheesy and upbeat and everyone gets a part,” he said.
For juniors Emily Palma and Ranae McIntyre, who share the role of narrator, it's the people.
“Just being around the people is so much fun,” McIntyre said. “We all end up like family and learn so much about each other.”
Palma said the atmosphere is a special one.
“The friends that I've made — I've never had these kinds of friends in my life,” she said.
Giffin said she has enjoyed watching the transformation of the group both personally and on stage.
“This is a very accepting, encouraging group. We're family here,” she said. “At the same time, they all have found different things to latch onto. They've finally started to lose themselves in the characters.”
Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.