Behind the scenes of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat


Morgan Terakedis

Sophomore Intro to Light and Sound student Cora Bankert works behind the scenes at a rehearsal. “I like doing the lighting because it can help set the mood and it’s really important in any production,” Bankert said.

      A crowd of expectant theater goers flood into the auditorium, struggling to find their seats in the dark. Conversations settle into low whispers and the lights come up on the stage. For the next hour, they find themselves enthralled by the charm of the story. The colorful nature of the show seems to extend beyond Joseph’s coat onto the stage itself, bringing visual and auditory enthusiasm.

      This year, GlenOak High School is putting on a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, starring sophomore Quinn Fogarty as Joseph. These performances will take place on Feb. 24 and 25.

      The story focuses on one of 11 brothers, Joseph, who is favored by his father. His brothers become jealous of him and sell him off to be a servant in Egypt. However, the Pharaoh looks kindly upon Joseph because he is a dreamer and makes him his right hand man. In the end, the brothers end up begging Joseph for help.

        “I wanted something really lighthearted and fun. Even though the story doesn’t sound like there’s much levity to it, the entire thing is written in all these different styles of music,” producing artistic director and staging director Amy Sima-Dirham said.

       Not only was the choice of musical unexpected, but the decision to cast a sophomore as the star came as a shock to many, including Fogarty himself.

      “It was definitely a surprise to me. I hoped that I had a shot, but with little past experience I wasn’t expecting it at all,” Fogarty said.

     Fortunately, the young lead has not had too much difficulty adjusting to the spotlight.

      “I have a lot of parts where I’m able to improv, so it’s less memorization on my part,” Fogarty said. “Also, with no lines and all singing, the musical itself is much easier for me in that regard.”

     With such a high number of songs, comes a lot of opportunities for interesting lighting and set design.

      “We have a couple of cool ideas. We found that you can control LED tape lights that you can buy in bulk on Amazon with these controllers that they sell, so we’re gonna put LED tape on everything and it’s gonna look insane,” light and sound adviser Anthony DePinto said.

     However, light and sound design is not always as simple as pressing a button behind a control panel.

      “All the lights have to be focused in the right spots and have to move and the sound has to work. We’re using almost 30 microphones. There’s so many moving parts,” DePinto said.

      In fact, every aspect of the musical is more complicated than one may believe. A lot has gone into the process of making this year’s musical, not least of which has been the preparation of a children’s choir

     “We’ve never done something like this before,” Dirham said. “It’s another large group of people where we have to make sure everyone knows where to go, when to go, what to wear, and what time.”

      However, just because the task is difficult, does not mean that the cast and crew is not up to it. Between set, lighting, stage direction, acting and much more, students and teachers alike have teamed up to try and make this musical as enjoyable an experience as possible.