TASD to hold musical auditions for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

In the rich history of Tyrone Area School District’s music and drama program, the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has never been performed. All that is about to change with the upcoming auditions for the musical which are scheduled to be held Monday, February 10 and Tuesday, February 11 at 6 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Students in grades six through twelve are welcome to audition. Anyone interested should fill out an application located in M-1 in the music suite at the high school and have a song ready to perform for auditions that showcases their vocal ability.
“It was originally written for a church pageant and ran about 20 minutes,” said Cathy Young, TASD teacher and musical director and producer of the production. “Over the years it’s just gotten bigger and bigger, and now it’s a huge show.”
The lyrics to the musical were written by Tim Rice, and the music was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. This famous duo also wrote such productions as Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. The musical consists of two acts, a cast of 17 men, one narrator, one woman, a chorus, 17 songs and instrumentation.
“We have a lot of really good kids we could feature in this musical,” added Young. “You look to see what would fit these kids. I can’t pick a musical and fit them into it. It doesn’t work that way. It seems like we have a lot of good guys and a great chorus.”
The plot of the musical is taken from a biblical story. Joseph is the favorite son in the family, and his brothers get jealous of him when their father gives Joseph a coat of many colors. The brothers sell Joseph into slavery in Egypt. However, he has the gift of interpreting dreams, so Joseph helps to save the country and comes into favor with the Pharaoh. He is reunited with his estranged brothers at the end.
In larger productions of the play, Michael Damian has starred in a Broadway version in New York City, and Donny Osmond played in the movie version.
“Practice will have to start right away. Then it’s everyday until the kids learn the music,” said Young of what happens after auditions. “Karen Volpe, a person who works with the Altoona Community Theater and works for the Blair County Arts Foundation, is the person who blocks it all out. Reverend Kim MacGuiness-Green is new to the area and is the new drama advisor at the school and Ed Kuhstos is also helping out.”
Art teacher Mr. Stuck will build the sets, and art teachers Mr. Feather and Ms. Ferrari will also help with art designs for the production.
There are no speaking parts in the musical; the story is being told through songs. The audience will need to follow along from one song to the next to be able to figure out what is going on. This adds a unique feature to the student production.
“There’s all styles of music from reggae, to calypso, a disco scene and a cowboy song. It’s not just musical Broadway songs,” said Young.
The musical is scheduled to be performed in the high school auditorium on April 25-26.
“Tyrone has a huge tradition of musicals. It’s a way to get the kids involved in drama, and anybody that wants to get on stage gets to do it. It’s a really fun show too, and I’m really looking forward to working with the kids on it,” said Young.