The Central Kentucky Community Theatre Youth Actors will present “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at the Opera House on the Fridays of April 30 and May 7 at 7 p.m. and on the Sundays of May 2 and May 9 at 2 p.m.
You’ve got to see this fast-paced, funny, and energetic classic production using a large variety of music for a modern rendering of the inspired Bible story from Genesis. It centers on Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers, only to later rescue not only his family, but also his entire nation from certain death during a famine.
Joseph learns through the experience the power of forgiveness. But more importantly he came to realize that God purposely wanted him in Egypt in order to save his chosen people from future events that only he knew would transpire.
Directors Jan and Scott Fattizzi continue to push their troop of veteran Washington and Marion county actors to new heights of entertainment. They do it by the use of increasingly complex theatre productions designed to make the budding actors stretch their talents for all it’s worth, and this production is worth a lot.
How complex is it?
Joseph is told strictly through the use of 19 songs that vary from country, pop, rock, and even Caribbean Island music. You try that with some 20 youths ranging in age from around 11 to 17. I think I’ll pass.
I went down to rehearsal to interview five of the players in this production.
WCHS freshman Paul Shelton (son of Rev. Troy and Sherri Shelton) and MCHS junior Hattie Clark (daughter of Mark and Billie Jo Clark) are newcomers to the scene.
WCHS senior Megan Hill (daughter of Larry and Laura Hill), St. Dominic sixth grader Mark Grider (son of Jerry and Inez Grider), and WCMS eighth grader Brandon Curtsinger (son of Todd and Tammy Curtsinger) are veterans of many plays together.
Friends already in the troop interested Paul and Hattie both in becoming part of the Central Kentucky Community Theatre Youth Actors.
Paul originally wanted to come on as part of the stage crew behind the scenes, and not as a stage performer. He was talked out of that idea and now will be up front with the rest of the cast. This will be his first performance, and I’m sure the Rev. Troy Shelton’s River of Life family will be there in force to cheer him on. I asked Paul what he’s learned so far in this totally new activity. He said with a smile, “When I pay attention, I can actually learn something.”
Hattie’s school counselor, Ms. DeeDee Cecconi, originally recommended the program to her. Hattie also knows Charlotte Campbell from 4-H competitions and saw her postings on Facebook of the trip taken by the “Grease” cast to perform at Disney in Florida. She knew she wanted to be part of what was going on. How to fit it in would be the only problem as Hattie is already a member of the MCHS band, taking advanced college placement courses in school, and will be doing the Junior Miss competition in Marion County.
Hattie says it’s hard work and requires a lot of energy, but is a great way to make new friendships and have fun. Her one regret is that she didn’t start in the theatre when she was in the eighth grade.
Hattie brought up something interesting when she said she hoped this would help her out in her upcoming Junior Miss competition.
Recently another cast veteran, Rose Clements, won the local 4-H talent contest for her division with a song she originally sang in Grease called “I’m Not Sandra Dee.” Her fellow veterans, Charlotte Campbell and Bianca Young, will both be competing in the upcoming WC Junior Miss. Their years of experience should make for a very interesting night in that competition.
Megan’s another very busy cast member. She’s a member of the WC color guard, plays clarinet in the band, and will be graduating this year. Megan said, “You get real close to the other cast members because of all the work and practicing lines together. It’s like they become your brothers and sisters.”
She’s going on to Campbellsville College to major in elementary education this fall, but intends to work one last year with the community theatre. Megan said it would be tough when she finally has to end this phase of her life.
Brandon told me he always wanted to be an actor, and has taken lessons in Louisville. However, he says he’s learned much more with the youth actors than he ever did going to Louisville. He’s already done five plays, and plans on taking drama at WCHS as a freshman next fall. He loves new roles and said, “It’s easier to act as a character than show what you truly feel like.”
Brandon said initially he was shy and hardly talked when he attended his first practices. That seems to be the norm, as everyone else told me pretty much the same thing. But they also say it doesn’t stay that way because this is more like a big family.
I would like to add that when I asked Brandon what this play was all about, he gave me the most complete telling of Joseph’s story that I had ever heard. It sort of stunned me, and I had to double check in the Bible as he taught me a thing or two.
Mark Grider, as a sixth grader, may be the youngest of the group that I talked to, but he will one day be a bear of man. He’s already taller and stockier than I am as an adult, yet he combines that size with extreme energy and what you might call “flexibility.” In addition, he’s been in plays since the third grade and has loved it. He said a person who wants to do this would learn “not to be afraid to express himself publicly.” He said with a great laugh that theatre would help you “learn to be flexible enough to kick yourself in your own forehead.” I had not heard that phrase before, and plan to steal it later for future use.
If you see this play on May 2 you can then head on down to the courthouse where they will have begun the annual complete reading of the Bible going on at the same time. You can listen to both versions to get the complete story.
The big scene of the play is Mark’s. I’m not going to ruin it for you, but if it doesn’t make you laugh when it comes toward the end of the show, then you just don’t have any soul left in you. Nice shirt, Mark.
Tickets are available at the Opera House, Backyard Family Restaurant, The Springfield State Bank, and in Lebanon at the Farmers National Bank. The Web site is www.centralkytheatre.com or call (859) 336-5412 ext. 4 for more ticket information.