EHS bringing ‘Joseph’ to stage

By David J. Coehrs -

Take a well-known biblical story, retell it through dance numbers and a variety of musical genres, and add satisfying dashes of panache and humor. That gives you Evergreen High School’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.”

The bright, lively show is scheduled for performances on Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Evergreen Middle School gym, 14544 County Road 6. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens, and can be purchased at the door.

It’s the Book of Genesis tale of Joseph, the youngest of Jacob’s 12 sons, and clearly his favorite. Joseph’s brothers resent dreams he has that foretell his rule over them, and seethe with jealousy after their father gifts him with a multi-colored coat. They plot to kill him, but instead sell him into slavery, where his adventures eventually lead him back to his family.

Kristen Woodard, Evergreen’s middle school and high school vocal teacher, takes the director’s seat for her 13th spring musical. She said the pool of student talent available made the virtually dialogue-free “Joseph” an easy choice.

“We knew we had the cast to fill the parts really well,” she said. “We have very musically talented students in this cast, and we knew we’d be able to do an all-music show successfully.”

In fact, the 47-member cast includes six choir members with all-state honors.

Senior Ryan Eckhardt is Joseph, a role Woodard said plays to his strengths. “He has an exceptional voice. It fits this role very well. And he expresses the different emotions of this role very well,” she said.

The musical’s narrators, seniors Delaney Smith and Leah Schwan and sophomore Claudia Cromly, really engage the audience, Woodard said, adding, “They all have great storytelling abilities in their facial expressions and their singing.”

The cast also includes four featured character: seniors Mike Pupos as Pharoah, Ian Davoll as Judah, and John Silvestri as Reuben; and freshman Justin Krempec as Dan.

Additionally, 11 Evergreen Elementary School students participate as a children’s choir.

Woodard is assisted by Melanie Yoder, and Miranda Harmon, a 2014 Evergreen High School graduate, acts as the show’s choreographer. Woodard and Yoder designed the sets, and 3B Costumes of Waterville provides the wardrobe.

It’s a spirited, fast-paced production, not a stodgy telling of a Bible story, Woodard said.

“Even though the story comes from the Bible, it is not the biblically-based story. There are a lot of liberties taken,” she said.

The material has presented the unique challenges of an all-singing show, and has proven vocally demanding for the performers.

“A lot of our students don’t have a lot of down time. They’re on stage for more of the show than other shows,” Woodard said. “(But) they’re ready to go for Friday. They’ve come a long way, and I feel confident. They’re extremely hard workers. They’ve put in a lot of time to bring us to this point.

“It’s very entertaining, upbeat, and funny.”

By David J. Coehrs

Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.

Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.