Bible story comes to life at Herriman Arts Council production of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’
Jul 03, 2019 11:48AM
● By Christy Jepson
By Christy Jepson | [email protected]
Fifty years ago, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber sat down together and created what would be their first major musical collaboration, a timeless Biblical tale put to song. It was a tale that included catchy music, colorful costumes and fast-paced storytelling—a story about families and forgiveness.
Herriman Arts Council is excited to celebrate this anniversary by presenting “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” on the outdoor W& M Butterfield Park Rosecrest Pavilion stage.
Over the years, Herriman Arts Council productions have become bigger and better than the previous ones. It’s because of the creative drive of the production team and the way it thinks outside the box. Today, it’s not uncommon to hear the words “Herriman magic” in reference to their productions. The magic is what the production team comes up with to bring an element of surprise or creativity to the show. This year is no different, as it retells the story of Joseph, his 11 brothers and their father, Jacob.
“There is always something special about the Herriman Arts Council productions,” said Debra Taylor, the production manager for the show. “We try to push the envelope for community theater and do things that are completely unexpected. “
Grant Whitmer, who plays the flamboyant Pharaoh, agrees that there is some “magic” to this production as well.
“Herriman Arts Council is famous for integrating fresh new elements and adding its own unique stamp on every production they do,” Whitmer said. “‘Joseph 2019’ will not disappoint even those who have seen it hundreds of times.”
So, for 50 years, what has made the musical “Joseph” so popular? Is it the songs, the humor, the energetic dances or the relatable characters and lessons?
“I think Joseph is such a fun and popular show because it has so many different styles of music all in one show,” said Bethany Hall, who plays the narrator. “Each song has a different flair and vibe. There is something for everyone in Joseph.” She agrees that not only is this show entertaining for everyone, but it’s also about the lessons of love and forgiveness that make it great too.
The story of “Joseph” is all about family and this production is also full of families. There are nine groups of families in the show with two or more people from the same family. Plus, there are three production team members with family members in the cast and six production team members who are spouses.
Hall is fortunate enough to be in this production with her husband plus four of her five children.
“My youngest child, who just turned 4, is not officially in the cast but has named herself the cast cheerleader,” Hall said. “She loves the show and knows some of the songs better than I do.”
The production team admits that families add a lot to the production. “As an arts council, we absolutely love it when families are involved,” said Taylor, the production manager. “What a great way for families to spend time together during the summer!”
Geoff Beckstrand, who plays Joseph, loves being part of the show because of the people he gets to work with. He also thinks it is a great place to bring families because it is just 90 minutes long.
“After the show, your kids can come on the stage and get a picture with the cast,” he said. “It’s a great wholesome, family friendly show that everyone can enjoy.”
The show is directed by Kayla Martin, who has been a part of the Herriman Arts Council for four years but has been involved in some aspects of theater for 18 years. She is currently the theater teacher at Fort Herriman Middle School.
Taylor estimates that there are more than 18,000 volunteer hours that are put in to make this show a magical production for the community.
“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” will be performed at the Rosecrest Pavilion stage at the W & M Butterfield Park (6212 Butterfield Park Way) on July 11–13 and 15–20. Tickets prices are $8 per person and can be purchased online through Herriman City and through the Herriman Arts Council’s Facebook page. Tickets can also be purchased at the box office the day of the show. The box office opens at 7 p.m. the night of the show. Tickets are for general seating. The house opens at 7:30 p.m., and the performance begins at 8 p.m.