HANFORD — Hanford High School will be performing the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” next week and the cast and crew are hard at work making sure they put on a great show for the audience.
Hanford High director of choral/guitar activities Jennifer McGill is one of the team of directors for the musical and said the story is based on Joseph’s “coat of many colors” from the Bible’s Book of Genesis. She said that particular musical was picked because the high school has a strong group of males who can sing and she wanted to feature them.
McGill said practice started in mid-February, which doesn't leave a lot of time to bring everything together, but the students have been working hard and are committed to putting on a good show. She said the play consists of a cast of 55 high school students and a children’s chorus of 12 younger students.
Senior Alex Contreras, 17, plays one of Joseph’s brothers who becomes jealous of Joseph and his coat, which leads them to do some pretty bad stuff to their brother. This is Contreras’ second play and he said he really enjoys performing.
“The camaraderie among the cast is great,” Contreras said. “It’s just a nice environment and something to do after school. Instead of going home to nap, I’d rather sing a little.”
Senior Shai Jenkins, 17, junior Madison Avery, 16, and senior Emma Brooks, 17, all play narrators. Jenkins said she enjoys the role of narrator because she gets to tell the story and play the character in any way she’d like, bringing out her own personality.
“I love singing and I love acting and it’s really just my passion,” Jenkins said of performing in her fourth musical. “I think I was meant to do that, so that’s why I keep doing it.”
“I’m just in love with music,” Avery said of why she’s doing her first musical. “I found out that I like performing and it’s just really fun getting to know everybody.”
Brooks said she enjoys being part of a big group of people who all love to do the same thing, and can all use their energy and love to make something great and entertaining to connect with the audience.
“This is my fourth musical and what keeps me coming back is the music and my deep passion for acting, singing and performing,” Brooks said.
Sophomore Jaden Sanchez, 16, plays the role of Joseph in his second musical for the school. He said Joseph is a naïve but good man who doesn’t see that his brothers hate him. After being sold into slavery, Sanchez said Joseph “works his way back to the top.”
Entertaining, fun, enjoyable, wholesome, kid-friendly and energetic are only some of the words the cast use to describe the show; adding they are excited and eager to perform on opening night.
“The music is really diverse,” Sanchez said. “We have a jazz number, we have a Jamaican number and a disco number. It’s just really cool.”
“It’s family friendly; the message is about forgiveness, and we think that’s a message that’s universal and a message that hits home,” McGill said. “I think we need that in our world today — the power of forgiveness and moving on with your life and finding your happy place.
McGill and the cast encourage families of all ages to see the high-energy and fun show and witness the talented and hardworking cast of students.
“If you go see it, you won’t regret it,” Jenkins said. “It’s that kind of show.”