Many students, faculty, staff, parents, and friends went to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat earlier this November. It was OLu’s annual fall musical, but it also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the musical Joseph, the 50th anniversary of Orange Lutheran, and the 20th anniversary of the Nechita performing arts center. There’s so much work that goes into putting on the fabulous shows that we do at OLu, including this year’s production of Joseph. Lots of different moving pieces had to come together—lots of people had to come together to make it all happen. The performers had to be the life and soul of the show onstage. The tech crew made sure everything ran smoothly and helped showcase the performers in the best way possible. One of OLu’s student leadership teams—Ambassadors—helped sell concessions, stargrams, and check people’s tickets. Lastly, the audience had to be there to see all the hard work that had been done and how everyone came together. This article will feature four different students, each with their own perspectives, each with their own unique lens on Joseph and what it meant to them.
Tech: Cambria Darling
Cambria Darling is no stranger to the Nechita stage. She’s “done a lot of stage work” and recognizes how she’s “been very blessed to do a lot of different performing, acting, and singing,” inside and outside of OLu. Initially, she wasn’t planning on joining tech, but “was thrown onto the show [at the] very last minute” to “learn spotlight Friday night” because the person who was working the spotlight the night before got sick.
Being on tech gave Cambria a very different perspective than being in the audience, or even performing; to her, it was “very different being in the catwalk and looking at the show from that very high angle, seeing the stage “from a completely different side of the spectrum compared to what the audience would normally see.” In her role, as a “spotlight operator” with “two other students” she was able to grow closer to the tech team.
Going from being an actor to being on tech for this year’s performance of Joseph allowed Cambria to “have so much more compassion and just like admiration for all of the stuff that all tech crews are doing behind the scenes.” Cambria notes the vital role tech played in this year’s production of Joseph, because, she says, “It’s really what you’re not seeing that’s helping you see what happens on stage.”
Audience: Michaela Cupsa
As one of the many students at OLu who went to see the show as an audience member, junior Michaela Cupsa thought Joseph “was really fun” and a “super unique and interesting” choice. Having “never heard of the musical before,” Michaela was “interested to see what it was about and how they did it.”
For Michaela, Joseph was a really engaging musical. She initially went to see it because she had a lot of friends in the show, and because two of her friends played leading roles—a Narrator and Joseph. But she was also drawn in by the production and the musical itself—“all the songs were stuck in [her] head constantly a week after the show closed.” Her favorite scene was “Potiphar” because it had “a really catchy melody” and because her friend starred in it. Michaela loved her experience so much that she went to see the show twice. She thought “it was fun to see how they grew and developed throughout the shows” and she is “honestly just really proud” of the performers and all their hard work.
Ambassadors: Zoe Zarubin
As for me, I’m an Ambassador at OLu. As an Ambassador we get to work numerous events at OLu—these include the school musicals. I signed up for the last show, which was Sunday afternoon. We had to get there an hour early, and I was assigned the job of scanning tickets at the door.
After I had finished scanning tickets and welcoming people into the Nechita, I came in to sit with my family and watch the show. The music was wonderful, the costumes were brilliant, and the production was very professional. I’ve always been impressed with the performances I’d seen on the Nechita stage, and this one was no different, though it was, perhaps, one of the brightest and boldest performances I’d seen.
Overall, being there as an Ambassador reminded me that I wasn’t only there to see the show, but to serve the audience as well, and do my part to both uplift and celebrate the vibrant culture of the Performing Arts at OLu.
Performer: Kayla McCoy
Being in OLu’s musical for senior Kayla McCoy was not a new experience. This “was [her] fourth show” and in Joseph she played the Baker and was in the Ensemble. In her role as the Baker, she was able to “put [her]self into [the Baker’s] shoes.” In Joseph, the Baker “get[s] some pretty bad news,” but in the next scene, Kayla “come[s] out with a giant smile.” Having to do this transition onstage from heartbroken to lighthearted has translated into an important “philosophy for [Kayla’s] life”—that “even in the hard times you have to trust God. You have to put that smile on your face and just go for it.”
From an actor’s perspective, being in Joseph was a large time commitment. Every week, performers had to be at school for rehearsals four days a week, three hours at a time, give or take. However, during Tech Week, the hours really ramped up. The performers had to be at school “from 3:30-10 o’clock every single day starting the Thursday before the show.” Ultimately, Kayla “enjoyed tech week” because during that time, she was able to grow closer to her fellow performers.
When their first show came, Kayla felt that very bit of preparation was worth it. She thought “the musical was amazing, awesome, [and] beautiful.” All the “bumps during tech week” were “smoothed out” and it ended up being “a really good musical.” Ultimately, Joseph taught Kayla to be able to “accept and receive everything that Mrs. Everhart” told the performers—this musical taught Kayla to have “an open mind in everything” because it’s really just the way you look at things that determines what you see. It’s really how much you are willing to see things through a new lens that will determine how much you appreciate what you have.
Photo Credit: uxdesign.cc