Archive for Thursday, November 10, 2005

DHS musical of biblical proportions

Cast of 75, 13-member orchestra to perform ‘Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat’

November 10, 2005

It's hour four of the De Soto High School musical practice, but the students don't show it.

With smiles and singing, they wrapped up their Monday evening rehearsal of "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat," which will be performed Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Ashley Fisher, student choreographer for the play, said she's pleased with the progress of the student dancers.

"It's mostly singing and dancing," she said. "So you have to have everybody there to be able to practice."

The play, written by Andrew Lloyd Weber, tells the Biblical story of Joseph.

Music teacher Mary Etta Copeland said this is the first all-music show performed by De Soto High School students in her 30-year tenure.

"The students have really come a long way," she said.

Copeland said she's been telling students performing in Saturday's Kansas Music Educator's Association competition to be careful not to strain their voices.

Seniors Leslie Hodges and Heather Kline will perform as the narrators and sing in every number.

Kline agreed the music can be difficult.

"You have to use your voice in a much more demanding way than just speaking," she said.


"It's easier when the play is all singing," he said. "I can memorize songs instead of trying to remember my lines and cue lines."

It takes about 75 people to make up the full cast, with a 13-member orchestra, and cast that includes elementary and high school students.

"For a school of 470, that's a lot," Copeland said.

Ben Bartlett, fine arts and drama teacher and Justin Love, band director, coordinate the rehearsals. At the end of the day, Love had good things to say about the high school men's chorus performing in the play.

"Their excitement shows," he told the students. "They sing out and shine, and my challenge for all of you is to do the same."

Jeanne Beechwood and Jon Copeland with the Martin City Melodrama also assisted with the choreography.

The play will be performed at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Ticket prices are $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. To order advance tickets, call the high school at 583-8370.

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