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Middle school to present 'Joseph'

Joseph (Isaiah Fiedler), right, tests his brothers, pretending to be angry with a brother named Benjamin (not pictured), for an imagined theft. Another of Joseph's brothers (Chris Harney), left, tries to defend Benjamin's innocence.1 / 2
Joseph's brothers recall good times before the famine that drives them to Egypt, where they will reunite with Joseph. Pictured are Lance Queen (front, left), Logan Johnson (back) and Kyle Peters (sitting), who play some of Joseph's brothers.2 / 2

St. Croix Central Middle School's upcoming performance will be a full performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

Preparing for the performance has been challenging, middle school music teacher Michelle Schmitt said, because the 90-minute performance contains no spoken words. The performance is entirely sung.

"It helps them remember the words, but the vocal stamina is tricky," Schmitt said. "We did incorporate some of the harmony too."

Schmitt said the students have risen to the challenge well.

"They keep surprising me all the time," Schmitt said. "It really surprises me that they're just middle school students, and they're doing fabulous."

Schmitt said although this is the first full-length musical she has done with SCC middle school students, SCCMS has put on musicals before.

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" is based on the Biblical story of Joseph and the coat of many colors.

In the story, Joseph, his father's favorite son, is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, and taken to Egypt, where he faces many challenges. His ability to interpret dreams eventually lands him a good position, working for the Pharaoh.

The performance is set to a variety of musical styles from country-western to rock 'n roll.

Schmitt said one song she and the performers have found particularly poignant is "Close Every Door." The song takes place while Joseph is in Egypt, after he has been imprisoned for a crime he has not committed.

Performances are Thursday, March 14, and Friday, March 15, at 7 p.m. in the St. Croix Central Middle School multipurpose room. Tickets are $2 for adults, $1 for students and free for pre-school children.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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