Photo by George Cannon Images
My daughter Annie was in her first production of this remarkable local youth theater group. Here are a few thoughts of mine from a recent Facebook post:
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is truly a wonderful work of pastoral theology–the story of Joseph is read as a story of how our gifts are often also our afflictions–in Joseph’s case his gift of dreams and dream interpretation–leading him to isolation and ostracization at the beginning of the show–but at the pivotal moment when he is thrown in jail and everything seems dark and he feels utterly isolated (Close Every Door), the chorus comes to tell him no, we’ve read the book, Joseph and you come out on top. This is a remarkable affirmation of the importance of faith, and for those of us who are biblical people, a reminder of how important it is to read the scriptures as our story, not just that of ancient history.
They then sing Go Go Go Joseph and tell him that the way forward is to realize that this gift is to be affirmed, understood, and used for the good of others–which he does for the starving people of Egypt and then his brothers.
And in the end, the coat of many colors is taken off his shoulders–he is only special when he shares that gift. It is meant for the good of others, not self-adulation, as the good book says.
In R2P’s remarkable staging, as the coat is taken off Joseph’s shoulders the lighting on stage becomes technicolor; now the community is technicolor–showing that the gift that was the affliction and isolating can, with work and group discernment, become a gift for the whole community in its great diversity of gifts and dreams.
When Jasper as Joseph raised his hands up at the end, the whole community did too and we see the power of love and mutual recognition of our gifts. The joy and redemption and release were palpable and I for one was moved to tears of great joy and gratitude.