Fleetwood Area High School Theater Society broke attendance records with its spring musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” on March 15 to 17.
“Our FHS theatre students and production staff worked tirelessly to pull together a wonderful production and overcame the challenges of winter’s interruptions,” said Elaine Hilbert, FHS Director. “Our mission was to communicate a powerful message and entertain the crowds all while celebrating a milestone here at Fleetwood with our 50th production.”
Each night’s audience was delighted with the colorful fast paced rock opera of “Joseph” and Saturday’s attendance included more than 30 alumni from previous productions.
The theatre group designated March 16 as Alumni evening, but many more attended throughout the weekend. Alumni were given floral recognitions and signed a poster with their years of production. The poster will be on display in the hallway outside the stage for future casts to see.
“We were so blessed to have three generations of theatre students from one family grace our stage to address the audience at Saturday’s performance,” said Hilbert. “Becky Wright, from FHS’s first musical in 1968, her daughter Megan Esterly who performed in the mid-90s, and her granddaughter who performed in Joseph.”
More than 60 students were involved in cast, orchestra and stage crew. The cast was joined by a live pit orchestra of select students in Fleetwood’s Music Department as well as a children’s chorus of elementary students. The story is told entirely by song, moved along by a trio of narrators who set each scene.
The story, which tells the biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, his eleven brothers and his coat of many colors was presented by arrangement with The Musical Company, LP and features lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Full rehearsals for Fleetwood’s production began in January, and despite a daunting winter of multiple missed rehearsals for snow days, the company put on a quality show filled with song, dance, and lots of humor.
And at the cast party Sunday night, the inevitable debate of what Fleetwood will tackle next year began. Moving forward, the production staff will begin the process of selecting next year’s show.
“Our continued goals are to provide the community with quality theatrical entertainment, teach our students life-relevant skills needed to perform on stage, back stage, in the lighting/ sound booth and in the pit orchestra,” said Hilbert. “As a FHS alumni, and director, I am very honored to be able to encourage the goals of our founding director, Dennis Stoudt, to continue producing musicals here at Fleetwood High."