The town of many play­ers dusts off the coat of many colours

Sherbrooke Record - - CLASSIFIED - By Matthew Mccully

It’s safe to say, based on the strong theatre tra­di­tion es­tab­lished in the Brome Lake area, a com­mu­nity that plays to­gether, stays to­gether. In 1994, the mu­si­cal Joseph and the Amaz­ing Tech­ni­color Dream­coat took the stage in Knowlton, di­rected by Emma Stevens.

At the time, Stevens re­called there was a buzz in town and a con­ta­gious ex­cite­ment around theatre.

“Ev­ery­body wanted to be in some­thing,” Stevens said.

Twenty-three years later, that ex­cite­ment never waned.

Demon­strat­ing the act­ing bug is as strong as ever, Joseph will re­turn to Knowlton for an­other run, open­ing Nov. 2 at Theatre Lac Brome.

The cast of over 30 peo­ple, rang­ing in age from six to 85-years-old will fea­ture a number of orig­i­nal cast mem­bers, in­clud­ing Lucy Hoblyn, who was a nar­ra­tor in the orig­i­nal pro­duc­tion and is in the di­rec­tor’s chair this time around.

“I just love it,” Hoblyn said, when asked why she wanted to stage the well-known mu­si­cal, writ­ten by Tim Rice and An­drew Lloyd Web­ber.

“I saw it eight times in Lon­don,” she said.

Also the Choir Di­rec­tor at Knowlton Academy, Hoblyn said for years she had wanted to do the songs from Joseph and the Amaz­ing Tech­ni­color Dream­coat with her young singers. Putting the show on with the Knowlton Play­ers and in­cor­po­rat­ing the school choir was a great way to do it, she said.

Emma Stevens sat qui­etly in the au­di­ence on Wed­nes­day evening, watch­ing the cast re­hears­ing for the up­com­ing show.

While the cur­rent pro­duc­tion will of­fer a fresh take on the fa­mous mu­si­cal, Stevens has re­turned to help out with the Potiphar scene.

“It’s a lot of work,” Stevens said, ap­plaud­ing Hoblyn and the cur­rent cast. “It doesn’t take weeks; it takes months.”

“This theatre was built on the back of this com­mu­nity,” Stevens added. “Kids have grown up in this. It be­comes a big giant fam­ily,” she said, ex­plain­ing that there has been a domino ef­fect of sup­port in the area over the years.

Hoblyn’s Joseph has an in­ter­gen­er­a­tional cast, in more ways than one.

In ad­di­tion to ac­tors like Bob Hen­nessey and Hoblyn’s hus­band Danny Mcau­ley who were in the show 23 years ago and are back again, there are three

gen­er­a­tions of Hoblyns (Lucy’s fa­ther and son) in­volved in the cur­rent pro­duc­tion.

Lo­cal Jes­sica Brown also made the mu­si­cal a fam­ily af­fair, star­ring in Joseph along­side her two chil­dren.

Knowlton Player Ge­orgie Landry, who is pro­duc­ing and act­ing in the up­com­ing mu­si­cal, ex­plained that theatre has a sneaky way of re­cruit­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to Landry, it all starts with par­ents bring­ing their chil­dren to re­hearsals. They lend a hand with the cos­tumes. One day, they in­evitably step out on the stage. “And then they get hooked, just like the rest of us,” Landry said.

Landry said the cast started re­hearsals last spring. Af­ter a break dur­ing the sum­mer, she said re­hearsals have been go­ing strong three-days-aweek since Labour Day. The choir has been prac­tic­ing ev­ery Sun­day, she added.

“This is a labour of love. We may or may not break even,” Landry said, ex­plain­ing the Knowlton Play­ers aren’t in it for the money.

“We do it for the sense of com­mu­nity and the fun,” she said.

The set was de­signed and built by Hoblyn’s hus­band Danny Mcau­ley with the help of her fa­ther.

“When Danny and Lucy get com­mit­ted to some­thing they’re all in,” Landry said.

Other helpers in­cluded Linda Carey, Sheila Quinn, Juli Peasley, Jes­sica Brown, Pa­tri­cia St. Onge, Emma Stevens, and Ka­t­rina Bur­combe to help bring Joseph and the Amaz­ing Tech­ni­color Dream­coat back to the Knowlton stage.

The show in­cludes over 25 chore­ographed dance num­bers in var­ied mu­sic styles from ca­lypso to jazz to west­ern, to name a few.

The role of Joseph will be played by Massey-vanier High School mu­sic, art and drama teacher Bill Jarand.

The show will run from Nov.2-12 at Theatre Lac Brome, 9 Mont Echo road in Knowlton. Shows run on Thurs­day, Fri­day and Satur­day nights at 7:30 p.m. and Sun­day’s at 2:00 p.m. tick­ets are $16.50 adults & $11.50 chil­dren. Tick­ets can be pur­chased on­line at: gogo­joseph.brown­pa­pertick­ets.com or by con­tact­ing Brome Lake Books at 450-242-2242.

MATTHEW MCCULLY

Emma Stevens (left) di­rec­tor of the 1994 pro­duc­tion of Joseph be­side Lucy Hoblyn, who in the di­rec­tor's chair for the up­com­ing show.

MATTHEW MCCULLY

MVHS teacher Bill Jarand will play the role of Joseph in the Knowlton Play­ers' up­com­ing pro­duc­tion of Joseph and the Amaz­ing Tech­ni­color dream­coat.

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