As Jewish Community Centers face threats nation-wide, WJCC’s ‘Technicolor Dreamcoat’ offers chance for solidarity
Jewish Family Theatre presents Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, its 2017 entry into the Acts of Faith Festival – as relevant today as when the musical (lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber) was first performed in 1968.
Joseph is currently running at the Weinstein Jewish Community Center and is directed by Debra Clinton. I asked Clinton how they chose Joseph for this year’s festival. “It’s been on our list for years,” she said. The beloved Old Testament tale “speaks to love, family, and forgiveness” and this production “has children, teens, and adults and combines them into a success ensemble, and to me that is the essence of theatre.”
And the JCC is an appropriate venue for showcasing the story. “The Weinstein JCC has always been a home to the art, “says Clinton,” and because of the very strong Patron of the Arts program, film, music, the Forum, art shows, and of course the Jewish Family theatre have benefited greatly from this, as have local Richmond audiences.”
And the show certainly did thrill the audience. While it had some technical issues the night I attended – it was hard to hear the words at times – it is an impressive collaboration worth seeing not only for its theatrical value, but also because of the importance of supporting local community theatre.
At a time when Jewish Community Centers across the country are being threatened, and when the current administration also threatens to cut funding to the arts, our attendance and show of solidarity means more now than ever before.
Clinton takes it a step further. “Persecution exists in all forms, for all cultural identities. My feeling is that we should be showing support and solidarity to ALL members of our community . . . the JCC is a COMMUNITY home with a Jewish heritage that deserves to be preserved and protected as do all cultures in our country.”
After all, she muses, “America is home to the ‘huddled masses yearning to be free.”
Since the opening of this production, Clinton has “come to realize that nearly everyone has a Joseph story. And this production takes them back to a memory that brings them joy. I think that is our job.”
As to Joseph’s relevance to our modern culture, Clinton says, “there is always jealousy and betrayal. There are petty tyrants, and blindsided leaders. And still the human spirit triumphs- because I believe within each of us there resides an innately optimistic spirit. We can choose happiness. We can choose to forgive.”
And you can choose to go see Joseph which continues through March 11, 2017 with a Talk Back with the cast on March 9th. Tickets can be snagged here.
Julie Harthill Clayton is an out and proud bisexual with a passion for reading, writing . . . and NOT arithmetic. Her work has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the Internet Review of Books, Curve Magazine, Lambda Literary and more. She is working on her first novel - Two Tickets to Freedom - a semi-autobiographical queer coming-of-age tale. A paralegal by day, Julie spends her free time knitting, writing, and reading anything she can get her hands on. She lives in Richmond with her partner, local artist David Turner, and their mischievous and loving hunting dog, Max.
- Prev RVA Town Hall supporting trans youth draws tears ahead of blow to Grimm case
- Next Cakes Da Killa mixes solid lyricism with the queer experience ahead of 3/20 Smatter show
- Back to top
- Missing Charlottesville transgender woman’s case changed to homicide
- Federal judge rules in favor of discriminated gay man but not how you might think
- Diversity Richmond to host first Drag Bingo and afterparty event this Friday
- HEAL LLC creates a ‘soft spot to land’ for LGBTQ women of color with ‘The Healing Journey’
- Pioneering Virginia-born LGBTQ activist and biologist Dr. Walter Sheppe has past away