New Castle News


March 30, 2012

Photo Gallery, Video, Story: Laurel presenting spring musical ‘Joseph’

NEW CASTLE — (Video highlights and cast list appear at bottom of the story.)

Charles Gryn believes a high school production should be just that — a performance produced primarily by students.

When Laurel High’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” opens tomorrow, more than 40 kids will take to the stage, but “At least 275 students will have touched this show in one capacity or another,” said Gryn, who is the director.

“Business classes designed the tickets and poster,” Gryn went on. “Art and shop classes built and painted the sets. Home-ec classes made the costumes. CAD classes designed the sets. Add in all the choreography and vocals, and this is a show in which students are in the forefront everywhere.”

Gryn has taught at Laurel for 36 years. “Joseph” will be his 18th musical.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” is a musical based on the Bible story of Joseph and his coat of many colors. It tells the story of a favorite son’s victimization by his jealous brothers who sell him into slavery, and his rise to the No. 2 position of power in all of Egypt.

It is a story of forgiveness and redemption.

Gryn says “Joseph,” last performed at Laurel more than a decade ago, was a perfect fit. Retired teacher Carol Miller, he added, had been begging to do the show again.

“She is the biggest ‘Joseph” fan in the world, and she agreed to come back and help out with the production.” Gryn explained.

“The show is a good crowd pleaser. I like it, and for the first time in years, we don’t have girls playing boys roles. We had enough boys audition.”

One of those boys is sophomore Jake Blank, who makes his Laurel stage debut  by playing Pharaoh.

“I don’t know if I would have tried out if I would have known what all being in the show involved, but once I started to get it all down, I really loved it,” Blank said. “It is a fun role.

“I have a great time with it, and I will definitely try out again next year.”

The role requires Blank to, among other things, dress and sing as Elvis Presley. The Pharaoh is “The King,”  after all.

Blank has learned a lot from the experience, most significantly, “It has taught me not to listen to being nervous. I get nervous about stupid stuff, and I listen to that too often. It holds me back.

“But I won’t do that any more. The show has helped me conquer some of those fears, including being in front of people.”

 For senior Ashley Mengel, this is her fourth and final musical on the Laurel stage. She admits it is a bittersweet moment.

Mengel plays a variety of characters, most notably a baker who winds up in prison with Joseph.

“I want everyone to understand the sense of family within the cast, even though there are so many different personalities,” Mengel said. “It was stressful at first. You definitely need a sense of patience to be with such a big group of people, but we all came together in the end.

“It was definitely worth it. We all have such a sense of accomplishment.”

Gryn is proud of the schoolwide involvement in the show.

 “Laurel is known as such a sports-oriented school district,” he said, “but in addition to all the students, we have at least 15 teachers involved, the parents theatre arts boosters who pay funds for the show.

“This district really does support the arts.”


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Laurel vacancies filled

    Vacancies within the Laurel School District are being filled prior to the start of school next month.

    July 18, 2014

  • Laurel to have multi-class reunion

    A multi-class reunion celebrating the 25-year anniversary for Laurel’s classes of 1987 through 1991 is set for Sept. 13.

    July 14, 2014

  • Laurel board approves budget

    The Laurel School Board has adopted a $17.8 million budget for the 2014-15 school year. The $17,849,586 spending plan requires no tax increase. It represents a $361,496 increase over the current year’s budget.

    June 19, 2014 1 Story

  • Laurel names secondary principal

    The Laurel School Board hired Mark Frengel as secondary principal of student affairs. Frengel will receive a salary of $88,000 for the 2014-15 school year.

    June 19, 2014

  • Laurel class of ’74 planning reunion

    The 40-year anniversary reunion for Laurel’s Class of 1974 has been set for July 19.

    June 18, 2014

  • Laurel budget proposal has no tax increase

    The Laurel School Board has introduced a $17.8 million budget that requires no tax increase. The $17,849,586 spending plan for the 2014-15 school year is $361,496 higher than the current year’s.

    May 15, 2014

  • Laurel Class of ’74 to hold reunion

    Members of Laurel High School’s Class of 1974 will celebrate their 40th anniversary this summer.

    April 11, 2014

  • Laurel OKs positions

    The Laurel School Board approved the employment of three instructors for additional duties this week.

    April 9, 2014

  • Cooper.tiff Laurel hires Cooper as new football coach

    Laurel High has found its man. Brian Cooper replaces Pat Cuba at the helm of the Spartans football program. Cuba resigned last month after leading the Spartans to a 7-3 record and the program’s first playoff appearance since 2009.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • gavel.jpg Forbes appointed to Laurel board

    Blaine Forbes has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the Laurel School Board. Forbes, who previously served on the board, was approved Monday by a unanimous vote of the eight board members.

    March 25, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

Would you want to know what your pet is thinking about you?

Yes! I'd love to know what my pet is thinking.
Nah, it's probably not that interesting.
I don't know. I'm afraid of what I might find out.
     View Results