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  • Go, Go, Joe!

    #jcoperahouse #musicaltheater #junctioncitylittletheater #josephandtheamazingtechicolordreamcoat #takemetotheoh Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat opens up on the Opera House stage on April 28th, and I got to sit down with Director Brent Sigman and the actor who plays Joseph, Brent Weaver. Before the interview, here is some history of this beloved musical. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (JATD) is about the Biblical story of Joseph (Found in Genesis 37-50) with a fun musical twist for everyone to enjoy. In 1967 Andrew Lloyd Webber (ALW) and Tim Rice were asked to write a 15-minute pop cantata for a school in England. It was first performed at Colet Court School in London on March 1st, 1968. ALW’s Father liked the cantata so much that he arranged a second performance at Westminster Central Hall, which was stretched to 20 minutes long. The third time the cantata was performed (November '68), it was 35 minutes long. Then in 1969, JATD was taken to a recording studio to make an album. Throughout the early ’70s, JATD had many amateur productions in the US and UK; by 1974, JATD was now a full-length musical. The full-length show was first performed at the Haymarket Theatre in Leicester, UK, and in the US at the Playhouse in the Park in Philadelphia. Later in 1981, JATD received an off-Broadway production with Bill Hutton as Joseph. This production was brought to the now Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in 1982. The show received many Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. The show closed on Broadway in 1983, having done 747 performances. But JATD continues to be a favorite amongst theaters worldwide. Now our local community theater, Junction City Little Theater, is finally bringing JATD to our stage, thanks to Brent Sigman. (Yellow is Director Brent, and purple is Actor Brent) Q: So, Brent, what made you want to direct JATD? So many reasons! One, I was previously in a production of Joseph at another theater and had lots of fun. Plus, Joseph is probably one of the most-known and most-performed shows of Andrew Lloyd Webber. It’s fun; it's got catchy music that both actors and audiences love. Not to mention the option of having a children’s choir, which allows folks of all ages to participate; it fits JCLT and the CLOH stage perfectly. Q: It's true. I watched the movie growing up and still remember the songs. I was surprised to see that JCLT has never done Joseph. Other Brent, *laughs* ... What is the most challenging part of playing Joseph? This is my second time performing in Joseph - I played one of the brothers, Levi, in high school, and it was a blast. Something about this music stays with you, probably because it's so catchy. Back then, I learned that entirely sung-through musicals are challenging! Even though our show is only an hour and a half (which is pretty short for a musical), you have to spend all your vocal and physical energy. I’m making sure to drink a lot of water, stay active, and keep my energy up. Another aspect that challenges me is that Joseph is a well-known musical theatre role. While I’m no Donny Osmond, I will put some humor and empathy into Joseph. Hopefully, those in the position before me would be proud! Q: But you sure give Donny Osmond a run for his money! You are fantastic as Joseph. You both have mentioned how catchy the music is. What song gets stuck in your head the most? Both Brents: All of them! The other day, I told one of the actors that this is an earwig show, where all the tunes get stuck in your head, not just one or two. That’s also the brilliance of what Weber has done with this musical. The one I find myself singing almost unintentionally is “Joseph’s Coat,” which is the song where we sing about all the colors. I spent a lot of time learning all 29 colors, and you better believe I know every dang color! I also love “Close Every Door.” It’s Joseph’s emotional power ballad, and many theatre people are obsessed with it. Q: Yes! The color song. I remember watching the movie for the first time and being so impressed with the cast, who knew all those colors in the correct order. I always get Go, Go, Joe stuck in my head. My husband hates it! *laughs* So when you aren't doing theater, what are you doing? We all know that community theater doesn't pay the bills. I work for CivicPlus in Manhattan as an Enterprise Account Manager. That role requires me to work with the company’s top-tier customers in a given territory. I am helping them with their needs and growing their accounts. I work at K-State First, which is K-State’s first-year experience program. We aim to help first-year students make a smooth transition to college-level learning. In my role, I teach courses, coordinate a peer mentorship program, and manage the curriculum for one of our courses. I thrive with this kind of work because it’s a mix of challenging, exciting, and rewarding! Q: Wow, you two are busy! And that's just the two of you; how is it working around a cast of 20+ people's schedules? It's tough and the most challenging part of any community theater production. Juggling all aspects of the show, both behind-the-scenes and onstage. With everyone having such busy lives, balancing their other commitments is always tricky. Q: Some people wouldn't put forth that time and energy. What draws you to the theater? Theatre has been my life since I was 12 years old. So, for almost 30 years (yikes!) I have been doing theatre. As a director, I love collaborating with all the talents and creating a show. Not one show experience is like the others, which makes each show its own rewarding experience. Q: Most people in theater enjoy acting, and that's all they want to do. How did you get into directing? I directed my first one-act play in high school and another when I entered college. It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I started to get back into it again when I started volunteering at a theater in the area. I started shadowing some of their best directors and finally got the chance to direct my show. Almost 15 years later, I have produced over 20 plays, five musicals, and numerous one-act and readers theatre plays. Q: Dang, that's so much! So, Brent, aka Joseph- There are so many significant roles in theater for young men, Joseph being one of the tops, but what would be your dream role? I don’t have many dream roles, but I’d love to play Adam Maitland from Beetlejuice. He’s nerdy and sweet, and his music is super fun to sing. (If you’re a casting agent for a future production of Beetlejuice, please feel free to hit me up!) I’m also a playwright, so my honest answer to this question is that I’d love to play some of the characters I’ve written. One day! Q: Woah! A playwright, now that's something you don't hear often. Do you have any plans regarding that? In the coming years, I plan to move to New York to pursue playwriting while continuing to work for first-year experience programs. I don’t know what the future will bring, but I will always be excited if I teach and pursue theatre. Q: Well, we wish you all the luck in the world, Brent, and maybe one day, your plays will be on the Opera House stage! Last question, gentlemen, what should the audience know about this show? This is a fun, fast-paced musical meant for all ages to enjoy. And, while it’s biblical, no religious message is trying to be pushed or enforced. It’s a fun musical that will have you dancing in your seats and singing along. For as heavy as the world can sometimes be, having 90 minutes of simple fun, song, and dance is what we all might need right now. I couldn't agree more. Ultimately, it’s a story about resilience and optimism. Joseph deals with many challenging situations but manages to hold on to hope. I think this is an inspiring message, and I think the audience will be moved by his journey and be able to reflect on their challenges with resilience and optimism for the future! Make sure you don't miss this catchy, fun, colorful musical! Not only is there a big cast, but there is also a ten piece orchestra in the pit that plays through the entire show. This show is family-friendly and is only about 90 minutes. Concessions will be served during pre-show and intermission. After the show, there will be an opportunity to take pictures with cast members. Get your tickets today at or call the box office at 785-238-3906. If there are groups larger than 10, please get in touch with the JCLT office for discount tickets at 785-238-3871 or email at


    #junctioncityks #clhooveroperahouse #arcadia #takemetotheoh #junctioncitylittletheater #livetheater #theatre #tomstoppard #communitytheater Junction City Little Theater is the longest-running community theater in Kansas and we are proud to house their office and to have them use our stage five times a year for their productions. The first JCLT show of 2023 is Tom Stoppard's Arcadia. I was excited to talk with Britain Stites, the director of Arcadia, and ask him a few questions. This is a new show for me so I was looking forward to learning more about the show before I see it during its closing weekend. (February 24-26, 2023) Q: This is your second show directing for JCLT. What do you love about theater? I enjoy the unpredictability of live theater. Even if (BIG IF) a show goes off without a hitch it will be different every night. Community theater highlights the community and the family, you create with a bunch of other people from all aspects, walks, and corners of life. Every show brings a new person or more into my life. Q: I completely agree. I love the fact that in community theater you can have a doctor, a stay-at-home mom, and a teacher acting together. What is your day job? By day I am the City Attorney for the City of Junction City. I've been with the City since January 2017. I represent and oversee all legal matters for the City. Q: You must be busy, and adding directing a show on that. It's like having two full-time jobs. This play must have spoken to you somehow. Why did you choose Arcadia? I debated between Arcadia and two others in my proposal to the JCLT Board. It feels cliche but Arcadia clicked and felt right at this time. It's different enough from my last show, A Few Good Men, in tone and themes. I didn't want to get pegged as only doing lawyer plays. Q: I can understand that, so did you see a production of Arcadia before deciding to direct it? No and yes. I perused online versions but I could not watch the whole thing due to my own vision. No local theater put it on too recently. Q: Then how did you get introduced to it? I only ask because before now, I had never heard of it. I went back and reread one of my college textbooks, "Beautiful Equations", a collection of short articles discussing various important mathematical or scientific equations including Chaos Theory. The theoretical ecologist Robert May wrote the article "The Best Possible Time To Be Alive" on Chaos Theory as well as the original scientific article for Arcadia. He cited a number of Valentine Coverly's scene 4 lines. Q: I love how theater shows up everywhere, even in textbooks about math and science! It shows how universal it is. What was the hardest part of directing this show? Casting. That's THE hardest part for me. You need to not only get the right person in the right role but you need to weigh the chemistry within the cast. Then you live and work with casting. I have no regrets and adore the casting in this show. Q: Having a good cast is tough but so important. You said that you "don't want to be pegged as only doing lawyer shows" if you could direct any show what would it be? To Kill A Mockingbird. As an attorney, it's a must-do after A Few Good Men. I just want the rights issue to settle down. Plus, I know I enjoy Aaron Sorkin's pace and dialogue. Q: (laughs) So a lawyer show! What about a Musical? Once. The Hansard & Inglova's music is hauntingly beautiful in that indie genre. I remember a group of friends and I saw the movie at the Liberty Hall theater in Lawrence. Q: I've never seen the movie Once, but I've listened to the Broadway cast recording and I agree, it's beautiful music and such an interesting story. What are your favorites? Play and Musical? RENT has a special place in my heart due to seeing it on Broadway with the original cast. I really like the story of The Crucible and love the resonant story it carries up to this day. Q: So, you like shows that make you think and discuss it afterward. What do you want the audience to take from Arcadia? Oh boy. This is a smart nuanced play. I hope the audience leaves entertained. I hope they leave evaluating the aspects of their lives and seeing the potential for interconnectedness compared to the separate "departments" of life. Q: What do you want the community to know about this play? If you miss this show then you're missing out. The stories it tells are compelling. It's funny and thought-provoking. I was blessed with an amazing cast embodying every character perfectly. The crew makes every technical, prop, audio, costume, and visual aspect come alive and propels the cast into their roles further. Make sure to check out JCLT's production of Arcadia this weekend at the C.L. Hoover Opera House in Junction City, Kansas. Friday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 PM Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 PM Sunday, Feb 26 at 2:00 PM


    #JCOPERAHOUSE #JUNCTIONCITYKS #WICHITAWARDANCER We, as Kansans, have a long history with American Indians. Kansas, meaning “people of the south wind” from a Sioux word, was the original home to several tribes such as the Arapaho, Comanche, Kanza, Kiowa, Osage, Pawnee, and Wichita. Historically, the American Indians were treated horribly, and there is nothing we can do to fix that, but we can empower them and make them feel more seen and accepted today. (3) In an article written by Christina Haswood, she tells us how we can achieve this. “First, it’s important to know the past and honor the sacrifices made for us Native peoples to be here today.” (4) Here is a SUPER brief history of our Native Friends: As early as 1803, President Thomas Jefferson proposed a plan that offered eastern tribes land west of the Mississippi River. This offer was extended to volunteers but proved unsuccessful. (1) In the 1820s, Kansas was permanently set aside as an Indian Territory by the US government and was closed to settlements by whites. Resettlement began to make room for eastern tribes to relocate to Kansas. The Kanza Nation ceded 20 million acres of their territory and was limited to a northeast Kansas reservation, and the Osage Nation was limited to a reservation in southeast Kansas. Although the federal government assured tribes that they would not be moved again, Kansas Territory opened for settlement in 1854 and forced the removal of native peoples. Both Kansas and Nebraska were re-designated as territories and opened to white settlement. Many settlers moved into Kansas Territory after the Civil War, accelerating the movement of Indians off the land. Some eastern and Midwestern tribes signed treaties agreeing to move onto reservations in Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Kansas in exchange for undisputed ownership of the new lands. However, other tribes refused or resisted and were forcibly moved and killed by the U.S. Army. At that point, the vast majority of Kansas Indians, including many of the tribes originally native to the area, were forced to go through a second removal to Oklahoma in the late 19th century, where many still live today. However, four tribes are left in Kansas The Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas in Horton, Kansas Ioway Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska in White Cloud, Kansas Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation in Mayetta, Kansas Sac and Fox Nation in Brown County, Kansas (2) The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 was passed by Congress but left up to the states for enforcement until 1957. Many states prevented Natives from voting. It has been fewer than 100 years since Natives were granted citizenship and became able to exercise their voting rights. Yet, like many other marginalized groups, they are still fighting voter suppression across the U.S. (4) Patty Ferguson-Bohnee tells this story about how hard it was for her grandmother to be able to vote. “I will never forget the Navajo grandmother who spoke only Navajo and could not vote after Arizona passed its voter ID law in 2004. She tried several times to obtain an Arizona ID on her own but was denied because she was born at home in a hogan, and the boarding schools changed her Navajo name to English. She lived in a modest home on the Navajo Reservation without electricity, running water, and a traditional lifestyle taking care of her sheep. She was embarrassed and devastated when she turned away from the polls for not having an ID. Working with her, a team from the Indian Legal Clinic traveled five hours to meet her at multiple agency offices to obtain her delayed birth certificate; we then went to two separate Motor Vehicle Division Offices. The first one did not issue same-day photo IDs, and the other initially denied her request. The office rejected her delayed Navajo birth certificate until I could intervene and demonstrate to them that it was an acceptable document. The system failed to consider her reality as a Navajo woman and failed to value her as a voter. Fortunately, she was persistent in exercising her right to vote, but not all voters are, nor should they have to be.” (5) Things are looking up. On November 24, 2020, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly Proclaimed November as National American Indian Heritage Month. “This type of recognition from our leaders makes us feel seen and accepted but shows a lot more work needs to be done.” -Christina Haswood “The efforts of Native American representation and inclusion have improved since I was in the K-12 public school. The future holds more work, but it is bright for Native folks. We are too often forgotten in the data and decision-making tables. A wave of momentum is changing that as more Natives file for office, the youth mobilize their voices for change, and communities celebrate their diversity. Native Americans in Kansas will continue to be resilient and honor the sacrifices of our ancestors.” (4) How can we learn about the past other than by looking things up on Google? Well, this Friday, November 4th, Wichita War Dancer will be in the Opera House at 6 pm. Wichita War Dancer is a Professional Native American performer specializing in education and the preservation of cultural dance. This will be a perfect place and opportunity to learn more about our Native Friends. This is a FREE event thanks to a grant from Humanities Kansas. Come out and celebrate and learn OUR history. Sources:

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  • TICKETS | operahouse

    INFORMATION GET INVOLVED TICKETS FINE ARTS ACADEMY More 135 West 7th Street Junction City, Kansas C.L. Hoover Opera House Get your tickets! June 15 & 1 6 JCLT Aladdin Kids 7:00 PM BUY TICKETS June 22 & 23 JCLT Peter Pan Jr. 7:00 PM BUY TICKETS

  • OUR STAFF | operahouse

    Our Staff Opera House 785-238-3906 INFORMATION GET INVOLVED TICKETS FINE ARTS ACADEMY More Joe Markley Director Sheila Markley ​ Develo pment Dir ector Daniel O'Brien Director of Operations Brittany Lamb Marketing Director Tim Avery Tech Director DeGe Boller Support Services Melissa Ford Education Director

  • Theater | C.L. Hoover Opera House | Junction City

    135 West 7th Street Junction City, Kansas C.L. Hoover Opera House INFORMATION GET INVOLVED TICKETS FINE ARTS ACADEMY More Here at the Opera House, we present top-class performances across various artistic genres. We love showcasing our local talent and bringing top-class performers to our stage. Learn more about the Opera House "The Jewel of the Prairie" Address 135 West 7th St Junction City KS 66441 Phone 785-238-3906

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