The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

February 28, 2013

Edgewood to present the musical 'Joseph'

Star Beacon

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Edgewood students will be performing the famous musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” Friday through Sunday. The musical is based on the Bible story of Joseph and his coat of many colors as recorded in the book of Genesis. The musical features few spoken lines, with most of the text being sung. It is a family-friendly storyline with universal themes and catchy music.

This musical presented a new challenge to the cast members because of its song-heavy score.

Cast member Tiffany Newbold, who has performed in several musicals in past years, said, “With the play being mostly sung instead of acted, we had to work a lot on our tuning and balance, and adding choreography to the mix added more of a challenge.”

The play’s choreographer is Kimberly Coles, who has done choreography for Edgewood’s musicals for several years now and also directs for the Ashtabula Arts Center.

Students spend most of their time after school rehearsing for the production, and even practice on Saturday mornings. It is not an uncommon sight to find cast members taking a nap in the auditorium or studying their class work when they are not needed on stage.

“It takes up a lot of your free time, but is worth it in the end,” said Newbold.

Many students are excited to see the musical’s pit band being directed by Edgewood’s beloved band director, Connie Sommers.

“I have heard we have progressed much more rapidly than last year,” said freshman Katie Cline. “We practice usually three times a week, and are sounding very good.”

The musical will be performed 7 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $7 for adults and $5 for students.

Members of Edgewood’s Book Club recently attended a Skype session with local author Christopher Barzak, who wrote their most recent read, “One For Sorrow.” Book club students and a number of teachers, as well as Edgewood’s librarian, were given the opportunity to interview Barzak. Barzak spoke to the students of his personal motivations in regards to writing the book, and how it helped him cope with a brutally violent crime that occurred in his area when he was a young student.

Attendees were given the opportunity to pose questions to the author about character motivations in the book, as well as clarification of implied meanings the author made. Barzak also answered questions on his own tastes in literature and offered students his personal philosophy of writing. “Words give meaning to life and without communication, life would be meaningless,” said Barzak.

Barzak gave the students valuable advice on effective writing and how to prepare for college. He also disclosed that his next book, “Before and After Lives,” a short story collection, will be released March 18.

Ohio Graduation Test week is fast approaching and Edgewood is making multiple preparations. The sophomore class has been preparing since their freshman year, as this test is second only to the ACT (American College Test) in importance.

“I’m feeling pretty prepared,” said sophomore Eden Trenn. “The teachers have given us a lot of practice and have talked about testing strategies, so I feel I’m ready.”

The OGT’s are five tests that test students on their knowledge in five subject areas: reading, writing, math, social studies and science. Each test lasts two and a half hours.

The school makes special accommodations for the sophomores, providing them with a free breakfast before the test. The rest of Edgewood students aren’t required to attend until later in the day once testing is over.

Edgewood is known for its excellent scores in the OGT area, and the staff hopes to continue the trend with this year’s sophomores.

The annual spring blood drive will take place on Tuesday in the Edgewood gymnasium from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is the third blood drive the high school puts on during the year.

The blood drive is sponsored by Edgewood’s National Honor Society. Students, staff and members of the community are highly encouraged to come and donate blood.

“It’s a very worthwhile cause,” said NHS president Jacob Crislip. “The more people who come and donate the more lives we can potentially save.” Donating blood is quick and easy. The whole process usually takes under an hour. Trained professionals simply run a few tests to determine if you are eligible to give on that day, and then withdraw lifesaving blood that is used for testing and transplants.

“It’s nice to know that I’m making a difference in someone’s life,” said senior Mallory Cicion. “It really doesn’t hurt that badly, and it’s great to know that I could possibly be saving someone’s life.”