Fraser Valley Youth Musical Theatre (FVYMT) is dawning bright costumes and putting on a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Oct. 17 to 24.
Completely run by youth, FVYMT was started by a group of young adults all over the Lower Mainland of B.C. – with many of them residing in Langley.
After searching for a theatre company and finding none that were quite what they were looking for—the group created their own company to facilitate their own productions.
Rueben Leonard, a 17-year-old Willoughby actor, not only plays the title role of Joseph in the production, but organized FVYMT just one year ago.
“We started since there was no real theatre company where youth are leaders behind the scenes – a company where youth can direct, act, and be involved in every aspect,” Leonard said. “Many of us are told that the arts don’t really matter, so we wanted to help foster people’s talents early on.”
FVYMT debuted their original musical, Eoniea, earlier in the year after discovering the rights to certain Broadway productions might be a bit out of their price range.
Leonard simultaneously starred in a production of Joseph with Abbotsford’s Gallery 7 theatre, a role he always wanted to play.
“When I was a kid, my grandma would show me musicals, and the Donnie Osmond version of Joseph really stuck with me – something about the role just seemed really right,” Leonard said. “It sat perfectly in my vocal range – I personally get teary-eyed near the end.”
The biblical story of Joseph is blessed with vivid dreams that foretell the future. Sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, Joseph endures a series of adventures which challenge him to his core.
Set to a multitude of musical genres, spanning from country-western and calypso to bubble-gum pop and rock and roll, news of Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams sparks the interest of a hilariously Elvis-like Pharaoh.
Leonard said FVYMT primarily rehearses in Langley and Maple Ridge, but currently consists of a cast of 25 actors from all across the Fraser Valley.
Hoping to pursue theatre after graduating high school, Leonard added that the group has another musical in the works and hopes to start youth summer camps in the future as they continue to grow at a rapid speed.
“It’s a feel good show and a great time,” he explained. “I hope we prove our point with the whole production being put on on by youth.”
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will debut at an Oct. 17 matinee at 2 p.m., and follow with 7:30 p.m. performances on Oct. 21, 22, 23, and 24.
All performances are held in Mission at the Clarke Theatre, 33700 Prentis Ave.
Tickets and information are available at www.fvymusicaltheatre.com.
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