Creating Joseph’s Technicolor Dreamcoat

CATEGORY: Broadway

The story of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is based on a story in the book of Genesis, which tells of a father’s love for his youngest son. This biblical musical about 12 brothers takes its title from the coat of many colors, making it a central part of the production.

The coat has been through a number of transformations from the simple, colorful panels Donny Osmond wore in the 1991 production to the newest show-stopping creation worn by Ace Young in the spectacular new production.

Costume designer, Jennifer Caprio modeled the new coat after the 12 stained-glass windows created by Marc Chagall for the Abbell Synagogue at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem. The windows tell the story of the 12 tribes of Israel and, during the new production, projected images from the coat overtake the stage.

“I decided we could translate the look of the stained glass into something like a quilt for the fabric and that way, when needed, the coat could seamlessly marry the scenery and projections. By incorporating the projection and the costume together, the coat became more than Joseph’s: it is an overarching symbol of love and family,” Caprio said .

Each image on the new coat was hand-drawn, and the motifs were hand-painted on the fabric. Because the artist who translated the sketches and the fabric printers were located in North Carolina, most of the approval process for the coat was done electronically. Caprio managed to incorporate all 29 colors from “Joseph’s Coat” song lyrics into the design.

“I might be cheating because I’m including the silver for the hardware on the closures. But it’s there..,” Caprio said.

See Joseph’s beautiful new coat at Starlight Theatre when the touring production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat takes the Starlight stage July 8-13.