When you’re an all-boys or all-girls school, there are two ways to go when you want to stage a musical.
The all-boys Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains recruits actresses to play roles — often leading roles — in its award-winning musicals. In recent years, the leads in “Mary Poppins” and “Evita” went to students who never took a class at Stepinac.
Then there’s the way they do things at School of the Holy Child in Rye, where girls play both the men’s roles and the women’s roles. This week, that means all of Jacob’s sons in the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” will be played by girls.
At a recent rehearsal, director Kim Calhoun staged the song “The Brothers Come to Egypt,” in which Joseph’s jealous older brothers “grovel, grovel, bend, stoop and kneel” in the hopes of earning the pity of a prince they don’t recognize as the kid brother they left for dead years before.
The brothers are, they sing mournfully, down to their “very last sheep.”
When they arrive before the prince, Joseph recognizes them immediately and has a bit of fun at their expense.
Katie O’Donnell, 17, a senior from Irvington, plays Joseph.
“He’s kind of rude in the beginning and then he goes through a big character change as the story progresses. As he’s in prison, he’s really struggling and you can see that through the songs that the musical chooses. And he’s also vengeful to the brothers. In this song, he says he’s going to take them for a ride. ‘They’re getting payback for trying to kill me.’ ”
Go: “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” 7 p.m., Feb. 20, 21. Free admission. School of the Holy Child, 2225 Westchester Ave., Rye, 914-908-4545?.
Here’s the Running Lines video I shot at Holy Child. Enjoy:
The musical season begins to heat up next week, with four musicals to choose from. They are:
Mamaroneck: “Once Upon a Mattress” — 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26, 27, 28. $12, $8 students. 914-220-3140, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rye Neck: “The Music Man” — 7 p.m. Feb. 26, 27, 28. $15, $10 students. 914-777-4837.
Rye Country Day: “Footloose” — 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27, 28. $20. 914-967-1417, ryecountryday.org.
Masters School: “The Pajama Game” — 7 p.m. Feb. 27, 28. Free.
Follow the season
Check out The Big Chart of Musicals to plan your theatergoing travels.