Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Rape Culture

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is the first musical that I ever saw live and one of my favorite musicals that I was part of in high school. Because of this, the musical holds a lot of nostalgia for me. Now that I’m older and know my Bible a lot better than I did before, I have to say that the musical seems a lot darker to me than it used to, but it’s really, really not trying to be.

If you have never seen Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, let me explain. The musical is written like some very talented youth ministers decided that the Joseph story was what was going to revitalize their parish youth ministry. That’s not to say that it is bad at all; it’s just very simple. The story itself is the bare bones of the Joseph story with a variety of quirky and goofy songs and bright colors to keep the kids interested. There is even a narrator who tells the story and a kids choir in the show. So while the musical could appeal to anyone, it is definitely family-oriented and straightforward in its message. What makes this awkward (for me anyway) is the subject matter certainly is not! So we have several happy goofy songs that talk about Joseph’s brothers beating him within an inch of his life and selling him into slavery, and about Joseph being sexually assaulted and thrown into prison. Yep…

Joseph musicalTrigger warning for rape and rape culture after the jump.

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