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Matt and Ann Thomas and their four children are performing in this weekend's production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."
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SummerStage Production at WIU is a Family Affair for the Thomas Family

July 11, 2018

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MACOMB, IL -- When the curtain opens for WIU's SummerStage, the Thomas family will not be in the audience. That's because the whole family will be performing in the production, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

Matt Thomas, associate director of bands for the WIU School of Music, will be joined by his wife, Ann, and children, Emma (15), Ben (13), Kate (11) and Will (9), in the musical. While different members of the family have performed in different capacities through school or church, this is the first time the whole family will be on the stage together.

Matt gives the credit to Ann for encouraging the family to participate in SummerStage together. Ann has performed in college and in community theater. Being a trumpet player, Matt has performed in the pit for numerous musicals, but this will be his first time on stage.

Even though the family has varying roles, ranging from two of the brothers played by Matt and Ben, to two of the wives, played by Ann and Emma, to Kate and Will singing in the children's choir, Matt feels the experience has been outstanding.

"The production has been challenging, but rewarding in many ways, and the directors and staff have all been so kind, helpful and accommodating to all of the different ages and ability levels in the group, especially toward the younger children (many times our two youngest would have to stay with us after the other children were released while the adults continued rehearsal, and the staff were so great about keeping them involved in various ways). I can't say enough about how wonderful they are," he said.

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" is one of the most enduring shows of all time, a reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, 11 brothers and the coat of many colors.

Matt said he couldn't be happier with the musical rehearsals so far.

"It has been a great experience for our family to commit the time together every day over the past six weeks to doing something artistic, fun and productive together," Matt said. "We cancelled our family vacation to make it happen and to do/experience something different this summer, and we have made a great memory and experience for the rest of our lives, and we are excited and looking forward to the culminating performances this weekend to cap it all off."

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" will be performed Friday-Saturday, July 13-14 in Hainline Theatre. Tickets for July 13 are sold out and tickets for July 14 are limited. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling (309) 298-2900. Anyone interested in donating toward SummerStage can contact Julie Baker at (309) 298-2620 or

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