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Kaneland Connection: ‘Dream’ come true

'Joseph' headed to Kaneland High School

MAPLE PARK – Ever since he was a student in junior high school, Cornelius Marr wanted to play the title character in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” But at 32 years old, the Sugar Grove man said he thought that chance had passed.

“I thought I was too old for the part,” Marr said.

Instead, he has that opportunity, along with a dream-come-true scenario in the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival’s presentation of the production. Marr will play the role of Joseph, and his entire family – his wife, Melanie, and children, Rohan, 8, and Lorelai, 4 – will be in the production as well.

“Being able to look across the stage and see my wife and kids is really cool,” he said. “I love the cast and getting to be a part of this whole thing.”

“Joseph” will be performed the next two weekends – Friday through Sunday and then July 19 to 21 – at Kaneland High School, 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and senior citizens. Family tickets are available for $25, admitting all family members living at a household for that price. Preschoolers are admitted free. Friday and Saturday shows start at 7 p.m., and Sunday shows start at 2 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door or online at

Marr is playing the title role in the summer production of the arts festival, which traditionally is a community theater experience that features those from local communities.

Marr has participated in past performances at Kaneland and was part of last year’s production of “Cinderella.” He majored in theater at Elmhurst College and said he can’t count how many performances with which he’s been involved.

He now works as an art consultant in Oak Park, and he said he keeps his theater involvement to summers because of family commitments, but it helps that the family is part of the experience this time.

Melanie Marr said it’s her first time performing in a show, and Rohan said it’s a lot of work.

The Marrs said those interested should go to the show because it’s family-friendly and features so many styles of music.

“It’s very entertaining,” Melanie Marr said.

The event’s executive director, Maria Dripps-Paulson, said in a recent news release that the community theater events are “a true example of community, uniting actors and musicians from various school districts and communities, all joining on the Kaneland Auditorium stage in our love of theater.” She said such events are particularly good for a community, and she said she experienced that by watching theater events while growing up.

“We would watch children become teens, directors become actors, musicians and crew return annually, and actors work on and offstage as we continued visiting the communities with theater,” she wrote. “I believe it was this ongoing changing of roles, loyalty of staff and collaborating teamwork that helped shape my idea of community.”

• Al Lagattolla is the news editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at

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