By: Lindsay Wu ’20
“Footloose” was performed by 40 students for this year’s fall musical. Performances took place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the Saperstein Theatre.
Directed by performing arts teacher Jim Doughan, “Footloose” is set in the town of Beaumont, Texas. Ren McCormack (Tyler Ganus ’20) moves from Chicago to Beaumont, where he discovers that everything fun, such as dancing, has been outlawed due to the death of four teenagers, including the son of the Reverend (James Johnson Brown ’21). With the help of the rebellious Reverend’s daughter Ariel Moore (Bianca Garfinkle ’20), Ren manages to loosen up the town.
“The story is really about the town’s grief and how Ren McCormack, this young boy, becomes a catalyst for change. This makes everyone in the town look at themselves in a new light, basically bringing light to this very dark town,” Doughan said.
Students began preparations for the show in late September. Though this year’s large cast offered a challenge to the production as a whole, Doughan said the students came together for the show.
“When directing these shows, [performing arts teacher Kate] Benton and I really try to give the kids a taste of what professionalism is like. In these situations, students really start to respond well,” Doughan said.
After weeks of preparation, cast members said that they thought the show was beneficial to their performance skills.
“I think I gained a better understanding of how to act and sing in the process of staging the show. All in all, it was a great experience. It was a lot of fun and I had a really good time,” cast member Capri Woss ’21 said.
This year, the performance attracted the largest audience since the musical “Annie”. Family members and friends said they enjoyed watching the performance.
“I really enjoyed seeing my friends in the show. The performance was great. You could definitely tell that the cast put a lot of work into the production,” Lauryn Mliburn ’22 said.
Doughan said that he was pleased with the outcome of the show.
“I’m so overwhelmed with joy for the kids. They were so locked in and focused and it was really amazing to see the show come together. I’m so happy to have been a part of it,” Doughan said.