Footloose dances toward debut

fall playBy: Sarah Stortz

“Let’s go back to this scene and work through our dancing. It looked pretty sloppy this time,” the director shouted while all of the cast members rehearsed late on a school night. Even though they all groaned in agony since they’ve worked through this number countless times, all of their hard work will be worth it when the drama department presents this year’s musical, “Footloose.”

The story focuses on Ren McCormack (senior Brian Keiser), an inner city boy who moved all the way from Chicago into a small, unknown town called Bomont. Ren finds it incredibly difficult to fit in with his new surroundings, especially when he figures that the town’s minister, Reverend Shaw Moore (senior Nathan Hall), has made dancing illegal in Bomont, but with the help from his new cowboy friend, Willard Hewitt (senior John Nicol), Ren rebels against the authority figures in his life by trying to throw a dance.

Meanwhile, Ren grows close with Moore’s rebellious daughter, Ariel Moore (sophomore Brooke Prohaska), who has a strained relationship with her father, and it isn’t long before a romance dances out to be dealt with in tiny Bomont.

The musical is co-directed by English teachers Michelle Rathe and Joe Frenna, who both began running rehearsals as early as last November.

At first, rehearsals started out simple with the actors only learning the choreography and how to sing. Later on, the rehearsals became more and more complicated when the actors went on stage and put all of the pieces together.

Tech especially needed more depth since they had to know when to put in light, sound and set pieces.

“Directing a musical is really different [from directing a normal play] because you have to wear so many different hats as a director,” Rathe said. “It’s not just the acting; it’s the acting, the singing, the dancing and the orchestration.”

Despite all of the hard work, what makes it all worth it for Rathe is the chance to see the actors evolve. “I personally love watching the kids grow from being afraid to sing and dance to all of sudden seeing them own that moment that they’ve never really experienced before.” Sophomore Brooke Prohaska plays as the female lead and described what her character is like. “Ariel Moore is a spunky, rebellious teenager who wants nothing more than to leave the small town of Bomont,” Prohaska said. “She’s great at making her dad angry and makes it pretty clear that she really likes guys … a lot.”

What Prohaska said she enjoys the most about playing her character is that it gives her an opportunity to show a different side of her that people would normally not see. “It’s really fun to just let go,” Prohaska said. “Also, I get to yell a lot, which is great.”

Rathe encourages students and faculty to come see the musical because she thinks that they will all love it. “People are going to recognize the music. There’s a lot of dancing, and there’s a lot of funny little moments with the characters,” Rathe said, “but I think there’s a lot of believable understanding on how people feel when they don’t fit in or when they’re not accepted.”

Prohaska also urged others to see the musical as well. “It’s chock-full of singing, dancing, cowboy boots and talented people. We have all put so much work into this and can’t wait for you to see what we’ve put together,” Prohaska said.

Performance dates are Friday, March 6, and Saturday,

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