GROVE - Everybody will be cutting' Footloose during Grove High Schools spring musical.
The classic musical tells the tale of Ren McCormick who moves from the big city of Chicago down to the rural town of Beaumont, where Ren's favorite hobby, dancing, is banned. Ren's dancing 'turns the town upside down and helps them heal along the way'.
The show will have three performances taking place over the weekend in the Performing Arts Center: 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 7 and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 8.
Theatre teacher Jeffery Haynes has chosen the 1980's musical for a specific reason.
"We wanted to do something completely different from anything we had done before. With 'The Wizard of Oz' and 'Beauty and the Beast', they both had a similar fantasy vibe to them, so we wanted to get away from that," said Haynes. "With Footloose, the subject matter that it's about is learning to understand each other, opening up a dialogue and not closing off from each other thats a big chunk of that. I think honestly a lot of people would find that they have a lot more in common if they would just talk to each other instead of stone wall. I think that the show is about learning from each other directly versus what you think you know."
Haynes said that after 'The Wizard of Oz', people asked how the drama program would attempt to top the performances. Haynes said that he didn't want to top it, just to make a lateral move. However, the reviews on 'Beauty and the Beast' said that the program had topped 'The Wizard of Oz'. So for the 2020 spring musical, Haynes has now opted for a completely different type of show.
"This is more of a dancing musical, as opposed as to the other shows we have done. That has proven to be challenging," said Haynes. "It seems like there are more dance sequences than non-dance sequences."
Luke Perkins as Ren McCormick
Luke Perkins stars as the rug-cutting Ren McCormick. Perkins, who has been involved in theatre since he was in seventh grade, said that he has never seen a movie or play of Footloose.
"I just read the script and I kind of got a feel for who Ren was and how he portrayed himself in the script. So I try to portray him as best as what I can imagine Ren is like through the script," said Perkins.
Perkins said that although the dancing was a little intimidating, he has gotten the hang of it. His favorite part of 'Footloose' is being around the cast.
"We feed off of each other and being a part of such an incredible show, but being a part of such an amazing cast. It really makes you love and want to be here all the time," said Perkins.
Perkins' dream role is Jack from 'Newsies'.
Sarah Draper as Ariel Moore
Sarah Draper plays the preacher's daughter, Ariel Moore. Draper, who has only been involved with theatre since 2018, recently moved from Ketchum and loves the 1980's version of the musical.
"I love 'Footloose' and I love to dance, so [to prepare I] just watched the movies and to be able to develop a character that is so defiant, that is so not me. It's cool to be kind of wild," said Draper.
Draper has been dancing since the age of 2 and has trained for the past 16 years. Her favorite part of 'Footloose' is the cast.
"They're just so awesome and it's such a great cast. I've made so many friendships that I am so thankful for," said Draper.
Draper's dream role is Donna Sheridan from 'Mamma Mia'
Eli Radabaugh as Willard Hewitt
Eli Radabaugh plays Willard Hewitt, the bumbling cowboy. Radabaugh has been involved with the theatre program since 'The Wizard of Oz'.
"I know a few people who are a little bit goofy and similar to [Willard], I just thought through it, added a little bit of myself in there to see what I could do well enough and it just kind of evolved from there," said Radabaugh.
Radabaugh's favorite parts of 'Footloose are the Burger Blast scene and his song. His dream roles are Genie from 'Aladdin', any role from 'Newsies' or Lumiere in 'Beauty and the Beast'.
Skylur Davidson as Chuck Cranston
Skylur Davidson plays Chuck Cranston, the cruel boyfriend of Ariel Moore. Davidson has been involved in theatre since the age of seven.
"I'm literally nothing like Chuck, I'm actually the opposite. So I just have to do everything that I wouldn't do and that kind of evened out," said Davidson.
Davidson's favorite part of 'Footloose' is the Burger Blast scene.
"It's Chuck's longest scene and it shows him being the jerk he actually portrays," said Davidson.
Davidson was glad to hear that Chuck doesn't dance, who claims that he cannot dance or sing.
"The only dance scene Chuck is in, he just walks around," said Davidson.
Davidson's dream role is Genie from 'Aladdin'.
Zoee Roland as Rusty
Zoee Roland plays Rusty, a girl who is madly in love with Willard. Roland has only been in theatre for two years, but has been dancing for nearly 14 years.
"My main inspiration was Rusty in the 80's movie. I love that movie and I love Sarah Jessica Parker. I was so inspired by her, but also developing the character for myself, so putting my own spin on it and taking direction," said Roland. "I love her so much."
Roland's favorite part of 'Footloose' is the singing.
"I love every single one of my cast members so much and getting to perform. The dances are super fun," said Roland. "The songs are their own spin on the original songs, so it's a theatre version of the 80's song."
Roland's dream roles are Sandy from 'Grease', Baby in 'Dirty Dancing' or a dancing role in '42nd Street'.
'Footloose' will run from March 5-8 at the GHS Performing Arts Center. For more information, visit www.ridgerunners.net or call 918-786-3003.
Ren McCormack.....Luke Perkins
Ethel McCormack.....Danica Rowe
Reverend Shaw Moore.....Kai Sarwinski
Vi Moore.....Ryan Maine
Ariel Moore.....Sara Draper
Willard Hewitt.....Eli Radabaugh
Lulu Warnicker.....Elora Carder
Wes Warnicker.....John Crawford
Coach Roger Dunbar.....Andrew Gonzales
Eleanor Dunbar.....Emily Rice
Wendy Jo.....Myah Cearley
Chuck Cranston.....Skylur Davidson
Cowboy Bob.....Jacob Clark
Ren McCormack.....Jacob Clark
Ethel McCormack.....Tessa Holt
Vi Moore.....Jaece Spicer
Wendy Jo.....Josie Glasgow
AnnaKay Beall, Jocelyn Beasley, Elora Carder, Grace Diaz,
Saffron Durham, Emma Dyer, Kimberlynn Forrester,
Josie Glasgow, Emma Hilliard, Tessa Holt,
Ryleigh Homan, Rachel Hoskins, Lakota Jarvis,
Yaya Jauqez, Emily Lair, Autumn Lindsey, Lexus Martin,
Kelsie Mitchell, Jamie O’Neal, Jordan Roberts,
Trinity Robinette, Conway Sherwood, Maddy Spurgeon,
Taesi Stroud, Charlize Sturgeon,
Carson Trimble, Maggie Uhlemeyer, Faith Vaughn,
Mya Williams, Angelica Wilson,
Brianna Young, and Tara Young