Musical cast cuts ‘Footloose’

   From March 2-4, 2023, the Sheridan High Schools Musical group adapted “Footloose,” originally published in 1984 by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie. This year’s production of “Footloose” will be the first non-Disney contemporary musical done by the director Stephanie Zukowski.

   Generally, “Footloose” is “all about finding your voice,” said director Zukowski. In the musical, the protagonist Ren McCormack, played by junior Thane Orchard, and his mom move from Chicago to the rural town of Bomont, Utah to live with their family after his dad left. Ren makes a bad introduction by being an outsider from a big city and wanting to dance and not following the social norms of rural America. In the town of Bomont, dancing is illegal, due to an accident where teens died after drinking and dancing at a party. Ren, whose passion is dancing, heavily disagrees with the town’s law, and with the help of his newfound friends, he wants to change things. He soon starts falling for Ariel, played by senior Tate Bateman. Ariel is the daughter of the Reverend Shaw Moore, played by Junior Camden Gonda. Ariel feels trapped and unseen inside her very religious household with her emotionally absent dad. She rebels by going out with friends, lying to her parents, and flirting with the abusive, bad-boy Chuck Cranston (senior AJ Kula). Throughout the musical, Ren goes through an uphill battle trying to convince people of the joy and magic of dance while attempting to loosen up the uptight town.

   This year’s production is directed by Stephanie Zukowski. She has been directing the SHS musicals for nine years in total. Zukowski was excited to be directing this year and anticipated greatness. One of the challenges that comes with leading a big program like the musical is scheduling. Many students and participants have other activities or obligations. “Schedules are always hard,” said Zukowski. “I have to schedule practice around indoor track and collaborate with Pep Band.” 

   Zukowski wants to pay tribute and give thanks to all the men and women whose experience and work are needed to make this event possible. Everyone in the cast and crew poured their heart and soul into making the production run and look fantastic. “Pat Trout builds our set, Mona Garber does our costuming and Pam Thompson does our lights and our sound,” said Zukowski. “Also, Kristy Dewey plays piano, Kathy Beagle on bass, and Jason Carlson on drums.” Throughout the musical, the tech team worked very hard and swiftly to change scenes smoothly, even dressing up in typical 80s-wear to blend in with the setting. All of the actors’ practice paid off in the end and is evident from the smooth choreography, professional level, emotion-packed acting, and the singing that could take anyone aback. The costume and makeup was very accurate and well throughout, making the musical feel like it was ripped right from a history book. “It really captured the 70’s look and feel,” said an audience member, Brooklyn Boggess. “They did a very good job on making it a fun show and really capturing the audience throughout”. 

   Trout has been building the sets for the musical for three years and this is the 13th musical she has been a part of. After “Footloose,” she is retiring from building the sets at SHS. As a result, SHS is searching for a new set builder who can construct and paint sets after Trout’s 

departure. For those interested in the role, contact Zukowski for more information. Congratulations to the whole musical team for putting on an amazing show.