Everybody Cut, Footloose!
It’s an 80’s classic! It’s the story of Ren McCormick, who must make an abrupt move from the bustling metropolis of Chicago, to the small town of Bomont. As Ren struggles to find his way in this new town, he is further distraught when he finds out that the town has banned dancing! With the help of his new friend Willard, and Reverend Moore’s daughter, Ariel, Ren decides that he will address the town council to ask for an end to the ban on dancing and to allow Bomont High School to hold a dance! With popular 80’s tunes “Footloose,” “Holding Out for a Hero,” and “Let’s Hear It For the Boy,” it’s a show that will bring back nostalgic memories for many, and will have the younger audience dancing in their seats!
This year, the Ranger Roundup caught up with the cast prior to the show to ask a few questions about what makes the musical such a special experience. When asked why they chose to participate in this year’s musical, senior Mackenzie Fullenlove, who plays the role of the Reverend’s rule breaking daughter Ariel, explained she’s being doing musicals since she was little, and that it’s always a fun thing to do. Sophomore Cayden Schober, stated, “I was a munchkin in The Wizard of Oz and I really love it and loved acting so I continued to be a part of the musical every time I got the chance.” Senior Brandon Hayes, who plays the role of Ren McCormick is taking the stage for the very first time this year! He said, “I thought it would be a fun new experience and my friends and teachers helped me make the decision to actually get involved with musical this year!” He added, “I’d like to thank every one of my friends and teachers who encouraged me through this process of musical because this being my first year, it’s been tough, but everyone around me really helped me to do my best and give it my all. So, thank you!”
When asked what they have enjoyed the most about this year’s musical experience, many students expressed how special musical is in bringing together so many different students, from so many different backgrounds, for a united experience. Student Director and chorus member Katie Reichow said, “I’ve always enjoyed learning the dances and talking to people I normally don’t talk to.” Senior Skylar Kyser, who plays the role of Ariel’s best friend Rusty, stated, “The incredible relationships that are created from the art of performing” has been her favorite aspect of the show. “I have really enjoyed how close I have become with some of the cast members. There are people I wouldn’t have necessarily talked to outside of musical and I gained many friendships,” said Junior Alex Hoffer, who plays Vi Moore in this year’s production. Assistant Director Kris James added, “Unlike any other activity, the musical brings together completely different groups of students and adults and creates a community. It showcases the talents of so many people, talents that may have been a surprise to many before the curtain opens. For instance, the leads for this show are seen by many as athletes, yet their prodigious musical talents will be obvious from the first. Our sets are outstanding and were created by students, some who haven’t taken an art class in years. The crew members aren’t particularly ‘techie’ in other areas of their lives. Yet, the show brings all those talents from across the school landscape into this amazing production!”
Many participants often find that they didn’t realize just how much work it takes to put on a live show for a one-weekend event! First year participant, Senior Cody Allen, explained that preparing for the show was much more stressful than one might originally expect. Brandon Hayes continued, “The amount of time and effort required to really be involved in the musical fully, as well as the little things like creating sets or just the slightest little acting tweaks required to make the show a great one.” Alex Hoffer added, “People don’t realize how much time and effort it takes to put on a musical. We spend hours everyday after school to try and perfect our parts. We do this on top of sports, homework, and other activities. Then we have to paint the set, build the set, finds costumes and makeup — there is so much to do in very little time.” Junior Kylie Grant, who plays Ren’s mother Ethel McCormick added that stage crew is an integral part of the process explaining, “Stage crew does a lot of difficult work behind the scenes and they deserve more appreciation than they receive.”
This weekend’s production of “Footloose” will take place Friday and Saturday night at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2:30pm. So, why should you come to this year’s show? Skylar said, “The songs from this musical are ones that everyone knows! So, it will be fun for the audience to sing along.” Cayden added that this show has a lot of energy! Brandon stated, “I think this year’s cast is amazing! Everyone is vibrant and outgoing and everyone plays their characters so well. This musical will be one to remember!”
Looking back at the last three months of hard work, Mrs. James stated, “Annette Slater is a force to be reckoned with! If she can envision it, she can get it done!” Assistant Director Cristina Toflinski added, “I always wait for four little words from Mrs. Slater ‘We – Have – A – Show!’ it’s the culmination of so much hard work and let’s us all know that it’s showtime!” Mrs. T continued, “Preparing for this show has been a labor of love — and lots of hot glue! I’m so excited to see our students shine on stage. I’m so proud of every single one of them!” Alex concluded, “Musical is something special. I don’t know how else to describe it. You have to experience it to truly understand!”
Thank You, Lady Ranger Managers!
Oftentimes in a sports program, the attention gets placed on the wonderful athletes who give up countless hours preparing for games. However, the Lady Rangers Basketball team would like to formally thank their wonderful team managers, who also sacrificed time behind the scenes to make sure that the season ran as smoothly as possible. Mr. Dickey stated, “Originally, we started out with two freshmen managers, Kaitlyn Huber and U-sa Vayavong. But, after about three games, sophomores Anya Rau and Kennedy Carey, were also recruited. These ladies traveled with the team to each game and worked together to help manage the squad!” These ladies not only recorded each game (and added hilarious commentary) but helped keep stats for both junior varsity and varsity, kept the official game book for both junior varsity and varsity, carried the team gear and water, and completed research for the annual alumni game.
Anya Rau stated that she accepted the team manager job because she wanted to learn more about basketball and wanted the chance to help and contribute. Kennedy Carey stated that the job seemed interesting. While she has never played basketball personally, she has always found the sport interesting and enjoys keeping records and simply helping out during the season.
When asked about what she enjoyed most this season, Anya stated, “It was very fun to help out and it was a great way to get involved! It was fun and I enjoyed going to all of the games and I really liked getting to learn how to do stats and book!” While Kennedy enjoyed how kind and supportive everyone was she also acknowledged that being a team manager was definitely not an easy task. “You had to always be paying attention because you could miss even the slightest detail such as who scored or who received a penalty. You also had to know how to work the camera stand because there were times when it would break down and you had to get creative as to how to record the rest of the game,” stated Kennedy. Both Anya and and Kennedy would suggest that students volunteer their free time helping with school activities. Kennedy added, “The school helps out with so much, so it’s nice just to return the favor!”
Mr. Dickey concluded that these young women were shining examples of selflessness. “These young women sacrificed hours of their lives volunteering their time to help out their school and peers. They won’t get their name posted in the newspaper or earn a varsity letter, but their contribution to the team is not taken for granted or unnoticed.”