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Schreiber Theatre Company (Photo from the Port Washington Union Free School DIstrict)

Kick Off Your Sunday Shoes With Schreiber Musical, Footloose!

By Elizabeth Milgrim

Schreiber Theatre Company is preparing for its annual spring musical Footloose, and students have been working hard on and off stage to make the fictional town of Bomont come to life.
The 1998 musical is based on the classic 1984 movie of Footloose, with an Oscar-nominated score of 80s hits. These include “Footloose”, “Almost Paradise”, “Holding Out For A Hero”, and “Let’s Hear It For The Boy.” Footloose: The Musical was adapted for stage by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie, and has a Tony-nominated score by Tom Snow, Dean Pitchford, and Kenny Loggins, who originally sang the title song.

“I’ve really enjoyed working on Footloose. The music and dances are so much fun, not just to be in, but also to watch. I hope people who come see the show have as much fun as we’ve had working on it,” said junior Sadie Feingold, who plays Wendy Jo.

Footloose follows Ren McCormack, a teen from Chicago, who moves to Bomont, a small conservative town in middle America, with his mother. What Ren does not know is that in Bomont, dancing is illegal because of a previous accident which killed four students.

Although Ren is seen as an outcast to the adults in Bomont because of his outsider background and nonchalant views on dancing, Ren tries to bring joy back to Bomont by overturning the law on dance with the help of the town preacher’s daughter, Ariel, and their friends. The town of Bomont is based on a real town in Oklahoma in which dancing was outlawed.

“At its heart, Footloose is a story of a man who lost his son and a boy who lost his father and how they help each other and their whole community to heal. It celebrates the wisdom of an older generation truly listening to the needs of the young, while guiding them with a warm heart and open mind,” said director Ms. Lauren Foster-Holzer.

Students began rehearsing in December 2023 with a cast of 45 students from all grades working together to bring Footloose to the Schreiber stage. Schreiber alums, assistant director Valentina Scotto and choreographer Floryn Glass-Stock, join Ms. Lauren Foster-Holzer and gym teacher Ms. Kaitlin Szczesny. Musical direction is by music teachers Ms. Carly Clancy and Ms. Amanda Johnson, and production by chemistry teacher Ms. Christine Nelson.

“The main thing that makes doing the show so fun is the amazing people there. They make every moment so fun and inclusive; it is really a fantastic community. This will be an amazing show put on by amazing people so everyone should come see it,” said freshman Sam Harnden, who plays Chuck Cranston.

The student cast and faculty advisers have spent dozens of hours rehearsing the music, scenes, and dance numbers to put on the best show possible. Students of all ages and grades have had an opportunity to connect with each other through music, dancing, and acting.

“I’ve had so much fun doing Footloose this winter. It is always so awesome seeing everything come together from the dances to the songs and all of the scenes. I think people will have so much fun watching us perform because we’re always having a great time on the stage,” said senior Averie Masia, who plays Ariel Moore.

The show doesn’t just include the work of the student cast, but also the crew of thirty students working behind the scenes along with the ten musicians in the pit orchestra. Music teacher Mr. Anthony Pinelli is the director and conductor of the pit orchestra, and Daly Elementary school teacher Mr. Tyler Mason-Draffen serves as the show’s technical director. The backstage crew and pit have also spent hours rehearsing and making sure the show and its technical aspects run smoothly to help the performers look and sound their best on the stage.

“I’ve been part of Schreiber Theatre Company productions for the last two years and honestly it’s always been a great experience. It’s so fun to watch the productions from behind the scenes, and Footloose is no different. I think we have a great and talented cast and the musical will be so much fun to watch” said sophomore Aubrey Kollar, a crew member.

Footloose will come to the Schreiber auditorium on Friday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m, Saturday, March 2 at 2:30 p.m and 7:30 p.m, and Sunday, March 3 at 2:30 p.m. You can buy tickets at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/80900

 

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