“Footloose” let loose in AHS Commons


Kayla Fowler

Junior Jessica Alley and the AHS cast of “Footloose” closes the show with one final song.

Madeline Isham

For two weekends, the Auburn High School Theater Arts Department put on a theatrical rendition of “Footloose.” Although performed in the Commons, it was anything but.

Due to the remodeling of the Performance Arts Center, the Theater Arts Department was left to find new arrangements for the year’s performances. The school lunch room may not have been an ideal setting, but the location proved more convenient than a theater off campus.

“While there were some very generous offers from the other high schools to use their facilities, I chose to ‘stay home’ and teach the students about theatre of the make do!” said Artistic Direction Mr. Kerr in the play’s Director’s Notes.

“Footloose” based on the 1984 movie starring Kevin Bacon, is a fun and risque story of the small town Beaumont, Texas.

Beaumont is controlled by the influence and judgements of Reverend Shaw Moore, who faced the loss of his son and three other youth from the town in a car crash many years previous to the setting of the play. Unfortunately for the fun loving teenagers, tragedy sparked paranoia in Moore motivating him to enforce a set of strict rules. Drugs, alcohol, immorality and obnoxious behavior all became heinous crimes. But most of all, is the dreaded ban on dancing.

Senior Reymart Blames played the role of Ren McCormack, a young man who moved into Beaumont from Chicago. McCormick rallies a crusade among the town youth to restore dancing to the city, falling in love with Moore’s flirtatious daughter, played by junior Jessica Alley, in the process.

The Auburn High Theater Arts Department not only successfully recreated the popular 80s movie but gave it a unique and modern charm. In addition to the traditional “Footloose” song performed by Kenny Loggins, the play included Oscar and Tony-nominated music.

Senior Stacey Hanson, as Rusty, led a powerful performance of “Let’s Hear it for the Boy,” by Deniece Williams, to declare her love for Willard Hewitt, played by senior Kyle Orsini. Although the song was not in the movie, it provided an appropriate and exciting addition to the storyline.

The production had playful and lighthearted tone, filling the makeshift theater with laughter and excitement. The performers were visibly dedicated to their roles, and even the background characters contributed to the integrity of the play.

The months spent in rehearsal were evident in the choreography, acting and musical performances.

Bailey Page, a senior and four year member of the Theater Arts Department, played the role of Reverend Shaw’s wife. Page gave a stellar performance in a trio with Alley and Senior Sara Emu called “Learning to Be Silent.” This number enforced a subplot and theme of the play regarding the cultural role of women in a small town setting. It lamented the three women’s feelings of oppression placed by men and society, each eventually finding their voice by the end of the play.

In addition to this noble message, Footloose referred to issues of judgment, gossips, grief, forgiveness and flexibility to divergent ideas.

The Theater Arts Department presented a wonderful representation of Auburn High School in the skillful presentation of these relatable struggles. In addition to the thoughts conveyed in the play itself, the ability of the department to adjust to construction obstacles and keep productions at home showed true Trojan pride and resilience.