Live theatre is back at Wilmington College. Performances of the fall musical “Footloose” this weekend will be the first ones on stage in front of a live audience of students and community members since 2020. The show will run Nov. 19 and 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hugh G. Heiland Theatre.
The musical “Footloose”is based upon the 1984 film written by Dean Pitchford and directed by Herbert Ross. It tells the story of a teenager, Ren McCormack, who moves from Chicago to a small Midwestern town that has banned dancing due to the efforts of a local minister. The story is loosely based on a small town in Oklahoma, where seniors at the local high school wanted a senior prom, but a 19th century ordinance that forbade dancing was not forgotten by certain community leaders.
Footloose features the film’s popular theme song by Kenny Loggins and the Oscar-nominated “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” by Deniece Williams.
In addition to J. Wynn Alexander as director and set designer, the production staff features lights and sound by Becky Haines, choreography by Cole Haugh and musical direction from Gina Beck and Timothy Larrick. Also, Matt Spradlin is conducting the orchestra, and Bryan Wallingford is serving as production assistant. First-year WC student Alex Enge is the stage manager for the show.
The cast includes Ethan Green as Ren and Jennah Blair as Ariel; along with Rylee Riggs, Rusty; Sterling Goodwin, Willard; Luke Ruther, Chuck; Kyleigh Caves, Urleen; Emma Horick, Wendy; and Shadrach Brausch as Cowboy Bob.
The cast ensemble features: Jenna Allemang, Myranda Archer, Breanna Barnett, Olivia Boczar, Nathan Borgan, Gage Clemens, Riley Gatlin, Parker Gunkel, Damien Harris, Josie Heys, Riley Ibaugh, Alyssa Jenkins, Gabe King, Lindsay Lydy, Fae Maffin, Baylee Joy Martin, Carlie Jean McCoy, Birdy Orebaugh, Emma Schnecker, Becca Simonji, Jordan Snarr, Zach Tillis, Layna Tippett, Dalan Toups, Alex Vail, Grace Vance, Maya Wahrhaftig, Regan Walker and Aubre Weller.
Community members, including 10 WC alumni, join the students on stage for this production: Timothy Larrick as the Rev. Shaw and Gina Beck as Vi; and Bekah Wall as Ethel. Townsfolk for this production include Cherie Cooper-Darragh, Jessica Fair, Andrew Hall, Cecilia Hunt, Ryan Hutcherson, Emilia Knisley, Ken Lydy, Tara Lydy, Matt Purkey and Gary Sheldon.
WC Theatre is offering limited seating for the shows in order to practice social distancing. Seating will be in pairs with an empty seat between groups. Facial coverings are required to be worn for the entirety of the production, per the college’s COVID-19 protocols.
Reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made by contacting the Theatre Ticket Office weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m., at 937-481-2267.
Submitted by Randall Sarvis, senior director of publications, Wilmington College.