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The Company gets footloose: SVC theatre group performs ‘Footloose’


By Alwyn Jimmy, Part-Time Writer

Originally Published November 28, 2023

SVC theatre may have already dipped its toes into iconic shows such as the play Clue, and the musical Grease, but that does not mean there is not more room in the spotlight for Footloose! The show was shown in the Performing Arts Center (PAC) by The Company from Friday, Nov. 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m to Sunday Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. Set in the small town of Bomont, Ren McCormack moves there all the way from the city lights of Chicago only to discover that in Bomont, dancing is illegal. However, Ren will stop at nothing to liberate the town from laws imposed by the Reverend Shaw Moore. With the help of Shaw’s daughter, and Ren’s newfound friends, there might be a change on the horizon for Bomont.

The PAC’s stage came alive with a surge of energy and excitement that reverberated throughout the auditorium. The opening act to the final curtain call, every moment, from Ren’s confrontations with Reverend Shaw to the final iconic dance number was a testament to the passion and hard work of the talented performers.

One of these talented performers includes Charles Sullivan, a sophomore student who played Willard Hewitt, a country boy who grows into one of Ren’s most trusted friends. Sullivan described the performance as fantastic.

“Each person put in amazing effort and each show was better than the last. My favourite part of the performance was being with my friends on stage,” Sullivan said. “I met a lot of new people through Footloose and have gotten close with them because of it.”

When asked what inspired him to take up acting and singing in the first place, Sullivan explained that he has been active in theatre before college.

“I've been singing all my life and acting since high school, I mainly did it because my friends did. What inspired me to do Footloose was the opportunity to meet new people and try singing and acting in a college setting,” Sullivan said.

Margaret Sullivan, senior vocal performance major and director of the musical, felt the most challenging part of the musical was directing such a large cast during a difficult semester.

“[I had to figure out] how to corral a cast of more than thirty people for about two months in one of the most stressful semesters I’ve ever seen. Directing a full musical is much different than directing a cabaret,” Sullivan said. “There were so many conflicts I had to work around when it came to scheduling rehearsals and rehearsing exclusively after 9:30 pm on school nights is challenging for everyone.”

However, like Charles Sullivan, Margaret Sullivan was ecstatic to see Footloose as a final product and loved most of all the execution of the story and musical by the cast.

“Those were the two most important aspects in my mind, and I think they nailed it. Getting all that right is no small feat,” Sullivan said. “The musical score of Footloose is one of the most intricate and complicated I’ve ever seen, and this cast pulled it off beautifully.”

She said that the cast performance exceeded her expectations, not just in terms of the singing and dancing execution, but also in terms of the acting and the capabilities of the stage crew.

“The story is a heavier one than we’re used to doing, but the cast pulled off all the emotional beats wonderfully well, very convincingly,” Sullivan said. “And none of it would have been possible without the amazing stage crew and tech people. They helped make the production something even more magical. I don’t think I’ll ever think of Footloose in the same way again, not after seeing this cast perform it so well.

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