Turnin’ it loose

The CFHS Theater Department’s first production of the year, the musical Footloose, is quickly approaching.

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Sara Auger

Theater participants have been practicing hard for their opening night.

The Cannon Falls High School Theater Department has been working hard the past couple of months to put together its latest musical production. Director Vienna Qualey and the cast are excited to kick off their Sunday shoes and present Footloose: Youth Edition to the community on November 4th and 5th at 7 pm in the high school auditorium. As a theatrical adaptation of the beloved 1980s classic, Footloose, the production promises to leave everyone with an urge to get up and dance. This year’s show will star Tristin Qualey as Ren McCormack, Teagan Strecker as Ariel Moore, Cannon Quade as Reverend Shaw Moore, Lydia Pedersen as Vi Moore, Kendahl Zimmerman as Rusty Rodriguez, Bowen Maki as Chuck Cranston, and Wil Brokate as Willard Hewitt. 

Putting together a musical production is no small feat. Since the second week of school, the cast has been busy choreographing dances, designing set pieces, finding costumes, and perfecting their characters. Parents and community members have been busy helping, too. Kim Caputo has taken on the responsibility of costumer, and despite a limited budget, she’s worked to create fabulous outfits for every actor in this costume-heavy show. Heidi Zimmerman volunteered as the photographer and poster designer this year. She’s also putting together a photo collage as a backdrop for one of the numbers. The huge task of lighting and sound is being covered by Lanny Reese in the tech booth. 

As the night of the first show grows closer, the cast is working harder than ever to put all the different components together. This year, they’re working with an added challenge; “The fact that we have such a small cast makes this show super unique,” explained Aubry Conway, a sophomore who plays the part of Urleen in the show, “We all have to be involved to make the show happen.” To compensate for their limited manpower, the cast has been working together to build set pieces whenever they’re not practicing on stage. Each backdrop has been designed, drawn and hand painted by the students. Despite the added organizational challenge, there is a definite excitement within the atmosphere as the backstage continues to fill with costumes and completed sets. 

The fact that we have such a small cast makes this show super unique”

— Aubry Conway

As with every performance, this excitement also comes with anxiousness. Luckily, the cast has already had a chance to shake off their nerves and perform in front of an audience. They presented one of their musical numbers, “Let’s Hear it for the Boy” at the Cannon’s Got Talent Show on October 8. The country line-dance style number included plenty of stomping boots, whirling dresses, and fun dance combos. “Performing in Cannon’s Got Talent was a great opportunity to promote this show and introduce young people to theatre,” said Bowen Maki, a Junior playing Chuck Cranston onstage, “I feel like we did a good job doing that.” This is the first year the theater department has had an opportunity to produce an early preview of their show for the community. They hope it will get the community excited about the upcoming performances and have invited everyone to come and watch the full show in November.