The Hickory Campus was abuzz last Friday as the announcement of the spring musical was released over the loudspeaker.
Sounds of Kenny Loggins’ famous song resounded through the halls as Mr. Jerry King announced that Footloose would be brought to the stage in the spring. Many students exhibited clear signs of excitement in the hallways as school let out and everyone talked about auditioning.
So, why Footloose? Many will remember the iconic dancing of Kevin Bacon in the warehouse in the movie, Footloose, but the musical has so much more to offer. Mr. King, director of the show shared some of his thoughts and vision for the show. “This show is as redemptive as you can get”, he said. “One of the main focal points of the story is the father who’s lost his son meeting the son who’s lost his father”, said Mr. King.
The story outlines a single mom moving with her teenage son, Ren, to Beaumont, Texas, only to encounter a much smaller and seemingly close-minded environment than the Chicago home from which they had come. Due to a tragedy in the past, the town, under the direction of Rev. Moore, outlawed a host of activities, including dancing. Rev. Moore’s daughter, Ariel, finds herself caught in the midst of pleasing her father and desiring his affirmation, while also wanting to rebel and live a life out of the shadow of her father. Throw Ren, the outsider, into this mix, and the whole town is caught up in a mess of Biblical interpretation, ideas about morality, legalism and grace.
Mr. King recounted some of the major themes that make this show such a great fit and a great message at this time and for Covenant. “This script put the “MeToo” movement out there for all to see way before the “#MeToo” movement of today. It is supposed to shock!” So much of the show involves the life of women: single women, rebellious women, and even domestic violence.
There’s also this underlying message of a loss of control and an understanding of the conflict between legalism and grace. “The whole show ends with this ‘Kingdom of God’ picture, with everyone in the church together, and then everyone dancing together”, says Mr. King.
Footloose addresses some of these tough issues and how to respond to them. After the tragedy in the town, there is an almost immediate “witch hunt” for the arts, to eliminate them because they look like the problem. There’s this idea that if we eliminate these arts, than these things will stop happening”, said Mr. Phil Dickerson, new Drama Teacher at Covenant and Assistant Director of the show. “Good art magnifies something of human nature, good or bad, and that is what this show proves.”
Footloose will take Covenant students to new depths. It is an intense dance and music show, but full so many musical styles. The audience may see things done in theater that they’ve never seen before.
Mark your calendars now for the Spring Musical, Footloose, presented February 28 through March 2, 2019 at The Covenant School Hickory Campus.