Princess Margaret students are ready to kick off their Sunday shoes.
Their production of Footloose, the broadway musical adaptation of the classic 1984 film, debuts at Princess Margaret Secondary School on Dec. 4.
The students have been working on the production since the beginning of the school year under the direction of Lori Grant, a teacher at Princess Margaret, however they have been playing catch-up due to the teacher’s strike.
The story of the town that banned dancing is one that stretches through generations, however, Grant has found more students are familiar with the 2011 remake.
“The new one is similar, but we want to pay real tribute to the 80s iconic version,” Grant said. “They recommended it (performing Footloose) but when I showed them the original they said ‘oh, that’s cool’,” Grant said.
Paige Prosser is a Grade 11 student at Princess Margaret and taking on the role of Rusty, who is the best friend of the minister’s daughter and madly in love with country boy Willard Hewitt.
Prosser was one of the few cast members who remembered the original film.
“I love the old movie. I don’t think the new movie portrays it as well,” Prosser said.
The role was a change of pace for the young, yet seasoned, actor.
“Usually I do stuff that is more dramatic. So playing a comedic role for once is really nice,” Prosser said.
Rehearsals have been fun and full of energy, Prosser said, and they have had an unexpected side effect at home as well.
“These songs are so energetic and just exciting it gets you pumped,” said Prosser. “They will definitely get stuck in your head. I practice at home and I’ll hear my mom singing it for the next two days.”
The production has 40 students participating and has many of them taking on a big challenge.
“It’s a huge learning curve for a lot of them. It’s not something most people usually do, sing and dance at the same time,” Grant said. It’s been a challenge for everyone because it’s not the workload they are used to.”
Footloose the film isn’t technically a musical, but all of the songs performed in the Broadway adaptation are featured in the film to some degree.
“All the songs we’ll be performing are in the movie, you just don’t hear them unless you listen for them,” Grant said.
Grant also recruited the services of Mhaire O’Shea, an instructor with Okanagan Dance Studio, who is choreographing the 15 songs the students will be performing.
“She has put in a ton of time teaching choreography to the kids and they have been enjoying it and having lots of fun,” Grant said. “They have really enjoyed it. There’s a lot of large group work so everybody is pretty busy most of the time.”
As with most performances, much of the pressure falls to the leads.
“The leads are really being challenged. This is a pretty difficult show, so they are really rising to the occasion,” Grant said.
The production will be running Dec. 4-6 at Princess Margaret and Dec. 12-13 at the Cleland Theatre. For more information call Lori Grant at 250-770-7629.