Footloose - April 24 - May 09, 2015

Mt. Rainier High School

 Director's Notes 

It is fun! It is relaxed. This show is exactly what it is supposed to be! It’s Footloose! The classic fable.


As an Academy, Grammy, Tony and Global Globe nominee with a top 40 score, Footloose has brought joy to so many families, whether it be on film or on the stage. The original movie starring Kevin Bacon was released in 1984, the Broadway production in 1998, and the new movie in 2011. It is the piece that joins our older and younger generations together. Each person has a connection to the town of Bomont. Bomont is a parable that has transcended time and space. Footloose is timeless.


It is a story that has weight. Its subjects are adult. It deals with personal freedoms, censorship, repression and issues that touch people. If dancing is not the crime, there are other laws and social norms that have kept people from living their lives. Hence, the original movie had no specific time or familiar town because the writers knew that conflicts like these do not arise in one place or year. They are universal issues. Everyone has their preferred version of the show; but its themes are still true and relevant: trust your loved ones, fight for your freedoms, and be accountable for yourself. 


And so, the predominant relationships in this show are those between the parents and their kids. The parents wanting to protect their kids; their kids feeling too held back by their parents. It's nothing new to the family dynamic. Most lack of functionality comes from poor communications, specifically concerning adult subjects, and lack of trust. As said in the original film: "if you can't trust your children, how do you expect them to become trustworthy?" Be the example you want to see in your kids and let them make mistakes that they can learn from. Choices and mistakes make them the adults they will become.


Furthermore, the show expands on the concept of whether it is okay for one person or chosen group to make decisions for the whole. Should we as individuals be accountable for everyone else's actions? The choices we make do affect others; but when do we decide for a community what is good and right or wrong and evil? And can the right thing sometimes be the evil thing and vice versa? Questions that have no one answer; yet certainly you are the one who has to make the decisions for yourself and follow your own code. 


A scene from the original movie is of the townspeople burning school books they found inappropriate for their children. Reverend Shaw comes upon this and says: "When did you all decide to sit in judgment? Who elected all of you to be the saviors of everybody's souls? When you burn all of these, what are you going to do then? Satan is not in these books. He's in your hearts. Sit on judgment on yourselves." 


In the spirit of these themes and with our production of Footloose, we do not want to replace the original movie or its reproductions. Instead we want celebrate its various forms today and do it in our own way. We have brought our show into contemporary times in order to maintain a relevance to today's teens and their parents who were the kids that grew up with the original movie. Now, enough of themes and more of the rockin' score and dances! These kids have worked so hard, and their product will prove that! Everyone cut footloose and enjoy the show!


~ Moshe Henderson ~

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