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By special arrangement with Origin Theatrical Music, exclusive representative of R&H Theatricals, New York

THE ADAMSON THEATRE COMPANY AT WESLEY COLLEGE ST KILDA ROAD presents

Stage Adaptation by DEAN PITCHFORD and WALTER BOBBIE

Based on the original screenplay by DEAN PITCHFORD

Music by TOM SNOW Lyrics by DEAN PITCHFORD

Musical Direction by MARGARET ARNOLD and BEN MARSLAND Choreographed by FELICITY PEARSON Technical Direction by SABINO DEL BALSO . Costumes by STEPHANIE DES BARRES and JILL WELCH Design and Co-Direction by TONY SCANLON Directed and Produced by NICK EVANS and DAWSON HANN

Performed in ADAMSON HALL, ST KILDA ROAD CAMPUS, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 August, 2005


FOOTLOOSE:

FROM SCREEN TO STAGE, WITH SOME IMPROVEMENTS Footloose was a popular and successful eighties film which attracted an astonishingly high box office, and produced one of the top-selling film soundtrack albums ever. As a film, its appeal now seems limited, although it has reached, in contemporary cultural chatter, “iconic status”. On stage, though, it is a work transformed: an energy-packed, emotionally fulfilling and often funny musical with much to recommend it. Its legendary hit songs have been complemented by some new ones which extend the emotional mood and, of course, it has dance routines of great power and vitality which also play an important dramatic role in advancing the narrative and establishing character. Footloose was a film waiting to get on stage. The story is a peg on which to hang the musical numbers, standard practice in a stage musical. Though not complex, it’s an interesting enough narrative, with some unexpectedly contemporary themes about the hold fundamentalist religious beliefs exert on the mind of small-town America. Add in some ideas about selfexpression, and the repressive presence of adults on free-spirited youth, and the need to find the “dancer within” to explore life’s potentialities, and you have a good mix for some interesting characters, some plausible dramatic moments, some emotionally-driven musical numbers and some pretty exuberant dance routines. It is a musical mix that by the end persuades how cutting “footloose” every now and then is more than just pleasantly liberating, it is essential. Footloose is the tale of Chicago boy Ren McCormack, seventeen and in the midst of a family crisis, who moves from the sophisticated city to the small town of Bomont (definitely Hicksville, USA) where he discovers to his disbelief that dancing, indeed anything enjoyable, is banned. Not just frowned on by the earnest adults who run the town, but actually made illegal by a city ordinance. The town’s rules, it turns out, have resulted from a tragic car accident years before, but the religion has turned sour, along with the lives it controls. Until Ren arrives, even the one rebellious figure around town is a violent loser, so the place is ripe for redemption. The play charts Ren’s slightly troubled progress, from pigheaded outsider to prom convenor. And the audience cheers him all the way. The story is not as improbable as it first seems; in Elmore, Oklahoma, an old antidancing law was still strictly enforced, leading to a confrontation in 1979 with the town council when the high school seniors wanted to a hold a prom. Research has failed to uncover what moral collapse resulted from this breathtakingly audacious challenge to community order. Only in America! Like real-life Elmore, the fictional Bomont’s town council is led by a minister who believes that by banning dancing he is saving the town’s youth from ensnarement by the devil (Rock’n’Roll has always got a bad press from the Christian right). And so Ren’s story, like many American stories, ends with the freeing of the spirit, the triumph of individualism over orthodoxy. And while Footloose doesn’t ask to be taken too seriously, what it delivers about growing up, about family and community, about faith and fanaticism, about the needs of kids and the fears of adults, is worth a thoughtful pause or two.


SYNOPSIS AND SONGS In Chicago, a group of young people have gathered at their favourite dance club to “cut footloose” and farewell their friend Ren McCormack (Footloose). Ren’s father has walked out on his family, so he and his mother Ethel are forced to move in with her sister’s family in a small town no one has ever heard of – Bomont. Ren and Ethel are welcomed into the sanctimonious atmosphere of the church congregation rigidly overseen by the Reverend Shaw Moore (On Any Sunday). Ren is very much an outsider but has already caught the eye of Moore’s daughter Ariel who, in defiance of her father, is hanging out with the town’s local high school drop-out (“recently evicted from a trailer park”), Chuck Cranston (The Girl Gets Around). Ren is different and attracts the attention of everyone at school, kids and authorities, (I Can’t Stand Still) and is amazed to learn that dancing is not allowed in the town limits of Bomont. Ren meets Willard Hewitt, a good-natured local yokel with a reputedly wise mother. Ariel’s friends warn Ren that in a small town your every move is under scrutiny (Somebody’s Eyes), and he soon finds himself at odds with the repressive and suspicious atmosphere prevailing in this little community. Ren’s new friends explain that the law banning dancing dates back to a car accident that cost the lives of four Bomont teenagers. The Reverend Shaw Moore has managed to convince the town authorities to make dancing illegal, an action resulting from an as yet unexplained guilt and grief. It is clear many things in the Moore household are simply not spoken about, just as Ethel too is reluctant to risk discussing Ren’s anger openly (Learning to be Silent). At the only remotely lively place in town, the “Burger Blast” (where roller-skating is at least a permissible form of movement!), Ariel and her friends Rusty, Wendy Jo and Urleen meet to lament the absence of interesting males to relieve the tedium of life in Bomont (I Need a Hero). Ren arrives on cue to defend Ariel’s honour when she is hassled by the aggressive Chuck, while Rusty has an eye for the inarticulate but feisty Willard, who has assumed the role of the faithful sidekick. Chuck threatens Ren who leaves with Ariel. Clearly a romance is blossoming. Ariel takes Ren home to meet her formidable father, but Ren’s blunt urbanity and attempts at wit prove disastrous, and Rev Moore forbids Ariel to see Ren again. While he recognises the pain he causes being his daughter’s “jailer”, he reasons to himself that it is for her own good (Heaven Help Me). Meanwhile, Chuck and his loutish off-siders Travis and Lyle have vowed revenge on Ren for moving in on Ariel and for daring to stand-up to their bullying. Disguised in ski masks, they beat him up in a cowardly attack. Frustrated by the stifling environment in which he has landed, buffeted by various attacks on his person and his character, and denied adult support, Ren decides to take on the town by holding a dance, in defiance of the church’s oppressive regulation and Rev Moore’s hold over everyone. He gradually persuades his classmates to join him in taking a stand, and to embrace the liberty so long denied them (I’m Free/Heaven Help Me). END OF ACT ONE


ACT TWO Ren drives Ariel to a Country and Western Dance Hall, one hundred kilometres from Bomont, where something resembling dancing is happening, live music provided by Irene and the Country Kickers (Let’s Make Believe We’re in Love). This song seems like a wry comment on Rusty and Willard, who have accompanied the other two and who may, or may not, be on their first date. Willard isn’t too sure. But the idea chiefly is to teach him to dance (Let’s Hear it for the Boy), part of his grooming to be Ren’s chief ally in the coming stoush with the Bomont establishment. Back home, Chuck is still hanging around on the lookout for Ariel, who eventually gets back late to face her father’s fury. Moore realises that he is losing control of his daughter, and nearly strikes her in his frustration. His wife Vi understands that he too is imprisoned by the grief and anguish of his own son’s death, one of the four boys killed in the Potawney Bridge accident, but that the time is ripe for moving on (Can You Find it in Your Heart?). In another part of town the next day, Ren’s friends help him prepare his speech for the meeting of the town council, but he is fast losing confidence and looks like backing down, until Willard intervenes with some home-spun philosophy from his good old “Mama”, the subject of numerous previous references, and clearly the inspiration for much of his country wisdom (Mama Says). Ariel joins the group sporting a black eye courtesy of Chuck. She and Ren escape the world momentarily, daringly climbing the bridge over the Potawney River and feeling themselves free at last from the problems of their present lives. They find consolation in each other, and their relationship at least seems set to prosper despite the difficulties (Almost Paradise). At the much anticipated town meeting Ren, with the help of Ariel and his other friends, boldly and rhythmically puts the case for a dance (Dancing is not a Crime). Not unsurprisingly Ren is defeated, and he is devastated. But his mother convinces him that the vote was rigged, and urges him to confront the minister and speak to him man to man. Ren finds the Rev Moore praying in church, and the two face the psychic wounds from which both are suffering. Unable to confront the truth Moore sends Ren packing. Left alone, and in a moving climactic moment, Moore appreciates the similarities between himself and Ren; both are suffering losses (Moore of his son and Ren of his father) from which they must recover if life is to go on in a healthy fashion (I Confess). As a consequence, a small miracle occurs – Moore changes his mind, and gives his public blessing to the proposed dance. Ren is the local hero. And Vi knows that her husband too has found a way forward, and recognised the mistakes he has made in inflicting his personal grief on the youth of the town (Can You Find it in Your Heart? – Reprise). The dance is a spectacular out-pouring of the energy so long pent up in these young minds and bodies (Footloose – Finale). There will be an interval of 20 minutes between Acts. Approximate running times: Act One: 70 mins Act Two: 60 mins


MUSICAL NUMBERS AND SCENES ACT ONE Scene One: A Dance club in Chicago Footloose The church in Bomont On Any Sunday

Ren and Company Ren, Moore, Ethel and Company

Scene Two: Outside the church, shortly after Scene Three: A seedy part of town The Girl Gets Around Scene Four: A High School Hallway I Can’t Stand Still Somebody’s Eyes Scene Five: The Moore Home Learning to be Silent Scene Six: The “Burger Blast” Holding Out for a Hero

Chuck, Ariel, Travis and Lyle

Ren Rusty, Wendy Jo, Urleen and Company

Vi and Ethel

Ariel, Rusty, Wendy Jo, Urleen

Scene Seven: The Great Plains of Bomont Scene Eight: The Moore Home Heaven Help Me Scene Nine: The High School Gym I’m Free/Heaven Help Me

Rev Shaw Moore

Ren, Shaw and Company

ACT TWO Scene One The “Bar-B-Que”, a Country and Western Dance Hall Let’s Make Believe We’re in Love Let’s Hear it for the Boy

Irene and her Country Kickers Rusty and the Company


Scene Two: The Moore Home Can You Find it in Your Heart?

Vi

Scene Three: Another Part of Town Mama Says

Willard, Bickle, Garvin, Jeter

Scene Four: Under the Bridge Almost Paradise

Ren and Ariel

Scene Five: The Town Hall Dancing is not a Crime

Ren, Willard, Bickle, Garvin, Jeter and Company

Scene Six: The Church I Confess/ Can You Find it in Your Heart?

Rev Moore

Scene Seven: The School Prom Night Footloose (Finale)

The Company

THE FOOTLOOSE BAND Drums Percussion Bass Guitar

Michael Yong Jessica Stewart Nick Abbey Simon Thompson, Miles De Carteret Daniel Knight Sophia Exiner, Ben Marsland Will Morrissey Laura Abbey

Keyboard Tenor, Baritone and Soprano Saxophone Clarinet Flute Trumpet Violin Cello Piano Accordion/ Rehearsal Pianist

Jack Saunders Katie Crone Samantha Farthing, Madison Foley Sam Hunter Marcel Delany George Kozlowski

Conductor: Mr Ben Marsland


THE CAST Ren McCormack .................................................................. Cameron Mitchell Ariel Moore ...............................................................................Jacqui Martin Rev Shaw Moore.................................................................... Marcus Costello Vi Moore, his wife ...............................................................Francesca Sonand Ethel Mc Cormack, Ren’s mother.......................................... Mary Christodulaki Rusty , friend of Ariel ..................................................................... Rosie Ball Willard Hewitt, Ren’s friend ................................................... Alexander Mason Chuck Cranston ..........................................................................Jeremy Bliss Irene, a country singer .............................................................. Jessica Prince Urleen, friend of Ariel .............................................................. Arlene Sherren Wendy Jo, friend of Ariel............................................................... Clio Renner Lyle, Chuck’s sidekick.................................................................. Anton Perry Travis, Chuck’s sidekick ............................................................. Jon Ricketson Jeter, friend of Ren .............................................................. Patrick Coleridge Bickle, friend of Ren..................................................................... Miles Munn Garvin, friend of Ren...................................................................... Ali Rogers Lulu Warnicker .........................................................................Jessica Prince Wes Warnicker .....................................................................Lachlan Murdoch Coach Roger Dunbar ....................................................... Giancarlo Salamanca Eleanor Dunbar .................................................................. Rowena Mortimer Principal Harry Clark ....................................................................Sam Clarke Betty Blast................................................................................. Eve Costello Cowboy Bob............................................................................Hugh Crothers A Bomont Cop .................................................................... Pontus Johannson Specialist Backing Singers........................................Emily Bour, Louise Fortune Keshia Gesundheit Rachel Zbulvic


THE COMPANY David Connors Hannah Crone Lexie Deahler David Vatousios David Feng

Ed Fisher Francesca Benson Nina Calleja Robbie James Ella Gross Monty Carrington Emily Kronberg Maddie Tudor Giulia Kossman Robert Lees Catherine Smyth – Mc Mullin

Celeste Coyne Robert Lees Bridget Steele Aisha Williams Max Simon

AND FEATURING

THE FABULOUS FOOTLOOSE DANCERS Louis Horne Lewis Mitchell Jack Loder Rose Louey Bronwyn Fullinfaw Bridget Saville

Daniel Myles Sam Keil Nicole Spiller Fiona Belcher Lauren Esser Penny Mitchell

Tyler Stephenson Chris Rodgers-Wilson Lucy Richards Felicity Hausler Audrey Irish

Choreographed by Ms Felicity Pearson


NOTES ON THE PRINCIPALS CAMERON MITCHELL (Ren McCormack) Cameron has been one of the backbone singers in the Music School for several years, performing at numerous functions and ceremonies, and now in his final year at Wesley he has more than earned the privilege of a lead role in the musical. His thrilling and lyrical tenor voice first came to our notice when he was in year 9, and since then he has appeared for the Adamson Theatre Company in Fame (2002), as Simon Zealotes in Jesus Christ Superstar (2003) and last year as Alf Doolittle’s off-sider Jamie in My Fair Lady. His role as the singing, dancing and even quietly dangerous Ren in Footloose really shows his dramatic as well as vocal talents to their full.

JACQUI MARTIN (Ariel Moore) Jacqui is another to have earned her stripes by coming through the ranks to win a lead in her final year at the school. Aside from her excellent melodic voice, ideally suited to convey the character of the irrepressible and free-spirited Ariel, she is also an accomplished dramatic actor, having performed important roles in Equus (2004) and this year’s compelling Antigone. Her musical credits include Jesus Christ Superstar and My Fair Lady, as well as performing last November with the Neighbours cast in The Rocky Horror Show at the Regent Theatre. Jacqui has sung and danced for thirteen years of her young life, and both skills are well and truly on display in her performance in Footloose.

MARCUS COSTELLO (Rev Shaw Moore) Marcus is a compelling and thoughtful actor who will be long remembered for his portrayal of Creon in this year’s senior production of Anouilh’s Antigone. He began exploring his vocal talents as one of the harmonising Cockney quartet in My Fair Lady, and this has given him excellent grounding for his moving portrayal of the Rev Moore in Footloose, a role demanding a combination of musical and dramatic skills. Marcus took some time off from school to do a television series for Channel 10, Fergus McPhail, in 2003, and is a keen student of theatre arts, public speaking and debating. After studying arts at university, he aspires to be a film director, and certainly has the drive and understanding to achieve his goal.


FRANCESCA SONAND (Vi Moore) Francesca is the latest of the Elsternwick “musical mafia” to grace our productions, a range of extraordinarily gifted singers who have come through after year 10 on a regular basis to add strength and quality to the St Kilda Rd campus musical. She has been taking singing lessons since year 5, winning a lead role in Bye Bye Birdie at Elsternwick last year. Already a strong presence in the Music School’s vocal ensembles, her beautiful voice gives the required sophistication and maturity to the role of Vi Moore.

JEREMY BLISS (Chuck Cranston) Jeremy has been a fixture on the Adamson Hall stage since 2000, and his dedication and professionalism are what we are all about. After playing Daddy Warbucks in Annie at the King David School, he arrived at Wesley and has been in every production available to him since. Among his many notable performances are Alan Strang’s father in Equus (2004), Haemon in Antigone (2005) and Zoltan Karparthy in My Fair Lady last year. Jeremy has studied drama at the National Theatre, the VCA and St Martin’s, and has worked professionally on BBC’s Bootleg, and The Rocky Horror Show at the Regent last year with the Neighbours cast. Jeremy’s legacy with the Adamson Theatre will live on in numerous ways.

ROSIE BALL (Rusty) Known around the traps pretty much as The Voice, Rosie has performed on the Adamson Hall stage since 1999, when she debuted as a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz. Her performance as “Queen Rat” in Kable Kidz in 2001 was a show stopper, and the prelude to bigger things. Even relatively small roles in Jesus Christ Superstar and My Fair Lady brought her under notice – the glorious voice kept asserting itself. Rosie is equally at home in contemporary, jazz or classical singing, and this year toured internationally to great acclaim with the Wesley College Big Band. In Footloose she really comes into her own as a musical lead singer, and her rendition of the 80s party classic “Let’s Hear it for the Boy” is, not unexpectedly, another show-stopper.


ALEXANDER MASON (Willard Hewitt) Alex has always enjoyed singing and clowning around, and the role of Willard, Ren’s country bumpkin sidekick in Footloose, enables him to combine the two brilliantly. He had obtained a choral scholarship at Geelong Grammar before arriving at Wesley last year, where he immediately got himself involved in the theatre scene. He was one of the horses in Equus, a part demanding mimetic skill and discipline, and in My Fair Lady played no less than four characters. He also made the small part of Creon’s aide in Antigone quite visible, a tribute to his stage presence. Alex’s easy-going nature means that he is looking forward to whatever the future brings.

MARY CHRISTODULAKI (Ethel McCormack) Mary is passionate about theatre, and the energy she brings to rehearsal and performance is proof of this. She contributes to productions way past the actual role she is assigned and her input is invaluable; she lifts morale. This was especially the case in her role as Assistant Director for this year’s senior play Antigone, and her leadership and artistic contributions were outstanding. She had a cameo part in The War of the Worlds, and now in Footloose she is able to combine her acting and singing abilities in the role of Ren’s mother Ethel. She probably speaks for the cast when she describes being in Footloose as “an arduous but unforgettable opportunity.”

JESSICA PRINCE (Irene/Lulu) Jessica came to Wesley in year 10 at the Elsternwick campus, and gained experience there in a number of choirs, plays and dance performances. She was a part of the Bye Bye Birdie cast, but this is her first solo singing role, and her vocal talent can be clearly heard in her interpretation of the country singer Irene. She has enjoyed the whole process of preparing for Footloose, gaining invaluable insights into the nature of performance and her own abilities.


CLIO RENNER (Wendy Jo) Clio’s musical and dramatic talents have brought her under notice very early. Still only in year 9, but with a sophistication and stage presence beyond her years, she is one of the youngest students ever to play a substantial role in a campus musical. She played Badger in the Junior School musical The Adventures of Mr Toad in 2003, and when only in year 8 won a chorus part in My Fair Lady. Clio is a key part of the future of the Company, and with performers of her versatility and passion, we know that it’s in good hands.

ARLENE SHERREN (Urleen) Arlene is another talented Middle School singer and actor who we can expect to see much more of in the future. After an impressive debut as Wendy in the Junior School production of Peter Pan, she was content to make a number of cameo appearances in Middle School productions, coming under notice again in this year’s Romeo and Juliet. Arlene is much involved in singing at venues outside the school, and has performed at the Sydney Opera House and the Crown Showroom. She has also been invited to appear in a major concert in Europe this summer and hopes one day to be “a renowned singer.”

SAM CLARKE (Principal Clarke) Sam has spent two years in the theatre company, contributing his enthusiasm and talent in a number of ways. He is a keen student of Theatre Studies, and his monologue performance as the aging Einstein was finely judged, and deserved a wider audience. Sam made his debut as one of the six horses in the compelling Equus, which made significant demands on his skills in stagecraft and movement. He also played a small part in My Fair Lady, as well as singing energetically in the chorus. This year he has appeared in Anouilh’s Antigone and a Theatre Studies production of The Conference of the Birds, and now brings character and presence to the role of the high school principal in Footloose.


GIANCARLO SALAMANCA (Coach Dunbar) Giancarlo is the latest in a significant line of theatre technicians who have made the not-so-perilous descent from the sound and lighting box to the stage to test their performance skills, doubtless inspired (or not, perhaps) by the feats of those they have previously lit or made audible. He gave a wonderful performance as Chorus in Anouilh’s Antigone, full of verbal and physical subtlety, and his beautifully resonant voice needed no amplification. He now takes on the role of Ren’s foe Coach Dunbar with equal gusto, while his bass voice gives more substance to many a choral number. And he still had time to hang lights and help develop the lighting plot.

LACHLAN MURDOCH (Wes Warnicker) It needs to be acknowledged that Lachlan is an absolute enthusiast, and adds some high octane energy to any production. He is a long-standing member of the Chorus of Gentlemen, who contribute so spectacularly to Music festivals, and last year he was one of the highly disciplined harmonising household in My Fair Lady. This year, as well as lending his vocal talents to the chorus of adults, he has the role as Ren’s uncle, Wes Warnicker, a bit of a stickler for protocol and restraint. This has really called on Lachy to act.

Why not have after show drinks at the Belgian Beer Café Bluestone, opposite Wesley College Front Turf, Moubray Street; proud sponsor of the Adamson Theatre Company.


REHEARSAL PHOTOS


PRODUCTION TEAM Directed and Produced by ...................... NICK EVANS and DAWSON HANN Music Directed by ...................... BEN MARSLAND and MARGARET ARNOLD Choreographed by .......................................................FELICITY PEARSON Design and Co-Direction by............................................... TONY SCANLON Technical Direction by................................................. SABINO DEL BALSO Costume Design by ................... STEPHANIE DES BARRES and JILL WELCH Sound Engineer..................................................................... PETER FOLEY Backstage Production Coordinator................................ JAKE BERAH (OW) Stage Managers ............................LOUISE PARRY and CHARLES WEBSTER Backstage Crew ......................Tara Agaston, Sarah Allen, Elsa Bouchareb, Sarah Carcour, Jessica Chen, Sally Cook, Sarah Doyle, Finlay Eggers, Jules Fehrer, Nick Gawler, Marie Kaneko, James Kelly, Sophie Lamell, Kate Loder, Katherine Milne, Will Parker, Hannah Plant, Tom Rosenberg, Jess Saade, Ashley Stewart, Fei Teng, Sally Williams Set Construction ............Jake Berah (OW), Tony Scanlon, Peter Hay (OW) Sam Cook (OW), Brett Fairbank (OW) Charles Webster Technical Crew ........................................Matthew Gilbertson, Wen-Te Lo, Alexey Nikitine, Adam Ousalkas, Giancarlo Salamanca, Thomas Saunders, Andrew Sim, Roxanne Tan, Clement Teo, Alex Tete Properties ...........................................................................Jenny Erlanger Programme .................................................. Dawson Hann, Brett Fairbank Printing.......................................................... Marie Arsenin, Peter Norton Business Manager ............................................................. Sebastian Italia Publicity, Front of House and Poster ................................... Brett Fairbank Photography ........................................................................Edouard Mouy



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