Seymour High School Varsity Chorale presenting ‘Footloose’


Ren McCormack just wants to dance.

The teenager and his mother move from a big city to the small town of Bomont after his father abandons them.

Ren finds himself at odds with most of the town, including the Rev. Shaw Moore, who has convinced the town to outlaw dancing.

With the help of Ariel, the reverend’s daughter, and Willard, a country hick who becomes his best friend, Ren convinces the reverend to let the teenagers dance. In the process, he helps the town heal from a tragedy that affected them all.

“Footloose: The Musical,” based on the popular 1984 film starring Kevin Bacon, will be presented by the Seymour High School Varsity Chorale at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday in the Earl D. Prout Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for the evening shows and $5 for the matinee.

Leonel Jimenez is playing the role of Ren. He describes Ren as a very energetic person who can’t stand still and always has to be doing something. He also is very determined.

“He came to a town where (dancing is) literally illegal, and dancing is his whole personality,” Jimenez said. “What I really like about this show is how it’s like when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object, so you can see that clash right there, especially the Act 1 closer.”

Jimenez said it’s interesting playing a well-known and relatable character.

“It’s very easy for me to portray someone like that because I feel like if someone walked up to me, that’s how I am anyway,” he said. “Kevin Bacon, a guy that’s such a big name to live up to, I’m obviously trying to work hard to portray it.”

Going from Seymour’s production of “The Little Mermaid” last year to “Footloose” this year, Jimenez said he likes the latter because it has a lot more dancing.

“It’s just a lot more fun to get into the songs,” he said. “This one, you’re jumping all over the place and stuff. It’s more fun.”

Owen Lauster is playing the role of the reverend, who he said carries the weight of the world on his shoulders and has a lot of pressure built up.

“Then he feels the love of his family is outweighing those responsibilities. Through that, he is kind of trapped,” Lauster said. “He’s trapped and he doesn’t know what to do between the vows of preacher and husband.”

Lauster said he likes the diversity of the show’s characters.

“It’s so many different types of characters, so many different people, so much clash,” he said. “It’s amazing how it all works together.”

Playing the role of the reverend’s wife, Vi Moore, Kaelin Grube said she is very soft spoken until the town hall scene when she tells coach Roger Dunbar to sit down after expressing his agreement with Shaw and the other council members.

“Throughout the whole musical, I feel like I kind of just follow what Shaw tells me to do, and then I finally stand up for myself on certain parts. I get heated,” Grube said.

She said it’s really cool to see how Shaw’s character develops throughout the musical.

“He goes from being super strict to kind of showing out and realizing that he was being dramatic almost taking everything into his hands,” Grube said. “He felt that everything was his problem, and really, it was everybody’s.”

Evah Snyder is Ariel in the show.

“She is very rebellious because she has a lot of sadness down within her, and she just holds a lot of resentment toward her dad because her brother died, and he pits everybody against him,” she said. “She just wants to be close, have fun, do what her brother would want her to do, and then he’s just holding her from doing that. She and Ren help convince him to change that rule (about dancing), and then everybody loosens up and gets closer.”

Liv Hendrix plays the role of Rusty. She describes her as a very energetic person who talks fast and can’t shut up, and her mind is full of everything.

“She’s definitely a hopeless romantic,” Hendrix said. “She is in love with Willard. They are both mutually pining after each other, but when she gets around Willard, she gets tongue-tied. Willard makes her shut up.”

Hendrix said she likes her character, loves the dancing and thinks the show is super fun.

“It’s very exciting,” she said. “Last year, everybody liked ‘The Little Mermaid,’ but that was such a kids show. But this year, it’s pointing toward the adults and that older audience, and I think it’s going to be really fun.”

While it could be stressful presenting a popular show, Snyder said it has been a fun process.

“With this show, there are such iconic songs. You just want to do good,” she said.

Senior Jonas Hildreth has the unique perspective as student technical director for the show. It’s good experience for him because he said he wants to continue working on sets beyond high school.

“I love the building. I plan to go into that in my future, and this kind of kick-started it for me,” he said, as this is his fourth musical and sixth show at SHS. “It helps creativity. It takes a lot of time, a lot of work from so many people, who most of them never get recognized. I cannot do this without them.”

He’s ready to present the show to the public.

“I love the cast this year. They are all great to work with,” he said. “The music this year is a lot more I casually listen to it, and I know that people are going to enjoy this. It’s a little more serious than some of the other shows we’ve done, but it’s still applicable to most ages.”

If you go

What: Seymour High School Varsity Chorale’s production of “Footloose: The Musical”

When: 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Earl D. Prout Auditorium at Seymour High School, 1350 W. Second St., Seymour

Cost: $10 for evening shows and $5 for matinee (order online at

Information: 812-522-4384, or

Director, producer and co-music director: Kyle Karum

Accompanist and producer: Karla Shutters

Pit orchestra conductor and co-music director: Kevin Cottrill

Cast: Leonel Jimenez, Gabriella Parisi, Owen Lauster, Kaelin Grube, Evah Snyder, Cam Wheeler, Liv Hendrix, Isabel Maschino, Katie Cottrill, Joel Stevens, Kayla Baker, Drew Handloser, Austin Shoenthal, Osvaldo Pablo Mateo, Will Hudson, Aria Massengale, Anna Marks, Dametreous Collins, Briley Compton, Will Mahoney, Chase Smith, C.J. Polley, Ava Shuler, Kennedy Burnette, Hannah Baker, Brooke Knieriem, Blythe Brummett, Kelly Beavers, Hailey Burke, Andrew Higdon, Nick Wheeler

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