Miramonte High School's Newspaper

The Mirador

Miramonte High School's Newspaper

The Mirador

Miramonte High School's Newspaper

The Mirador

Cut Loose with Footloose!

Ashley Dong

The hard work of students in Stagecraft, Musical Theater Workshop, and Band will come to fruition with the opening of “Footloose” on March 8.

Set in the early ‘80s, the musical starts in the small town of Bomont, a place where dancing is illegal as mandated by the town priest. A new kid in town, Ren McCormack, played by junior Nate Wayne, decides to take a stand. Along with the priest’s daughter, Ariel Moore, played by senior Lauren Wagner, Ren fights to win back the right to dance before the Bomont High School prom.

One of the intricate sets designed by the Stagecraft class is the Bomont Church. This set features faux stained glass windows and a preacher’s pulpit. Ashley Dong

The musical, directed by drama teacher Heather Cousins, was selected to showcase Miramonte’s talent. After the musical’s selection, the real work began. “We have a rehearsal schedule to make sure we’re balancing out the time we spend on each aspect of the performance,” Wayne said. “At home, I typically gravitate towards whatever I’m currently struggling with, whether it be a song or scene, and designate more time towards mastering that.”

Working on each scene takes time, especially getting down to each character’s emotions and using different techniques to create the best performance possible. “It’s always really important to tap into the character’s emotions, understand what they’ve been through, and ask what we have to do to make those characters as lifelike as possible,” Cousins said.

The show’s choreographer is Justin Cole, co-founder of Joy in Motion, a non-profit dance organization based in Moraga. Cole has been the Musical Theatre Workshop’s choreographer since 2018. “Justin is always amazing at both crafting and communicating a vision for us. Justin always comes in with an idea but also leaves room for our input and ways to make it our own,” senior Lanie Trani, playing Wendy Jo, said. Cole helps performers work through difficult dances, creating memorable scenes, and carefully curates his choreography selection. “I like choreography to be an achievable goal that isn’t too challenging and still visually pleasing to the audience. It also has to make sense in the story, not just be random moves without purpose,” Cole said.

As for singing, the performers started rehearsals after Thanksgiving break. Students receive support from Musical Theater Workshop teacher Meredith Hawkins and can come in during Academy to work with her if they need help. “I also make recordings and tracks of each part and I encourage them to listen to those parts and practice at home,” Hawkins said. Along with directing music and helping students individually as the Vocal Music Director, Hawkins assists her students in connecting emotionally with their roles. “I was able to connect with my character by working to understand his motives and personality traits, as well as finding aspects of him that I can identify with,” Wayne said.

Lastly, the band brings the finishing touches to each scene, tying the musical together. Because each scene of the musical is practiced separately, the band plays a critical role in making it all fit together through musical transitions. “Without the band for transitions, there is a lot of awkward dead air. For a musical like ‘Footloose’ with a lot of different set changes, the stagecraft class needs time to change the set, which is given to them through music,” junior bassist Tatiana Gupta said. 

Finally, the performers will put all of their hard work together to create the best show possible, even if a problem arises. “While I’m watching the actors, musicians, people working backstage, lights, and sound solve problems, it’s impressive to see how far they’ve come — from learning how to run a soundboard to fixing problems instantly,” Hawkins said.

The show has live music played by Miramonte band students, who have been rehearsing since January. Ashley Dong
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About the Contributors
Amelia Mordy, Staff Writer
Hi! I am a sophomore in my first year of writing for The Mirador. I joined Mirador to be a part of something people enjoy reading. I find it very thrilling that something I write could have an impact on others.
Ashley Dong, Editor-in-Chief
Hello! I'm Ashley, one of Volume 67's Editors In Chief. In my fourth year of Miramonte journalism, I look forward to guiding The Mirador's skillful staff through six, successful issues and, more importantly, mastering the art of the 6 a.m. donut run. The Mirador brought — and brings — me so much joy, and this year, I'm excited to give back.
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