CIRCLEVILLE - A young man's quest to bring joy back to a small, rural town is the premise of a musical opening Friday on the Roundtown Players' stage.
Footloose: The Musical is the tale of Ren McCormack (Tyler Corcoran), a struggling teen from the big city who finds himself transplanted in rural Bomont and soon discovers the town has struggles of its own. The deaths of four teenagers in a car accident several years earlier led the town to ban dancing, and Ren sets out on a mission to bring it back.
Jenny Rhoads, director and fan of the movie on which the musical is based, said she chose the play because she wanted to do something fun in the summer that would appeal to a large audience of all ages.
"It's truly a family show," Rhoads said. "We have cast members ages 12 to 68, and I think that's pretty cool. You can tell the kids are actually having fun doing it. And when you think about it, Bomont, where the play is set, is not unlike Circleville. I think the kids have really embraced that."
Rhoads said about 40 people are involved in the show, most from the Pickaway County area. That number includes 26 cast members and additional crew, including Matt Harper, assistant director, and Meghan Marshall, choreographer.
"The kids truly have amazed me every day with how much they remember with the dances and everything," Rhoads said. "There's one scene when they do a 'Stomp' thing with props as instruments, and that was pretty epic, too. I just had that in my head, and they just did it. It's really cool."
Rhoads said she hopes audiences pick up on the energy of the show, but also something a little deeper.
"One of my favorite quotes from the play is, 'Heaven helps the man who fights his fear,'" she said. "A lot of the characters are facing something they're afraid of, and I hope that inspires the audience to face some of theirs as well."
Footloose: The Musical is based on the book by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie, with music by Tom Snow and lyrics by Dean Pitchford.
Performance times are 8 p.m. July 10, 11, 17 and 18, and 2:30 p.m. July 12 and 19 on the Roundtown Players' stage at Memorial Hall. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students.
Ren McCormack - Tyler Corcoran
Ethel McCormack - Laura Driesbach
Reverend Shaw Moore - Victor Aume
Vi Moore - Courtney Barnes
Ariel Moore - Martha Kathryn Smith
Lulu Warnicker - Angela Russell
Wes Warnicker - Gary Gillen
Coach Roger Dunbar - Ryan Holcomb
Eleanor Dunbar - Meghan Marshall
Willard - Ernest Drew Herman
Rusty - Rachael Lynch
Urleen - Allison Hammond
Wendy Jo - Corabeth Andujar
Chuck - Gwenndolyn Aume
Lyle/Lyla - Emily Allan
Travis - Logan Burns
Betty Blast - Susan Love
Cop - Josh Ford
Principal - Jaremie Horn
Jeter/Jeena - Chantel Harr
Bickle - Austin Cecil
Garvin - Jared Payne
Cowboy Bob - Matthew Harper
Teen Chorus - Carrie Love
Teen Chorus - Kayli Brown
Teen Chorus - Kaylee Sharpe
Teen Chorus - Zizi Roberts
Teen Chorus/Cowgirl - Alexandria Faust