Kick Off the Sunday Shoes Wylie High School Prepares for Production of Footloose
Murphy resident, Polly Harrison, is the Director of Theater at Wylie High School. When talking about Footloose, their upcoming musical production, she said, “I love the message of acceptance and that the student characters are motivated to bring change to their community.” She said this production was chosen because they were looking for a contemporary piece and that Footloose suited their population of performers at this time.
She said that audience members will be surprised to learn that the set was designed by a student and the dancing was choreographed by a student. The choreographer is Murphy resident, Maddie Quiroga (11th grade). Quiroga was a competitive dancer for 12 years. Last year she was the assistant choreographer for the WHS production of Peter Pan, the musical. This year the plan was for her to serve as the assistant choreographer and dance captain with the adult choreographer who was returning from last year. When the choreographer had a personal issue arise, Harrison said, “I gave it some thought and realized that Maddie did such a wonderful job last year that I thought she could handle it on her own. We discussed it and I asked her to take some time to consider it before agreeing but she accepted right away.”
Quiroga explained that choreographed dances are not sent with the script. She has choreographed each dance. She said that challenges have arisen due to the fact that the dancers are all her friends and haven’t given her as much respect as they would have given an adult choreographer. She balanced on the tightrope of leadership when all she wanted to do was play around when her peers were doing so. She has enjoyed watching her classmates, who for the most part had no dance experience, and after practicing dances over and over are really getting the moves. Because the production has a student choreographer, they are eligible to enter the Schmidt and Jones Musical Awards in the choreography category. Besides her behind the scenes work, she will be on stage as a cheerleader. Her favorite dance of the musical is ‘Let’s Hear it for the Boy.’ Harrison gives Quiroga rave reviews, “She has been amazing! The students report that she is tough but fair and the dances she has developed do a great job of highlighting the natural strengths of our performers. Our audiences will be so impressed by what she has been able to accomplish!”
Murphy students share their experiences as it relates to their part in Footloose: Valerie Canute (10th grade) plays the part of Earlene. She said audience members will enjoy the fact that numerous singers are spotlighted. She has enjoyed the comedic elements of her role. Camarie Dover (10th grade) plays a townsperson. She feels audience members will like the musicality and high energy of the show, especially the final scene which she calls spectacular. Taylor Hunt (9th grade) plays a high school student. She said audiences will enjoy the plot of the show. She likes the atmosphere change in the opening act. Audrey Pena (10th grade) plays a townsperson. She feels the audience will enjoy the soundtrack because it is familiar (yet different than the movie) to many people. She likes the ending of the production, when everyone is onstage. It is high energy and ends the show on a high note. Brooke Ermias (10th grade) plays the part of Wendy Jo who is best friends with the main character Ariel. She feels that since this show is about high schoolers, it will attract high schoolers to attend. She said that audience members will enjoy the music and highly skilled dancers.
There are 70 performers, 18 technicians and 8 musicians in this musical. Tickets are available for purchase at wylietheatre.com.Performances will be at Wylie High School (2550 FM544, Wylie 75098). Show times are January 18th – 20th at 7pm with a matinee on the 20th at 2pm.