MOUNDSVILLE , W.Va.Fourteen West Virginia University students and alumni are dancing, singing, acting and volunteering their time in the production ofFootloose: The Musical,a creative effort to help renovate a theater in Moundsville.
The performance will go on at John Marshall High School in Glen Dale, W.Va. on July 30 at 7 p.m. and continue the following nights on July 31 and Aug. 1 at7 p.m. There will also be a matinee showing on Aug. 2 at 3 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Strand Theatre, a vaudeville theater that closed in 1996 and fell into disrepair.
WVU students, who are contributing their acting skills on the stage include Vera Barton-Caro as Vi Moore; Phillip Carl as Bickle; Melissa Ceo as Rusty; Logan Hartle as Chuck Cranston; Melody Meadows as Ethel McCormack; Valerie Roe as Aunt Lulu; and Sarah Beth Yoder as Wendy Jo. Students assisting with music, dance and off-stage roles are Isaac Crow as stage manager; Josh Garrett on drums, John Posey on electric guitar and Megan Otte as choreographer.
WVU alumni Leslie Garrett, Jim Hartle and Richard Terry will also volunteer their music and performing talents.
Directed by Josh Fromhart,Footloose: The Musicalfollows main character Ren McCormack as he is plucked from his native Chicago and dropped in Bomont, a town where rocknroll is frowned upon and dancing is forbidden due to a tragic accident. As a stranger in a small community, Ren must confront naysayers before the people of Bomont will allow dancing at their senior prom.
Carl, a WVU School of Journalism student, said the production could help motivate students to become lifelong learners.
Its great that people from West Virginia University can contribute so many talents to the musical and benefit a great cause in the process. Giving back to the community is something synonymous with WVU . Were happy to promote the arts in this production and represent the University in this way,he said.
WVU students and alumni participating in the production have videotaped some of their dance rehearsals and posted them on YouTube.
The student actors and musicians have collaborated with Moundsvilles Strand Theatre Preservation Society on this project. The society was formed in December 2000 and raised over $1.3 million in funding for theatre renovations.
Footloose: The Musicalis one of many events planned to help fund reconstruction, which is anticipated to create 34 full-time jobs and significant economic stimulation for the area when fully restored.
For information about the production ofFootloose: The Musical,contact WVU student participant, Sarah Beth Yoder at 304-280-1614.
For more information on the Strand Theatre, contact Dave Knuth, president of the Strand Theatre Preservation Society at (304) 845-2773.