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Ohio Northern University presents ‘Footloose’

Apr 7, 2014

Ohio Northern University’s Freed Center for the Performing Arts will present “Footloose” on April 10-12 at 7:30 p.m. and two matinee performances on April 12-13 at 2 p.m.

One of the most explosive movie musicals in recent memory bursts onto the live stage with exhilarating results. When Ren and his mother move from Chicago to a small farming town, Ren is prepared for the inevitable adjustment period at his new high school. What he isn’t prepared for are the rigorous local edicts, including a ban on dancing instituted by the local preacher, who is determined to exercise the control over the town’s youth that he cannot command in his own home. When the reverend’s rebellious daughter sets her sights on Ren, her roughneck boyfriend tries to sabotage Ren’s reputation, with many of the locals eager to believe the worst about the new kid. The heartfelt story that emerges is of a father longing for the son he lost and of a young man aching for the father who walked out on him.

Sean McKnight returns to ONU to direct and choreograph “Footloose.” He last set “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Recently, he directed and choreographed the sold-out, one-night concert “Broadway Classics at Carnegie Hall” starring Cheyenne Jackson and Carolee Carmello. Michael Jordan, ONU staff accompanist, is serving as the musical director, and Jill Davis, an assistant professor and resident scenic and lighting designer at Case Western Reserve University, will serve as scenic director, and Gina Wiley, adjunct professor in the ONU Department of Communications Arts, will serve as assistant choreographer.

The cast includes David James Grant (Ren McCormack), a sophomore musical theatre major from Medina, Ohio; Madeleine Gish (Ethel McCormack), a freshman musical theatre major from Evansville, Ind.; Trevor Dorner (Reverend Shaw Moore), a junior musical theatre major from Perrysburg, Ohio; Sarah Novak (Vi Moore), a senior musical theatre major with a dance minor from Floyds Knobs, Ind.; Kathleen Weston (Ariel Moore), a senior musical theatre major from Grosse Pointe, Mich.; Kayla Burress (Lulu Warnicker), a junior musical theatre major from Cincinnati, Ohio; Michael Burke (Wes Warnicker), a senior theatre major from Canton, Ohio; Sean Varga (Coach Roger Dunbar), a senior theatre and music double major from Olmstead Township, Ohio; Allison Becker (Eleanor Dunbar), a sophomore theatre major from Dallas, Texas; Mary Beth Donahoe (Rusty), a senior musical theatre and Spanish major with an arts administration minor from Lakewood, Ohio; Gena Loe (Urleen), a senior musical theatre from Allen, Texas; Hayley Reynolds (Wendy Jo), a senior musical theatre and communications double major from Sylvania, Ohio; Isaac Steinhour (Chuck Cranston/Co-Props Master), a junior musical theatre, international theatre production, and French triple major from Findlay, Ohio; Garrett Hill (Lyle), a sophomore musical theatre major from Ridgeway, Ohio; John Robert Armstrong (Travis) Sarah Loman (Betty Blast), a senior musical theatre major from Dallas, Texas; Chase Zimmerman (Willard Hewitt), a junior computer science major from Marysville, Ohio; Charles Levine (Principal Harry Clark), a sophomore musical theatre major from San Jose, Calif.; Patrick Plucinsky (Jeter), a sophomore musical theatre major from Solon, Ohio; Tyler Matanick (Bickle), a sophomore musical theatre major from Maumee, Ohio; Brady Miller (Garvin), a junior musical theatre and public relations double major from Findlay, Ohio; Evan LaChance (Cowboy Bob), a junior musical theatre major from Dayton, Ohio; Jennifer Barnaba (ensemble), a junior musical theatre and music double major from Spring Valley, Ohio; Briana Biffath (ensemble), a sophomore musical theatre major from Hillard, Ohio; Madeline Chitty (ensemble), a sophomore musical theatre from Mount Pleasant, S.C; Liz Coulston (ensemble), a senior psychology major with a dance minor from Niles, Mich.; Regan Frese (ensemble), a sophomore musical theatre major from Hilliard, Ohio; Josh Heard (ensemble), a freshman musical theatre major from Fremont, Ohio; Katie Hotz (ensemble), a freshman musical theatre and communications double major from Millbury, Ohio; and CJ Livengood (ensemble), a second-year pharmacy major from Norwalk, Ohio.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for children. Tickets are $5 for ONU faculty and staff and $5 for ONU students. The Freed Center box office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Phone orders are accepted with American Express, MasterCard, VISA or Discover by calling 419-772-1900. Tickets also are available online at www.onu.edu/freed

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