I have enjoyed my role as choreographer for a plethora musicals at Parkway Playhouse through the years and look forward to many more. Working with actors-in-training as well as more seasoned players is both exciting and challenging. During my time at Parkway I have witnessed an influx of talent as well as skill. At auditions there were many young “triple threats” (kids who can sing, dance, and act). I think credit should be given to the training offered by skilled theatre professionals teaching, acting, and directing in the WNC region. From high school drama programs to summer theatre camps (like Parkway’s), students have access to theatre as a practice and as a potential career option.
Parkway Playhouse brings together a team of directors, community /professional actors, dancers, and musicians to create a lively production of “Footloose”. I think audiences will love this musical because it has a clear and simple message delivered through lots of energetic dancing and poignant moments with familiar and not so familiar music from the 80’s. How can you go wrong?!
I am excited to be working with familiar collaborators like musical director, Ginger Haselden, with whom I have worked often, both at the Playhouse and around the area. Kristen Livengood as director, has infused the cast and production team with clarity, organization, and vision. She is patient and relentless. Thank you Kristen, I will work with you again any time. I would also like to thank my dance captain, Samarie Wilson, who has helped to clarify, memorize, and drill the numerous, intricate, and confusing steps. I couldn’t have done it without you!
Creating the choreography for all the pieces has been lots of fun. The actor /dancers have struggled with some of the movement, but everyone has been patient with practice and adjustments. I think the script and score are cleverly coordinated to tell the story, yet leave room for creative interpretation. I love the vaudeville style of “Mama Says” performed by the men. Other favorites are the campy “I Need A Hero” and teaching Willard how to dance in “Let’s Hear It For The Boy”.
Rehearsals have been full of spontaneous energy. I appreciate that these actors are open to trying and perfecting new moves. Their willingness and persistence has kept me excited about the production.