Footloose: The Musical

May 19 – Aug 12
Gilliam Stage at Barter Theatre

Stage Adaptation by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie; Based on the Original Screenplay by Dean Pitchford

Music by Tom Snow, Lyrics by Dean Pitchford; Additional Music by Eric Carmen, Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins and Jim Steinman

One of the most explosive movie musicals to burst onto the stage in recent memory! The soundtrack reached #1 on the Billboard charts with top 40 rock score, it is a story of rebellious teens and the families who learn to listen to and guide them with warm and loving hearts. Based on a true story; features the hit songs: “Footloose,” “Somebody’s Eyes,” “Holding Out for a Hero,” “Let’s Hear it for the Boy,” and “Almost Paradise.”

Director's Notes

Love. Loss. Fear. Insecurity. Growth. Acceptance. Renewal.

By my 17th year my family had moved nearly as many times as I had had birthday candles. Always, I was the outsider to every new school and community. One uprooting planted my family in a rural town in which my school had been plopped in the middle of a cow pasture. During spring classes herd members would poke their heads into open schoolroom windows. The peeping Bessies were welcomed. I, as an outsider, wasn’t. To be considered a local of Blairstown your family had to have been an original settler who farmed the rolling hills of the hamlet. With each move friends and home were lost. The foundation for who I was—transformed.

Not until I first directed FOOTLOOSE a dozen years ago did I realize that in these unfamiliar towns like Blairstown my presence also brought a change to my new neighbors and classmates. In FOOTLOOSE’s main character Ren, the outsider, I saw reflections of my past self. And within the residents of FOOTLOOSE’s Bomont were reflections of my Blairstown neighbors. Each of us strangers approaching the other with firm convictions. But in getting to know the other, there was a rejuvenation.

Change fosters growth. Even a variation we may perceive as a negative, from that shift positive results can follow—if we allow ourselves to embrace an undoubtable hope for renewal. FOOTLOOSE, while tuneful with iconic 80s music, the story itself is not a simplistic bubble gum confection about a ban on dancing. It’s a journey of self-awareness during change. A transformative tale of how people of firm convictions come to each, and then discover themselves anew.

Paul Russell

Director, Footloose: The Musical