PITTSBURG — Pittsburg High School Theatre’s production of “Footloose” gives parents and teachers a new perspective.
The toe tapping, 80s-themed musical will feature 18 adult cast members comprised of teachers, a realtor, a church secretary, a school secretary, a retired paralegal, a banker, two graduate student and a media relations director.
Three of the adults in the cast have children who also are part of the show and two of those adults are reprising their roles.
Director Greg Shaw produced “Footloose” in 2010 and it, too, had a cast of both students and adults.
“I like it because it’s a big show, we can get a lot of people in it,” Shaw said. “We had so much fun last time putting adults on stage that it just felt like we needed to do that again.
“It’s really interesting to see teachers, educators, see first hand what our kids are capable of, but also all of the hard work they put in, the time, the effort, the stress, the talent to do this.
“I commend our adults to putting themselves out there and allowing them that experience.”
Shaw said he also thinks the message in the musical is great, “because they have expanded the storyline of the family, the relationship between Ariel and Reverend Shaw Moore, and Vi Moore and Shaw all centering around how they’ve dealt with grief and the loss of their son.”  
Pittsburg High School Science Teacher Stuart Perez said, “I enjoy being able to work with the kids and being a part of what they do,” he said. “Getting to see how much time and effort they put into productions is pretty cool.
“We’re seeing them in a different class, if you are not involved in their activity, you do not know what they are doing, you don’t know how much time they are putting in.”
Perez said he realized he no longer has the energy of a teen, and applauded the students for taking on homework and the production.
“What these kids are doing is amazing,  the amount of time and effort they put in,” he said.  
The production is also giving the opportunity for the students to see the teachers in a different capacity, Perez said.
Paul Hanney is a third grade teacher at Westside Elementary School and he claims he can’t sing or dance, but he’s going to anyway.
“I’ve always told students, you can do anything you set your mind to,” Hanney said.
Hanney said he was surprised when his daughter Franchesca Brownhanney asked him to audition for the show.
“The thing is, I know how much she loves this, this is her life,” he said. “Just the fact that she would ask me to be part of that, there’s no way I could pass that up.”
It was because of her father’s support of her and the theatre program that encouraged Franchesca to ask her father to join.
“The first person to pop up in my head is my father because he always supports and loves our program,” she said. “He was pretty hesitant at the beginning but then he was like, ‘why not?’”
In the past, Hanney was able to watch his daughter in the audience, but this time he’ll be on stage performing.  
“There’s pretty much too sides, it’s really sad he doesn’t get to watch the show, which he loves doing, but also having him see how hard we work and seeing it first hand, everything we go through — the costumes, mic check, makeup, hair, everything — it’s amazing and he loves it and I love it.”
So far, the experience has been “awesome,” Hanney said.
“This is something that we’ll have for the rest of our lives to cherish,” he said. “The thing I did with my dad that I remember is we worked on a car together. And I’ll never forget that.
“This is her car basically.”
Similarly, Kimberly Harries, administrative associate of the Pittsburg State University Department, was asked by her son Aidan — who will play Chuck Cranston — to audition. Her son Evan will also play guitar in the pit for the musical.
“Anytime a teenager asks their mother [to be involved],” she said about taking the opportunity. “He knows I love musicals, I was very excited. I try not to be too embarrassing.”
The last show Harries was in was “Guys and Dolls” in 1989 when she was in high school.
She currently sings in the University Choir and Choral. In “Footloose” she is cast as the church choir and is a townsperson.
“I just to be close and see from backstage the hard work,” she said. “It’s incredible to me that these kids, all of them, are doing this basically as a full time job and are full time students.
“They amazing me everyday, I don’t know how they are doing it, I’m wiped out.”
Although Harries said she’s worn out, “every single second is worth it.”

Want to go?
The play, Directed by Greg Shaw,  features all of the pop hits of the soundtrack. The live pit band is under the direction of Cooper Neil, with vocal direction by Kimberly Arzoian and choreography by Maggie and Molly Stephens, alumni of the program. Technical direction is by Chuck Boyles in cooperation.
Showtimes are 7 p.m. Feb. 14, 15, and 16, and 2 p.m. Feb. 16 and 17 at Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium. Tickets are $10, $8, and $6 and may be purchased online at www.memorialauditorium.org or at 620-231-7827, or at the box office one hour before curtain.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.

Ren McCormack … Gabriel Abarca
Ariel Moore … Addy Campbell
Willard Hewitt … Gabe Anderson
Rusty / Dance Captain… McKenna Shaw
Urleen … Mona Estes
Wendy Jo … Hannah Casper
Reverend Shaw Moore  … Julian Archuleta
Vi Moore … Grace Pucket
Ethel McCormack / Teen Ensemble … Kylee Eidson
Chuck Cranston … Aidan Harries
Travis .... Griffin Cooper
Lyle … Bo McDowell
Bickle …  Xavier Huffman
Jeter …  Christopher Saman
Garvin … Bryson Brown
Still Rockin’ Trio / Teen Ensemble … Emma Noonoo
Still Rockin’ Trio / Teen Ensemble  … Aunyx Estes
Still Rockin’ Trio / Adult Ensemble … Ethan McConnell
Betty Blast / Teen Ensemble … Franchesca Brownhanney
Teen Ensemble … Sophie Casper
Teen Ensemble … River Peery
Teen Ensemble … Maddy Shawn
Teen Ensemble … Kate Thueson
Teen Ensemble … Mallory Womeldorff
Teen Ensemble … Cale Farrington
Teen Ensemble …  Austin Garzone
Teen Ensemble / Adult Ensemble  … Angel-Lea Childers
Teen Ensemble / Adult Ensemble … Corin Cooper
Teen Ensemble / Adult Ensemble … Alexa Fletcher
Teen Ensemble / Adult Ensemble … Katherine Kirby
Teen Ensemble / Adult Ensemble … Hayden Stevens
Teen Ensemble / Adult Ensemble … Alyvia Swartz
Teen Ensemble / Adult Ensemble … Dallas Cox
Teen Ensemble / Adult Ensemble … Logan Jones
Principle Harry Clark … Stuart Perez
Peggy Clark … Julie Laflen
Wes Warnicker … Michael Doue
Lulu Warnicker … Faith Paoni
Coach Roger Dunbar … Tony Sanchez
Eleanor Dunbar …. Emily Rountree
Cop … Kevin McNay
 Adult Ensemble … Kimberly Harries
Adult Ensemble … Victoria James
Adult Ensemble … Diann Mazurek
Adult Ensemble … Emily McNay
Adult Ensemble … Susan Russian
Adult Ensemble … Andra Stefanoni
Adult Ensemble … Paul Hanney
Adult Ensemble … Patrick Moss
Adult Ensemble … Jerome Strode
Adult Ensemble … John Womeldorff

Pit orchestra:
Conductor Cooper Neil
Flute … Trinity McDowell
Saxophone … Brittney Bramblett
Dain Reiling Trumpet … Alejandra Cornelio
Carter Uttley Guitar … Evan Harries
Bass Guitar …  Ethan Miller
Eddie Stevens Keyboard ... Emma Fischer
Carol Anne Smock Percussion … Josh Ortolani

Production Staff:
Director … Greg Shaw
Music Director … Kimberly Arzoian
Conductor … Cooper Neil
Technical Director … Chuck Boyles
Choreographer … Maggie Stephens
Mollie Stephens
Rehearsal Accompanist … Carol Anne Smock

Greg Shaw
McKenna Shaw

Program / Poster:
Anita White

Stage Manager:
Kennedy Tomasi

Sound Design:
Jason Huffman
Elle Brown
Tristin Perrin

Light Design:
Kyle Newby
Kole Perez
Cole Ingerson
Mason Smith

Hair & Make-Up Design:
Hazel Harper
Lexi Ketcham
Drake Plain
Rebekah Sheward
Heather Smith

Stage Crew:
Maddie Bishop
Gaven Deal
Renee Gibbs
Keara Greenburg
Ashley Singh
Gavin Steier
Ayla Ford
Dominic Stefanoni
Hayden Drake