Stars in the making
On Friday Feb. 22, juniors Claire Logan and Kindermarie Williams starred in De Smet Jesuit High School Theatre Department’s production of Footloose.
Junior Claire Logan starred as Ariel Moore, the rebellious daughter of a the local reverend who birthed the law against dancing. Logan performed alongside senior Zach Erhardt who played the lead role of Ren McCormick, a normal teenager from Chicago who loves to dance.
“She is very sassy. Her dad doesn’t understand her, and she likes trouble. She also likes getting on peoples nerves, and she is very friendly with guys,” Logan said.
The audition process was held over a series of four days with over 40 girls trying out for 11 female roles.
“The first day we learned the dance in a clinic. During the second day, we auditioned with the dance. The third day was our singing audition where they gave us music from the show to sing,” Williams said. “The fourth day was for callbacks where we sang through a few more songs and were paired with the lead guy [Erhardt].”
Due to the winter storm on Thursday, Feb. 21, the show’s opening night was canceled and not re-scheduled.
“After the two snow days, we were really cooped up,” Logan said. “We were all really bummed about the Thursday performance that was canceled.”
Having been a part of the Muny Teens, a youth program including teens from the ages of 13-18, the transition to a high school theatre was an adjustment.
“The discipline was the hardest part of the rehearsal process; having kids not listening in rehearsal and not focusing was difficult. Kids would talk in the middle of rehearsal a lot, and at Muny, that would not be ideal at all.You have kids who have been locked up in school all day, but you still need to show respect for whomever is teaching,” Logan said.
Territories were crossed when girls outside of the initial theatre circle at DeSmet came to audition for the female roles.
“Things were a little off at first because myself and the three leads came out of nowhere. These kids who have been doing DeSmet’s theatre, especially the girls, were just really caught off guard. Eventually it got better and I made a lot of friends,” Logan said.
Being an all boys school, the reaction to girls walking their halls was intriguing.
“My funniest experience was probably walking into DeSmet everyday at 3:00 p.m. The boys aren’t used to seeing girls in their school, so everyday they would get really excited or flustered to see me walking into the lobby,” Williams said.
The reactions from the audience were positive. Junior Susan Miller was joined by juniors Ezgi Ilhan and Sarah Burack at both viewings of the production.
“It was amazing to see such an advanced high school performance. I saw it twice because I couldn’t get enough of it and I was very proud of the girls from West,” Miller said.
As juniors in high school, the time has begun to ponder their potential career paths after graduation. Logan plans on auditioning for University Oklahoma and Kentucky, as well as the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. She hopes to be a part of the ensemble on Broadway.
“My friends don’t really know what I do all the time when I’m not with them, and they are just blown away because they are surprised that I love doing it so much,” Logan said, “I’m always at dance or Footloose rehearsal. I invest all my time in that for a reason, and they were like, ‘Wow, that’s awesome.’”