The UMS Musical: Breaking Through and Cutting Footloose

By Catherine Gonzalez ‘22

Source: Catherine Gonzalez

After nearly two theaterless years, Montgomery’s Upper Middle School will have their opening night of Footloose on February 25th and two additional shows on February 26th.

Footloose follows Ren McCormack as he moves from light-hearted Chicago to critical Beaumont, where dancing is forbidden.

This experience has been full of breakthroughs for all involved, starting with the full cast’s first time singing together.

Finn O’Brien ‘26, who plays Ren in the production, said “We’ve been gone for two years, [and after the first song], we were shocked. I remember going to Ms. TC [one of the directors] and saying ‘We sound so good. We just sounded so good,’ and we just had so much energy, and it was just the best day.”

In the show, Ren meets Ariel, a rebellious girl from Beaumont who wishes for independence.

Julia Potts ‘26, who plays Ariel, finds release in her role and said “I get to scream on stage, and I get to do that a lot in this show, which is a really new experience for me, even though I’ve been doing theater for more than half of my life. It’s really fun.”

The kids aren’t the only ones who’ve experienced breakthroughs. This production has been created by people both within UMS and outside of it, bringing the community together after two years apart.

Mrs. Juarez, one of the co-directors, said “This year, Mr. Accardi, Ms. Moore, Ms. TC, some other parent volunteers, and Mr. Kauzmann who has helped out at the high school all came in to build the set. All of them came in on a Sunday, no kids were here, and we just worked together with these power-tools and got the set built.”

In this production, everybody is recognized and able to share what makes them special, which is a breakthrough on its own accord.

Mrs. Juarez said “Everybody plays a role and brings the whole production together.”

Yumna Juha ‘26, a cast member, agrees and said “We all have different talents, and then when they come together, they all look really cool.”

As opening night approaches, the cast has connected the story they’re portraying to what they’re experiencing, themselves.

O’Brien said “I think it’s special because it’s kind of a breakthrough in the show and for real life. I mean, we haven’t been in the theater for two years, and we’re now breaking through that and having a show, and I think that’s the same with my character, Ren. He came to Beaumont, and he made everyone dance again.” These simultaneous breakthroughs come together for everybody, which makes this Footloose experience all the more exciting and unforgettable.

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