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Footloose

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Zionsville Community High School set to perform an ‘80s classic

By James Feichtner

Dancing, high school, small town youth and ‘80s movies. For many these words probably bring back memories of a certain Hollywood classic starring Kevin Bacon, but for certain students of Zionsville Community High School these words have a far more personal denotation.

Next month, the Zionsville Performing Arts Center is featuring its first musical interpretation of the 1984 musical film “Footloose.” With more than 70 ZCHS students involved in the production, the show is sure to draw a crowd. But while the ‘80s hit mostly inspires the event, attendants should expect to see an entirely new work of art; a feat that ZCHS Musical Director Mikayla Koharchik said she believes is essential to the show’s creativity.

“I think it’s important that shows be independent of the musical,” she said. “Yes, we’ve looked at [the movie], but I’m not going with the hardcore ‘80s theme. I think that the piece has to stand on its own. I think that it’s really important that we just convey the scenes about young people having a voice, sharing their opinions, fighting for what they believe in.”

That being said, those familiar with the original film will be able to pick up on some of the classic songs, scenes and characters. To Koharchik this is something you can’t cut loose, however, her interest lies more in perpetuating the themes the film exhibited.

“Will people see parts from the movie that they totally recognize? Absolutely,” she said. “You can’t get away from it with the music and everything, but to me it’s more about directing the show so that the themes come through and not that you feel like you’re watching the movie.”

Koharchik aims to make the show personal for not only the students participating in the performance, but for the student audience as well. One of the main themes she hopes students and young individuals alike will take away is that young individuals should have a voice in the community and they deserve to be heard.

“To me the biggest theme for the kids is that as young people you have a voice,” she said. “When you find something worth fighting for you speak loudly and clearly and you argue your point and you fight for what you believe in.”

But it’s not just this specific event that encourages students to voice their opinions. Koharchik said she believes that the arts in general give them a way to express themselves.

“The reason why the arts are so important in our community is that they give students a voice not just on the stage, but it empowers them,” Koharchik said. “For me I know that being on stage was a huge confidence builder.”

As a former student of ZCHS and avid participant in local shows around Indianapolis, Koharchik is all too familiar with the benefits and pleasures of working on-stage.

“My first musical was at Zionsville High School,” she said. “I had my first leading role there. Outside of my teaching career, I’ve been very active in professional and community shows around the Indianapolis area, so I have the opportunity to do that in my personal life. It’s what I love doing.”

Aside from making the show an independent work separate from the film, Koharchik has also made sure that it will be family friendly so everyone can enjoy the event.

“I have changed just a few things to make it a family friendly show for kids of all ages,” she said. “So they can bring their families, they can bring young kids and it would be appropriate for them. I wanted to make sure that it appealed to all audiences.”

“Footloose: The Musical”

•7 p.m. Nov. 20 to 22, and 2 p.m Nov. 22 at the Zionsville Performing Arts Center on Mulberry Road.

•Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.zvilleperformingarts.org.

•Cost is $10 for students and $15 for non-students.


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