Sunday, April 02, 2006

Footloose Teens in a Small Town

Howard High School, a small school just west of Madison, put their annual play on today, two performances, matinee and evening. It was a musical, Footloose, the play made from the 1984 movie starring Kevin Bacon, wherein a big-city boy comes to a small hick town where dancing is banned. Will he be successful in getting the townsfolk to kick up their heels again? What do you think?

It's always a treat to see the efforts of so many people come to fruition. In small towns like Howard, families might approach these performances with a mix of dread and hope, but they turn out in droves to show their support and to see just what might happen. And in those performances, there are always some people whose talents--singing, dancing, acting--are surprisingly good, not to mention the others who are essential in making the play happen. That's the role of art programs in these small places. It's one thing to see art as a thing that other people create, but having a play like this gives young people an opportunity to see what effort goes into producing theater and gives those who have a talent for it a chance to discover what they can do.

Whether it's the Royal Shakespeare Company doing Othello or some rural high school students singing and dancing, it all takes effort. And very often, the effort pays off. Way to go Howard.

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