All In The Campaign for Blair Academy 2018-2025
footloose julia, chris & emma
footloose poster
footloose cast squaredancing
footloose cast seated
footloose emma & julian
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Blair Academy Players Cut Loose in Footloose
Ashley Schreyer
nathan bo footloose quote

He might not be the new kid in town, but the music was on Machua Muchugia ’24’s side, all right! At Convocation in September, Machua promised a full DuBois Theatre to embrace new things this year and asked his fellow classmates to join him in stepping out of their comfort zones to enjoy all Blair has to offer. True to his word, he joined the larger than life cast of Blair Academy Players for the winter musical, Footloose. Premiering last Thursday, February 15, at 7:30 p.m., the show ran for three nights only and offered a can’t-miss event.

Machua wasn’t the only one stepping onto the musical stage for the first time. Choreographer and Dean of Students Andee Ryerson pointed out that this year’s cast had several new actors, following in the footsteps of last year’s brave seniors who jumped into the limelight. With such a large cast, she admitted one of the biggest challenges with Footloose was choreographing to accommodate the entire ensemble on stage.

“It’s exciting to have so many new faces join the familiar players in the cast,” Mrs. Ryerson said. “They bring an easy, positive and fun energy to the stage, especially when dancing.”

Adapted for the stage by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie, this year’s musical stayed true to the original Footloose of the 1980s, and cast members loved the throwback on set. “We got to wear ’80s inspired clothes and sang and danced to songs from the ’80s, and the show really brought you to that fun and exciting time,” Leilah Elkholy ’25 shared.

For a few veteran castmates, like Emma Clavel ’24 and Chris Couri ’24, Footloose was not only fun and exciting, but also provided a meaningful opportunity to connect the roles to their own lives. In the musical, Emma played the preacher’s daughter, Ariel. “I honestly related to some of the struggles and aspirations that Ariel experienced,” Emma explained. “I related to the feeling of wanting to ‘escape’ small-town life.” Like Emma, when Chris was cast as the Reverend Shaw Moore, he reflected on his own personal experiences for the role. 

craig evans footloose quote

“I drew inspiration to play this character from the different people in my life who play the mediator in most scenarios—my dad, advisor, etc.,” Chris admitted. “This show was definitely fun to put on and the cast consisted of a handful of seniors, which has been great.”

As one of those seniors, Machua was delighted to see the Blair community to come out and support the tremendous effort they put into this year’s musical. “The audience saw a fun and diverse cast accompanied by incredible vocals and energizing choreography and dance,” he says. Everyone, he noted, really “CUT (FOOT)LOOSE!” 

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