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"Footloose" is coming to the McLeod Summer Playhouse at Southern Illinois University Carbondale

theater students
SIU via Artspace 304
The ‘Footloose’ cast rehearses a dance for the first act.

"Footloose" is coming to Southern Illinois University Carbondale in August and we have all the details. More information in this press release from Artspace 304:

In just a few days, the curtain will rise on the 27th annual production of the All Southern High School Theater Project (ASHSTP). In 1997, Carbondale Community Arts (CCA, now Artspace 304) was approached by two young actors who had a dream of bringing together high school students from around the region to create professional-level, live musical theater. CCA inquired whether McLeod Summer Playhouse would provide a venue and production support for ASHSTP, and a partnership was born. This year, 24 students from nine of the region’s high schools will perform Footloose, August 3-6 as part of the McLeod Summer Playhouse season.

Marsha Ryan, Board President of Artspace 304 observes, "Artspace is very happy to be producing ASHSTP again this year, providing a professional-grade summer stock theater experience to the region's high school students. What a wonderful way for these young people to spend the last days of summer, fully immersed in the world of music theater. The production will be a treat for them, for their families, and for all of us in the audience.”

A major feature of the program is the opportunity for gifted young performers to learn from McLeod’s theater professionals through a combination of workshops, rehearsals, and hands-on internships. This year’s talented cast is guided by Matt Williams, who reprises his role as Director while sharing choreography duties with Samantha Bursich. Music direction is provided by Jackson Love.

ASHTSP interns gain experience in costuming, stage production, and design as part of the Summer Youth Employment in the Arts Program, underwritten by the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the City of Carbondale, and the Neil and Mary Ellen Dillard Scholarship Fund.

This is a true community effort, funded with donations from long-time corporate and individual sponsors including the Friends of MSP. Chuck Benya, CEO & Executive Director is especially grateful to those who donated to the new Rising Star fund, “these donations expand access to the theater,

providing tickets to children who have never experienced the magic of live theater and supplying travel stipends to cast members who require financial support to participate.”

This year’s play, Footloose, pairs high energy music and dance numbers with a thoughtful coming of age story. Between the music, characters, and choreography, there is something to appeal to every audience member. Performances are at the McLeod Theater at SIU, August 3-5 at 7:30pm and August 6 at 2:00pm. Tickets are selling fast but are still available for all performances. Tickets can be purchased by phone (618-453-6000), in person at the McLeod Theater or Banterra Center box offices, or online.

WSIU Public Broadcasting is an NPR, PBS member-station located in Carbondale, IL at Southern Illinois University. Contact WSIU Radio at 618-453-6101 or email us at wsiuradio@wsiu.org.
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