Indian River sets will help productions nationwide ‘cut Footloose’
PHILADELPHIA, New York (WWNY) - The Indian River Theater Department is helping bring a virtual set to both high school and professional productions across the country.
It’s been nearly two years since there has been a packed house at Indian River High School for opening night.
After a virtual version of “Forbidden Broadway” last year, and a socially distant version of “She Kills Monsters” in the fall, Indian River students are eager to perform in front of a full crowd.
“It’s kind of like ‘uh, oh, an audience is coming in,’” Harley Neaves said. “You know, you haven’t had that in like three years, so it’s nice to have that feeling of everything coming together again.”
However, when the curtain closes after Indian River’s three performances of this year’s show, “Footloose,” the sets used on stage will continue to live on and be seen by a nationwide audience.
“We have partnered with Broadway Media Distribution, we are part of their pilot program,” theater production technician Rachael Robinson said. “We were selected to work with them and their design team on recreating the scenic projections for ‘Footloose: The Musical.’”
Every year, over 50 million people attend a high school musical or play, according to the Educational Theater Association. Broadway Media Distribution was created in 2013 with the idea of bringing big-budget Broadway sets to smaller secondary markets.
“Looking for ‘Footloose,’ they didn’t have it in their catalog,” Robinson said. “We’re, like, that’s really weird, ‘Footloose’ has been around for a while.”
With some long hours, and lots of communication between the school and the distribution company, the sets designed by Indian River will be used across the country.
Once we are done with them, that package can be used nationwide or even worldwide,” Robinson said. “From anywhere, starting at high school all the way up to the Broadway level.”
It’s a distinction that the Indian River faculty and community could not be more proud of.
“This is such an honor for our school, and another feather in our caps as far as the wonderful things that our theater department, and our music department, and our drama department, are doing here at Indian River,” assistant principal Morgan Neaves said.
“Footloose” kicks off its Sunday shoes for opening night at Indian River March 11, with two more shows the following day.
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