WEDNESDAY 2/23/2022 3:18 p.m.

PULASKI, Wis. (WFRV) – The first of two weekends jam-packed with toe-tapping music from Pulaski High School’s performance of Footloose has passed. But before students hit the stage Sunday, Local 5 was able to interview a cast member and the director before the curtain opened.

“I’m just excited for the community to see the amazing talent we have. This year we chose the show because we have so many talented individuals and Footloose kinda lets kids shine in different moments so everybody has that chance to shine and they’re amazing,” explained Amy Tubbs, the Director.

Ryan Bouchard

“I love the music. It’s all fun and loud – a good word is ‘in-your-face.’ You don’t get to really relax. There are a lot of softer moments but, for the most part, it’s big and exciting,” added Ryan Bouchard, who plays Ren McCormack. “I think it’s a great way to connect with other people. Both the people you do it with or the people who watch it.”

Behind the scenes, the cast and crew had to overcome a few obstacles.

“Personally, a lot of the music comes with a huge range. For a lot of singers and for me, putting everything you have into a song for months is really hard and it started to catch up to me so last week I had to go on rest for a little bit so I would be ready for this but it turned out alright and here we are,” said Bouchard.

The director says one of the challenges is needing a little bit more time.

“You know you always want more time. We’re grateful this year we didn’t have a lot of COVID issues. I think last year we had a lot of people in and out and craziness but I guess the biggest challenge is – and this is going sorta silly – is the fog machine,” thought Tubbs.

Bouchard says the cast and crew were also able to connect through some unique character-building exercises and had a special guest through the Fox Cities Performing Arts Centers Center Stage Musical Theater Program.

“To help me get into character, every day for a while I would tell a story at the beginning of rehearsal. So I found that fun. I got to try and come up with something that had happened to me to tell the group,” he said.

“This year we had a great opportunity to have someone actually come to us and work with us on one of our numbers in the show. [They] worked with us on our opening number with physical characterization. So that was super cool,” explained Bouchard.

And the school plans to bring audience members of all ages together for a special show.

“Next Wednesday we have a performance for incoming 8th graders to come and see something that goes on at the high school, and senior citizens,” said Bouchard.

“The senior citizens, they’ll start calling in January, ‘Are you having the show?’ ‘When is it?’ Because they’re excited. It’s for them. It’s a really nice thing for them to be a part of and enjoy,” added Tubbs.

This is Pulaski High School’s third year being a part of the Fox Cities PAC’s Center Stage program, which provides helpful critiques on performances, multiple workshops, and a showcase event in May.

“It’s a super great program put on by the PAC that offers [students] a ton of opportunities. At the end of the year, there will be a showcase. So people will come and watch our show and give us feedback – what we can do better. And we can also win awards. That showcase is for people who have been nominated or are going to be receiving awards,” explained Bouchard. “And then also we get lots of opportunities for workshops throughout the year. So there are several that happen at the PAC or are online with professionals from the touring cast that comes to the PAC.”

Amy Tubbs

“The experiences our students have had working with some big names that are coming through with the traveling shows so they’re learning from the professionals. This year our pitt band is super excited because there will be a pitt band workshop coming up in a little bit,” said Tubbs. “We even have two students who are in the Center Stage encore singers so they have this chance to be in the specialized choir group, and we’ve had a student ambassador for the last three years.”

For more information about the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program, click here. And if you are curious about what’s next on the playbill for the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, click here.

Behind the scenes of Pulaski High School’s ‘Footloose’

THURSDAY 2/17/2022 3:47 p.m.

PULASKI, Wis. (WFRV) – Cut loose with Pulaski High as they bring a cult classic to life and show how a small town gets down to the music.

Footloose follows Ren McCormack as he moves with his mother from Chicago to a small farming town where the local government has banned dancing and rock music. Throughout the story, he leads his classmates around the law and tries to convince Reverend Shaw Moore to let students have a real senior prom.

The show is in-person at 1040 S. Saint Augustine Street in Pulaski. Masks are optional but highly recommended and seating is not socially distanced. Ticket Information can be found by clicking this link.

Students will be performing the following dates and times:

  • February 19 at 7:00 p.m.
  • February 20 at 2:00 p.m.
  • February 26 at 7:00 p.m.
  • February 27 at 2:00 p.m.

Pulaski High School is also a part of the Fox Cities Performing Art Centers Center Stage High School Musical Theater program.

What does the program do? It helps the local theater improve and critiques the show with a team that gives feedback to directors and students leading up to the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Showcase event in May. To find out more, click here.