SUNDAY 1/23/2022 9:15 p.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Students at Notre Dame Academy laced up their shoes and put on their last performance for the hit musical Footloose Sunday. But before their curtains closed, Local 5 met up with a few of the cast and crew before they hit the stage to see how they felt.

“I’m super excited for everybody to have a show to come to. I know last year was kinda rough with high school theater. We were able to put on a show virtually but it’s just great to have a live audience back. These audiences have been some of the best I’ve ever been with. They’re so excited every single night and that means a lot to all of us,” explained Addie Weiss, who played the role of Vi Moore.

Left to right: Charles Rickards, Addie Weiss, Molly Kukiela, Andrea Gilson, Jacob Massart, Emilie Chamberlain.

“And especially a big thing with the season that we’re going through with right now,” added Jacob Massart, who was the actor for Willard Hewitt. “It’s nice to see that all these high school shows that might not have been able to put on a show last year are able to and we can all go and support all of the other Center Stage schools.”

Through all of the toe-tapping dances and theatrical sets, both the cast a crew also had to overcome a few challenges.

“I would definitely say this musical as a whole is just a challenging musical – dance-wise and vocally-wise. There’s a lot of emotion that needs to be performed with this musical and I feel like we really pulled it together. Made it one incredible show,” said Charles Rickards, who had the role of Ren McCormack.

“And obviously with the challenges of COVID and doing this in a pandemic, there was added stress but I personally have never been more proud of the cast and crew than I have this year,” replied Andrea Gilson, the Theatrical Director. “At the resilience, their talent, and their dedication.”

  • Notre Dame Academy Footloose
  • Notre Dame Academy Footloose
  • Notre Dame Academy Footloose
  • Notre Dame Academy Footloose
  • Notre Dame Academy Footloose
  • Notre Dame Academy Footloose
  • Notre Dame Academy Footloose

Even with these ups and downs, emotionally and with the physical choreography, students say it was all worth it.

“The musical is kinda like, at least for me, is like the best part of high school. It’s just an incredible group of people and we all kina just have fun and we’re not afraid to be ourselves, as corny as that sounds. So kinda like the place where we can all just hang out with each other, have fun, and be ourselves,” explained Emilie Chamberlain, who was the actress for the role of Rusty Rodriguez.

“I’d say my favorite memory is this year. We had a huge turnout for the musical. We included so many more people that had never joined a musical before. So it was really nice getting to interact with people I had never really talked to before,” said Molly Kukiela, who played Ariel Moore.

A difference between this year and the last? The cast told Local 5 they utilized social media more than ever this season.

“There’s been lots of things being shared on Instagram, Snapchat, and even TikTok. It’s kind of like a really easy way to get the word out and especially since when something goes on social media it can blow up really fast,” explained Massart, “So its been nice to have everyone, and not just our cast but other schools, reposting and supporting us too.”

Notre Dame Academy Footloose

“Another thing is, like, along with the other schools, is that we’re a part of Center Stage – which is a whole bunch of high schools in the area that all put forth their name and their musical to be judged,” added Kukiela. “So a lot of us have been able to go to other high schools and vis versa. We’ve had a lot of kids from other high schools come see us.”

“Yeah, it’s great how much community spirit there is with it,” agreed Weiss. “Even though it’s a competition, we all still want to support each other and want each other to do our best.”

“I think I speak for us all when I say we’re extremely excited [for today]. It’s going to be one incredible show. Especially one of our last years, few of our last years here,” describes Rickards. “So we’re doing the best we can and we really just want to make the audience happy. That’s all that matters.”

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.

Original Story: Notre Dame Academy back in action with performance of Footloose

WEDNESDAY 1/19/2022 11:03 a.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – After a break for local high schools, theater and musicals are back in full swing, and to kick off the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program with the Fox Cities PAC, Notre Dame is performing the classic, Footloose.

There are 66 students involved in the production – from helping with choreography, stage crew, technical elements, and set design. Those with the high school say that this is the most elaborate production with lighting and choreography in recent years.

Students were able to connect to the story’s thematic elements of loss, forgiveness, and unity with parallels between the show and the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you want to catch the show, there are several days you can do so:

  • Thursday, January 20 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, January 21 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 22 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, January 23 at 2:00 p.m.

You can purchase tickets through this link.

This school year, the Fox Cities PAC and WFRV Local 5 are teaming up to showcase over 20 local high school musical productions through the Center Stage program. The program was launched in 2016 and has been a successful piece of education in the community.