The Cheshire Academy theater program put on three outstanding performances of Footloose on March 1-3 at a sold-out Black Box Theater.

This year’s winter musical featured more than 50 students, including 32 cast members, which is the most in years and a sign of a growing interest in performing arts at the Academy.

“Students start preparing for auditions in the fall,” said Jennifer Guarino, director of the theater program. “Beginning after Thanksgiving, students rehearse about 10 hours a week plus many 5-hour weekend rehearsals. That goes up to about 15 hours a week plus 8-hour tech and dress rehearsals on the weekends. I’m so proud of them. I feel so lucky to be able to work with all of these talented students and faculty.”

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PHOTO GALLERY: Photos from Footloose

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The program graduated 20 seniors from last year. The seniors in this year’s production led a group of young underclassmen, helping with costumes, sound and choreography. This year’s seniors led a group of young underclassmen, helping with costuming, putting on mics and choreography. Many underclassmen showcased their talent and landed leading roles and solo songs. Joyce Shi ’20 added her artistic talents to set design, t-shirts, and programs.

“Dance was essential in this year’s show,” Guarino said, “and it brought energy and vibrancy to each performance.” Language teacher Sally Pollard was the main choreographer of the show. Also, Aidan McBreen ’14 has been a been a strong addition to the program as a new tech theater intern. He has helped with lighting, set design, props and general stage management.

“Aidan has mentored the student stage managers and the student light board operator,” Guarino said. “He has taught the students so much.”

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