Wakatipu pupils take on dance extravaganza

Sahara McDonald, of Wakatipu High School, performs as Ariel Moore in the high school's production of Footloose. Photo by Teaukura Moetaua/www.mediasport.co.nz.
Sahara McDonald, of Wakatipu High School, performs as Ariel Moore in the high school's production of Footloose. Photo by Teaukura Moetaua/www.mediasport.co.nz.
Wakatipu audiences will be kicking off their Sunday shoes this week as more than 65 Wakatipu High School pupils take to the stage, performing Footloose.

Director Kate Moetaua said there were 40 pupils in acting roles, with 15 pupils comprising two bands, both of which performed during the show.

In addition, pupils were involved with lighting, sound, front of house, wardrobe, make-up, hair and back stage.

The stage production was a take on the 1984 movie, directed by Herbert Ross, starring Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer and John Lithgow.

In Queenstown, lead roles had been taken by Sam Maxwell (Ren McCormack), Sahara McDonald (Ariel Moore) and Alex Fraser (the Rev Shaw Moore).

Sam plays the city boy who moves with his mother to the small town of Bomont, where dancing and rock music have been banned by the Rev Moore, following an accident involving his son, which occurred after a long night of partying and dancing.

Ren protests the dancing ban and ultimately falls in love with the Rev Moore's daughter, Ariel, played by Sahara.

Mrs Moetaua said the cast had been rehearsing almost every day for the past seven weeks and before last night's opening said the show was "looking great".

"It always does come together, but we had a really big weekend in the [Memorial] hall.

"We had an audience of senior citizens organised by SBS at the dress rehearsal [on Monday] and they really enjoyed it.

"It's a fun show ... there are some big songs and some great songs.

"There's lots of dancing, which is a big change for a lot of people ...

"They've learned a lot, which is what it's about."

Choreography had been done by Wakatipu High School year 13 pupil Steph Walsh, who had worked tirelessly to pull it together, while Alison Price had taken on the role of musical director.

Footloose will be performed tonight, tomorrow and Friday at the Queenstown Memorial Hall, with shows starting at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost $20 for adults and $10 for pupils and are available fr