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High-energy ‘Footloose’ on stage at M State in Fergus Falls

Published 11:26am Thursday, October 31, 2013 Updated 1:31pm Thursday, October 31, 2013

Time to kick off those Sunday shoes and cut back to the ‘80s with the “Footloose” musical put on by the M State-Fergus Falls theater and music departments.

Or you could listen to the advice of the director Stefanie Gerhardson.

“Get your flash dance on,” she said.

“Footloose” will take audience members back to the 1980s, from the prom dresses to the music. It’s a musical that hasn’t been done at M State-Fergus Falls before, and it’s one that Gerhardson always wanted to direct. It opens this weekend.

“It’s just a fun musical that I know audiences like, and I know students like,” she said. “It’s a really high-energy, fun play.”

The musical is very similar to the original “Footloose” movie from 1984 starring Kevin Bacon. It tells the story of a Chicago teenager who moves to a small town and challenges its ban on dancing and rock music, which were outlawed following a tragic accident.

“He kind of organizes the kids to repeal this law and bring dancing back,” Gerhardson said.

Audience members will leave feeling good and entertained, Gerhardson said.

“It also has kind of a good message about tolerance and acceptance and how we process anger and grief,” she said.

The musical is co-directed by Gerhardson and Teresa Ashworth, who have directed together for 20 years.

The cast features MyKenzey Watchorn, of Frazee, as the rebellious teen Ren McCormack, and Lexi Wedll, of Fergus Falls, as the girl he falls for, Ariel Moore. Cast members also include Spencer Imsande and Jackie Imsande, of New York Mills; Zach Anderson and Callie Thiel, of Wendell; Jacob Bauer, of Graceville; Sean Schneider, of Sauk Centre; Ben Walkup, Bradley Muckey and Kyle Rust, of Fergus Falls; Austin Begley, of Underwood; Eric Ronning, of Miltona; Josh Wilson, of Monticello; Amanda Collins, of Dent; Kristen Johnson, of Elbow Lake; Ashley Forsman, of Murdock; Rachel Moe, of Kensington; Samantha Bottko and Erin Bottko, of Battle Lake; and Keirsten Markgraf, of Pelican Rapids.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9, and at 2 p.m. Nov. 3 in the Waage Theatre on the M State-Fergus Falls campus. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door for adults, and $7 in advance and $8 at the door for students. Tickets can be purchased at the M State Box Office, by calling 736-1600 or online at

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