Carlisle Is Getting Ready To Cut Loose... Footloose


Ryder Benton (Ren McCormack), Bryson Senft (Willard Hewitt), Presley Goodloe & Josie Cunningham (who both play Ariel Moore) practice their dance steps.

CARLISLE, OH -- A cast of over 70, which includes students in grades 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th, along with about a dozen adults have been busy practicing their dance moves as they prepare for the Carlisle Junior Drama Clubs presentation of Footloose. Hitting the stage March 8, the show will run over the weekend ... using two cast. 

"There were so many girls who wanted to be in it, we had to make two cast," explained Ryder Benton who plays Ren, the character played by Kevin Bacon back in 1984. 

The musical tells the story of a teenage boy named Ren, who moves with his  mother from Chicago to a small farming town. He is prepared for the inevitable adjustment period at his new high school. What he isn't prepared for are the rigorous local edicts, including a ban on dancing instituted by the local preacher, determined to exercise the control over the town's youth that he cannot command in his own home. When the reverend's rebellious daughter sets her sights on Ren, her roughneck boyfriend tries to sabotage Ren's reputation, with many of the locals eager to believe the worst about the new kid.

Adult actors Tom Benton, who plays the reverend Shaw Moore, and Lisa Lahiff, who plays his wife Vi Moore, both have kids in Carlisle's Theatre Arts Program and have nothing but amazement for the Carlisle Theatre Arts Program that is run by the brother and sister team Mackenzie and Quentin Hammock.

Carlisle's Sheila Baker helps Tom Benton and Lisa Lahiff practice one of their songs for Footloose.

"The productions here are amazing," said Lahiff who grew up in the Springboro City School District before marrying and moving her family to Carlisle.

Benton, who was in his high school theatre productions out in California, added he finds the Carlisle productions top notched. "It amazed me how much this small school does with what little they have. You don't have 1,800 to 2,000 kids to choose from that are all in some kind of theater program. There are three sport athletes, 4.0 and higher grade point students... you have kids that struggle in the classroom, but on stage they are all amazing. (This program) is the melting pot for this school and it's amazing. It just blows me away what it does for this school." 


To purchase tickets visit for one of these four shows listed below:

  • March 8th and 9th, 2024 7:00 p.m.
  • March 9th and 10th, 2024 2:00 p.m.

Cast for the 2024 Spring Junior High Theatre Presentation includes....

More News from Carlisle
I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified