Summer Conservatory Program Returns After 10 – Year Hiatus

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Seventy college, high and middle school students from 27 different schools in Riverside and San Bernardino counties will participate in Riverside City College’s Summer Conservatory’s performance of FOOTLOOSE at the Landis Performing Arts Center on the campus of Riverside City College on Friday, July 20, (at 7 pm) and Saturday, July 21, (at 2 pm).

Tickets are $15 presale and $20 at the door. Visit or call the box office at (951) 222-8100 for tickets.

The Summer Conservatory offers students the chance to perform in a theatrical performance and receive college credit for their participation in the program. The students have been taking a dance class during the day and then holding rehearsals in the evenings four days a week and Saturdays. The program stars local residents Avery Hansberger (North High School) as Ren, Julianne Riddle (Riverside City College) as Ariel, Katie Savage (Riverside STEM Academy) as Rusty and Wyatt Hopps (Encore High School) as Willard.

“It’s been a great return of the conservatory,”Jodi Julian, professor and director of the program, said.

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In addition to acting and dancing students will also handle all of the backstage work.

“There are so many people working together to create a great show,” said Hopps.

FOOTLOOSE is a story about Ren and his mom moving from Chicago to a small farming town. Ren 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 control over the town’s youth.

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. The heartfelt story that emerges is of a father longing for the son he lost and of a young man aching for the father who walked out on him. To the rockin’ rhythm of its Oscar and Tony-nominated top 40, FOOTLOOSE celebrates the wisdom of listening to young people, guiding them with a warm heart and an open mind.

Music by Tom Snow; lyrics by Dean Pitchford; stage adaptation by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie. Based on the original screenplay by Dean Pitchford. Additional music by Eric Carmen, Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins and Jim Steinman.


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