It's finally time.

Miami High School's production of “Footloose, the Musical,” was performed several times Thursday for fellow students with three performances today including the opening production for the public.

“After two different postponements, it's almost hard to believe it's happening,” Ron Stowell said. “The production has taken off the last two days.

“For the students, knowing the time is here has got their energy up and they seem to be having fun.”

Stowell, co-director of the play along with Danny Dillon, is in charge of the music.

The play is scheduled for the public at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Coleman Theatre.

Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and $3 for children 6 years old and younger.

Stowell said that he spends about the same amount of time preparing the students to perform in “Footloose” as he does the vocal students for district and state competition.

“Preparing students for competition, I stress diction, phrasing and articulation, all categories they are judged on,” Stowell said. “They have to cross their ‘I's and dot their ‘T's or their score goes down in a continuous spiral.”

Although Stowell teaches some of the same things to the performers in “Footloose,” the emphasis is in a different direction.

“These students will not be singing from behind a curtain as they do in competition,” he said. “They have to smile and dance and sing all at the same time.

“Stamina and breathing are very different when dancing at the same time as singing. It puts a lot of strain on the voice.”

Some of the students performing in “Footloose” have a background in singing and others have none.

“Those without a singing background are a little more difficult to work with, but the beauty of all the students is that they are willing to make the effort,” Stowell said.

“Footloose” is different from most successful plays in that it started as a movie not a book.

“Unlike the movie, the message of the play is not one of rebellion, but of reconciliation,” Dillon said. “The need for true communication, both speaking and listening, and for dealing with life's problems straight on are both issues which are vital to the stage script.

“With its poignant message distinctly illuminated throughout the high-energy stage version, its success legitimately has overshadowed the success of the movie.

“The production of Miami High School has been prepared as one for the entire family.”

The plot tells of a city teen, described by Dillon as “city-smart not street tough,” whomoves to a country town where he finds dancing is against the law. He does all in his power to change the opinions of his fellow students and the town's adults.

“It has great songs of the time the story took place - in the 1980s,” Dillon said. “‘Footloose' itself and ‘Almost Paradise' for example.”

Choreography was done by Lee Dell Mustain.

This year's cast includes Rylie Kinsey as the city teen Ren, Jessica Barnes as Ariel, Mickey Rogers as the minister, Rachel Stewart as the minister's wife, Matt McClain as Willard and Kaylee Douthit as Rusty.

Other students in the cast are Tabitha Alspaugh, Bridget Baird, Maddison Billings, Lauren Blankenship, Austin Brown, Justin Curt, Derekka Dillon, David Duncan, Tori Edington, Keith Freeman, Lori Graham, Zac Graham, Casey Holden, Paige Jones, Bobbi Lake, Tyler Lawson, Britteny Mahurin, Eli Marquez, Miranda Martin, Ali McClain, Neil McGuire, Rhonda McMinn, Caiti Nelson, Mariah Norwood, Caleb Owens, Jordan Paxson, James Pickens, Shelby Porter, Brittany Rhodes, Sarah Rhodes, Kyle Roblyer, Dana Rose, Miranda Schartz, Rochelle Vanover, Mollie Wesley and Jacob Willard.

Crew members include Sarah Graham, Drew Epperson and Clayton Windle.