Carmel actor steps into ‘Footloose’ again


Ian Cruz’s mother always encouraged him to be a well-rounded person.

“So, even though I was adept with math and the sciences, I’ve always hung out with my theater and bohemian friends and learned so much from them as it pertains to performing on stage,” Cruz said.

ND BEEF BOARDS 0207 head shot
Cruz (Photo courtesy of Chandra Lynch/Ankh Productions)

The 50-year-old Carmel resident will appear as Principal Clark in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of “Footloose” from Feb. 9 to March 26 at the Indianapolis venue. It will be his second performance in a production of “Footloose.” He appeared as Coach Dunbar at Footlite Musicals in 2006.

“The role of Principal Clark is actually smaller than Coach Dunbar and his character is very strait-laced and serious,” Cruz said. “The challenge would be to not move my hips with all the great music playing during the course of the show, ha-ha.”

This is Cruz’s first time working at Beef & Boards.

“When we moved to the Indy (area) 20-plus years ago, I put it as a bucket list item to be able to work on stage with all the major equity theaters in town,” Cruz said. “I was able to work at the Phoenix in 2007, but not until last year was I also able to work with (Indiana Repertory Theatre) and (Actors Theatre of Indiana). And now to start the new year, I’m thrilled to have been given the chance to work on stage at B&B.”

Cruz saw “Footloose” when the movie came out in 1984.

“It had such a fun soundtrack, which I used to listen to on a cassette tape over and over,” Cruz said. “It translates well from film to stage, not only because of the music, but it also stayed true to the original story of an outsider who struggled fitting in with a community, who made dancing illegal, but was able to change things by the end of the movie, with a little help from his friends.”

Cruz moved to the Indianapolis area from Philippines in 2000. He and his wife, Nathalie, have three children, Zach, Jose and Lupe.

Cruz took a job as a programmer/analyst with a company located in Rushville. He and his family lived in Greenfield for 12 years, then moved to Carmel in 2012. He is a lead software engineer with Salesforce.

For more, visit