THE PROM: Sometimes you have to throw on a crown and show ‘em who you are 

Alyssa (Kathryn Kimble) & Emma (Kylie Cartier). Photo by Bob Emerson.

The Community Players present The Prom, based on an original concept by Jack Viertel, with book by Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, and music by Matthew Sklar. The musical is directed by Christopher Margadonna, with musical direction by Joe Carvalho, and choreography by Julia Gillis (the daughter of two production leads).

After the disastrous opening of their latest show, four Broadway stars are in desperate need of a new stage. Dee Dee (Jennifer Gillis), Trent (Greg Gillis), Barry (Mitchell Burns) and Angie (Giana Manzi-Hiniker) give hilarious performances as these desperados. When they hear trouble is brewing around a small-town Indiana prom — and the press is involved — they put a spotlight on (themselves) the issue. James Madison High School’s head of the PTA, Mrs. Greene (Nancy Kimble) learns that student Emma Nolan (Kylie Chartier) plans to attend with a girl. The horror! As the town’s parents also want to keep the dance on the straight and narrow, Greene announces the school’s prom will be canceled “for Emma’s safety.” However, Emma’s girlfriend is none other than Greene’s own closeted daughter, Alyssa (Kathryn Kimble). Meanwhile, Emma is bullied at school by fellow students Kaylee (Alysha Melkoun), Shelby (TCP’s own Angelina Manfredi), Nick (Michael Mercardo, Jr.) and Kevin (Michael Vivieiros), who blame Emma for ruining prom! The Broadway stars barge into the next PTA meeting in an attempt to rally support for Emma. Principal Tom Hawkins (Michael Evora) supports Emma, but is powerless against the PTA’s decision, as well as his own star-struck feelings from Dee Dee’s flirtations. 


This play has a lot of heart, and took off like a prom dress! The jocularity begins long before the prom does. This ensemble includes many young actors, some of whom are actual high school students. They’re super energetic, and clearly have a great time with Gillis’ dance moves. You can really feel the enthusiasm as they relate to the production’s message. Alyssa, expertly and endearingly portrayed by Kimble, wants to come out to her mother. She tries to help mom see her for who she truly is, and to accept that being gay is neither a lifestyle, nor an offense.

The cast felt honored to play such important roles. Says high schooler Max Cichoski, “The reason this show is so important to so many people is because it proves that theater is a space where everyone is welcome, no matter who they are. I have learned so much during this production, and I am glad that the Community Players have created a culture and place where people can feel safe in their skin.”

 “I would like the audience to know that they are the ones who make the show every night. I don’t think it came to life until we had people to share it with,” says Chartier. “It’s a roller coaster of a show, and to look out and see the audience members on that ride with us is the best part. When I look out at the end of every run and see the pure joy spread across people’s faces, that’s what it’s all about. Thanks so much to the LGBTQIA+ community for coming out in droves to support us. There wouldn’t be a point to any of this without you.” Chartier has a sweet, innocent voice that’s so angelic, you know she was the perfect choice for this role. It doesn’t hurt that she’s as adorable hugging her teddy bear as she is strong and assertive. She gives a fearless portrayal of a young woman who’s quite capable of holding her ground while standing up for her beliefs and self-preservation. She’s someone who could change the world, one town at a time.

“This show proves the importance of understanding and acceptance, both of which can be complicated and nuanced,” explains Burns. “This cast has become so close, we honestly have a blast every night! This experience has been challenging but very rewarding. Having to play a part that you share so much with in real life has made some things hit very close to home and has proved challenging at times to navigate. But through this experience I have grown so much as a performer. I’ve become very attached to the role of Barry and very dedicated to get this story right.” And he did! The world is a big place, but you’ve got to start somewhere. And, judging from this tight-knit cast, it starts here.

The Prom runs through April 21. For more information, visit or call (401) 726-6860.