Join the discussion.

Inklings News

Join the discussion.

Inklings News

Join the discussion.

Inklings News

Players’ ‘The Prom’ demonstrates acceptance through fun-filled production

Graphic by Avery Michalowski ’26
Staples Players’ production of “The Prom” this November tells the story of a lesbian couple not being allowed to attend their school’s prom and the Broadway actors who try and help them.

“The Prom” is an outlier in contrast to Staples Players’ recent productions. Having drawn huge crowds every night for classic musicals like “Grease” and “Guys & Dolls,” “The Prom” may come as a surprise–the musical hit Broadway just 7 years ago, inspiring a 2020 Netflix adaptation of the show. Thematically, it’s also incredibly relevant: the show’s focus on LGBTQ+ pride and acceptance is a stark contrast to a show like “Grease” with solely heterosexual relationships. Regardless, the Players seem eager to take on the modern and relevant show.

“It’s a controversial topic, but obviously in Westport we’re lucky enough to be in a space where all walks of life are fully embraced,” lead actress Sorel Kennedy ’25 said.

“The Prom” centers around a small town in Indiana, where a lesbian couple isn’t allowed to attend their school’s prom, and the four failed Broadway actors who try to make a change– though first only as a publicity move. With a combination of big, exciting Broadway numbers such as “You Happened,” as well as smaller, heartfelt ballads like “Unruly Heart,” the show tells a wholesome story about acceptance and love.

“The show is incredibly funny and has great songs,” Players’ director David Roth said. “On top of all that it has an incredible message of acceptance, tolerance, inclusivity and love.”

Players members emphasized the grandness and excitement throughout much of the show as one of the highlights, enhanced by the huge sets and eye-catching costumes done by the organization’s devoted stage crew.

“It is just entertainment 24/7,” stage manager Tess Feldman ’24 said. “There is never a dull moment.”

A diverse cast of characters grace the stage in the production, such as the passionate and prideful Broadway actress Dee Dee Allen, played by Kennedy.

“As Dee Dee, I can just be so dramatic. It’s so fun to be such a large character, someone who’s so different from myself,” Kennedy said.

Staples Players will also be raising money at the show for the Westport Public Schools pride coalition, a group celebrating LGBTQ+ pride and working towards equality at Staples.

“We haven’t chosen many shows in recent years that are directly related to high schoolers,” Tess Feldman. “This is a very topical show… I think it was a good choice.”

We haven’t chosen many shows in recent years that are directly related to high schoolers. This is a very topical show… I think it was a good choice.

— Tess Feldman

The show is inspired by the true story of Mississippi high schooler Constance McMillen, who took on her own school district in court after being prevented from bringing her girlfriend to the school’s prom. McMillen’s argument led to the school creating a policy protecting students from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

“The story of Constance McMillen serves as a powerful reminder of the ongoing struggle for acceptance and inclusivity,” Roth said.

The show is running on the weekends of November 10-12 and 17-18.

“It’s a really fun way to spend a Saturday night,” Feldman said. “It’s so much funnier than you would expect…  I think people should come if they want a great night of happiness, of sadness, of fulfillment.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Inklings News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *