San Diego City College To Present San Diego Premiere Of THE PROM

Directed by Dr. Katie Rodda, the show runs from April 19-27, 2024 at the Saville Theatre. Don't miss this powerful and timely production.

By: Dec. 07, 2023
San Diego City College To Present San Diego Premiere Of THE PROM
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San Diego City College To Present San Diego Premiere Of THE PROM

The San Diego City College Dramatic Arts Program has announced that it will be producing the San Diego premiere of the musical The Prom. Running in the Saville Theatre, performance dates are Fridays and Saturdays, April 19, 20, 26, and 27 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, April 25 at 11:00; and Saturdays, April 20 and 27 at 2:00 p.m.

The Prom is directed by drama professor and Co-Chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department Dr. Katie Rodda. The Musical Director is Richard Dueñez Morrison, and the Choreographer is Kristin Arcidiacono.

In small-town Indiana, Emma, a smart and brave young woman, plans to bring her girlfriend to the prom. The town's homophobic parents cancel it, bringing unwanted attention to Emma. Meanwhile, four self-absorbed Broadway stars are in desperate need of a publicity boost, so when they hear of Emma's situation-and the press is involved-they know that it's time to shine a spotlight on the issue ... and themselves. On a mission, these four Broadway divas join forces with the courageous girl to discover love and acceptance. Winner of the Drama Desk Award for Best Musical, The Prom resonates with audiences now more than ever.

The Prom is partially based on a true story. In 2010, Constance McMillen, a senior at a high school in Mississippi, had plans to bring her girlfriend to their senior prom, and the school board banned her from attending. She challenged the decision; in response, the board decided to cancel the prom entirely. McMillen, with the assistance of the ACLU, sued the school district, and a federal court found the school district guilty of violating her First Amendment rights. The judge did not force the school district to reinstate the prom, however, and the school board allowed her to attend. The prom was attended by only seven students, as parents had quietly organized a separate prom for the rest of the students, making sure to keep the location secret. When news of this broke, celebrities including Dan Savage, Ellen Degeneres, Wanda Sykes, Perez Hilton, and Lance Bass rallied together via social media to show their support. Some helped to sponsor a "Second-Chance" prom, which McMillen and her girlfriend attended.

Rodda has been a fan of The Prom since its 2018 Broadway run, and she watched the 2020 Netflix special starring Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman. She was taken by the humor in the script and by the message presented in the film. After reading the play's libretto, however, she felt strongly that the Netflix version focused more on the four New York divas and less on Emma, the protagonist of the show. "It's a story about a queer teenager," she states, "and I feel the focus should be on that aspect of the story. The Broadway celebrities' appearance in the show is absolutely crucial to the story, but it's not the most significant part of it. I am proud that City College will be the first theatre in San Diego to produce this important musical. There are currently over 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the United States, and the rights of queer people are being decimated. The Prom celebrates love in all its forms, and I can't wait to share it with San Diego audiences."

Rodda, Arcidiacono, and Morrison are in the process of casting the show now, and rehearsals will begin in late January. These three worked together on City College's productions of Cabaret and Urinetown, and The Prom marks the sixth collaboration between Arcidiacono and Rodda. Scenic Design is by Duane Gardella, and Costume Design is by Rebecca Rankin. Both are professors at City College. Lighting and Sound Design are by City College Theatre Technician Mike McCullock.


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