By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

Corsicana High School’s Tiger Theatre presents an all-new interactive improv show based on a period of time many of us adults held an affinity for: The 1980s.

“This must be like a renaissance faire for the younger generation,” I said in jest to Director of the production, Alyssa Bain. Indeed, many of the young cast of The Awesome 80’s Prom had raided their parents’ old stored-away wardrobes for the wardrobe featured in the production. Bright neon colors and Aqua Net are on full display as the student cast recreates the 1989 prom of Corsicana High School.

To best describe this production, the phrase “free range theatre” comes to mind. There isn’t a set audience area. The cast mingles in and out of the crowds inviting people to dance or get involved in the drama we all knew as “teen angst.”

And there’s a lot of interaction with the cast, so be prepared to be as busy as the featured cast: Principal Snelgrove (Christian Cuellar) is always on the lookout for troublemakers. Mrs. Lascalzo (Bettsy Grimaldo) is a free-spirited teacher. Students from cheerleader Whitley Whitiker (Clara Simmons) to nerdy Louis Fensterspock (Raistlin Janeway), jock Blake Williams (Jack Allen), and prom organizer Missy Martin (Erin Jones), the cast is a “Who’s Who” of The Breakfast Club callbacks and era clique stereotypes.

Due to its spontaneous nature, each show will play out a little different, right up to the end, where the audience will vote for prom king and queen. Each pairing provides an unpredictable element to an already madcap prom experience.

Without the traditional trappings of audience seating, one never knows when they’ll be called to be part of the show. The cast is good-natured and the experience is more fun if one just goes with it. There are dance offs, conga lines, photos, and music that well resonates with my own preferences. It’s one of the few shows in recent memory that combines a low-level workout for both cast and audience.

Overall, The Awesome 80’s Prom is playful and unique, and will more than likely invoke a few nostalgic memories from the parents in attendance. The cast puts their all into it as they invite the audience to play along with them. Considering the music selections, it wasn’t that challenging of a request.

The cast of The Awesome 80’s Prom at Corsicana High School. – Photo by Guy Chapman

Tickets are available on the Tiger Theater Company website.

Show times are:

4 p.m. – Thursday, May 5
7 p.m. – Friday, May 6
3 p.m. and 7.p.m. – Saturday, May 7

The Awesome 80’s Prom opens today at Corsicana High School. – Courtesy photo

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