Festival Show Update: Prom Queen

This month, we caught up with Kent Staines, Akiva Romer-Segal and Colleen Dauncey, the writers of 2017 Festival show Prom Queen, to check in with them and see where the show has been since its Festival presentation, and where it’s going next. 

What has the post-Festival response to Prom Queen been like?
We were overwhelmed by interest and support after presenting Prom Queen at the Festival of New Musicals. After the presentation, professionals from across the industry wanted to know more about Prom Queen, its future and how they can help spread its message of inclusion to a wider audience. Since the Festival, Prom Queen has had some amazing developmental and production opportunities.  

What did you discover about the show after presenting it last October, and what work have you done on the show since then?
We were happy to learn that this true Canadian story from 2002 still felt relevant and relatable, and sadly even necessary, to contemporary global audiences. In the process of streamlining our story to fit the Festival’s 45-minute format, we learned that the story worked better with certain cuts and trims that have remained in subsequent versions. Most importantly we fell in love with our Festival director Lonny Price, who is now attached to direct the next production of the show!

There’s been a lot of movement happening around the piece since its Festival presentation! Can you tell us a little bit about your post-Festival journey, and what’s coming up next?
Our exposure at the Festival led to several amazing opportunities, including a week at the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, where we were able to make great progress on our show in such an inspiring and creative environment. We were also invited to The Other Palace in London, UK this past spring to workshop the show with a brilliant cast of West End stars, and hear our brand new orchestrations for the first time. Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber was even in attendance, and invited us to have a follow-up chat about the show!

What have been some of the joys and challenges for you as Prom Queen has seen more development?
A recent production of the show starring high school students at the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario sparked a controversy when both the Public and Catholic School Boards initially withdrew $30,000 of funding due to the subject matter of the show. This quickly became a national news story, and within days an online crowdfunding campaign had raised more than double the deficit, and the Public School Board restored their half of the funding with an apology. If anything, this proved how vital this show and its themes still are, and reiterated the power of uniting to institute change.

Why should everyone get excited about the upcoming chances they’ll have to see Prom Queen, and how can interested members get involved with the show now?
There is a major regional production (and a brand new title!) in the works…although we aren’t able to discuss any details just yet. We are excited to have Lonny Price directing, and are currently assembling the rest of the creative team for a world-class production. For any inquiries we encourage NAMT members to contact producer Mary Young-Leckie at

For more information about Prom Queen, email producer Mary Young-Leckie at

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