Thirty years after the decade ended, the 1980s are staging a comeback at Lincoln High School. Though the cast of “The Awesome 80s Prom” was born in the new millennium, they’re inviting audience members to travel back in time through this interactive production.
To channel the spirit of the show, 12th-grader Elizabeth Blair looked to someone who knows what it was like to be a teenager in the '80s. “My mom graduated from high school in ’85. For research, we’ve been watching movies like ‘Breakfast Club’ and ‘Pretty in Pink.’ I was practicing my makeup for the show and my mom helped me tease up my hair,” laughed Elizabeth.
“This has been a good way for us to learn about each other. We’ve been able to build this bond around the show. One of the reasons I do live theater is that feeling of human connection with other people. I want to go into this field professionally and I want to inspire and connect with people. I think that’s something, especially in this digital age, we’re kind of lacking.”
Elizabeth has been performing since she was 4 years old but there are several cast members who are new to the stage. Liliana Virgen confessed “Singing, dancing, acting, it’s all just slapped me in the face. I’ve never done this, but I pushed myself through. I haven’t had training and I’m not the best, but just to know I have something that makes me this happy, I don’t care if I’m terrible, I just want to do it.”
“I’m from a small, reclusive, provincial place,” said the senior, who moved to Tallahassee last year. “I came to Lincoln and theater has opened me up to so many opportunities. It made me feel really good to know I had this thing that could fulfill me and I had found it.”
With the help of her classmates and the school’s theatre director Mark Marple, Liliana now sees a future in the arts. “I know these theater experiences will play a pivotal role in my life going forward.”
The show’s choreographer Rave Saine, is sensitive to the different skill levels among the cast. “A lot of them haven’t danced before and I’m really surprised by their interest and effort. They’re so driven. I’ve seen them grow through their insecurities and their willingness to try is inspiring.”
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