Mikayla Koharchik knew she was ready for a date with “The Prom.”
As soon as she heard Civic Theatre was presenting it, she wanted to be part of it.
“It’s an upbeat show and it’s fun and I think it has a sweet message,” the Zionsville resident said. “I really wanted to be part of its regional premiere, too.”
Civic Theatre’s regional premiere of “The Prom” runs Oct. 6-21 at The Tarkington at the Center for Performing Arts in Carmel.
Koharchik plays Angie, a 20-year veteran performer of “Chicago” who never gets to play the lead.
“She’s always a chorus girl, never a star,” Koharchik said.
The story centers on four eccentric Broadway performers who come to a small town, where a student wants to bring her girlfriend to the prom while some of the school’s parents don’t want to allow same-sex dates. The brassy Broadway performers try to help the courageous student, Emma Nolan. The story is set in the fictional Indiana town of Edgewater.
Koharchik said the biggest challenge is dancing alongside the younger performers.
“So, the challenge is to keep up with all the younger ones,” Koharchik said. “This is a wonderful cast, and our choreographer Anne Beck is strong and she is helping us out. But I go home and practice dancing over and over. The choreography in the show is stellar.”
Koharchik has only seen the movie version.
“But I was really drawn to the story and the music,” Koharchik said.
Kelsey McDaniel, a Greenwood resident, plays Emma. McDaniel saw “The Prom” on Broadway.
“I love all the music in the show, in general, and thankfully I get to sing a lot of my favorite songs from the show, which is always nice,” McDaniel said. “I love playing this character because I love bringing myself into it. I’ve found a lot of similarities. She’s witty, she’s funny, sarcastic, which I also am in real life. So, it’s been really fun kind of meshing the two together. It’s just a really fun character to play.”
McDaniel said her character is definitely an outsider but seems fine with that.
A Perry Meridian High School graduate, McDaniel, 23, graduated from New York University, where she studied acting.
Kaylee Johnson-Bradley, from McCordsville, plays Alyssa.
“This musical is very funny and very inclusive,” said Johnson-Bradley, a Mt. Vernon High School graduate and Butler University student. “I think we have a very diverse cast, which makes it all the more inclusive. Something I like about my character is that I’m very similar to her. So, it’s been interesting putting myself into the role and navigating that as she overcomes her struggles and I overcome mine in real life.”
Johnson-Bradley said her character likes to put up a perfect front.
“She tries to achieve multiple things to please her mom while that’s not exactly me per se,” she said. “I very much understand going above and beyond to be the best at certain things to please other people and that’s what she does. She’s head of the student council. She’s been homecoming queen before, all that stuff.”
David Maxwell, a Broad Ripple resident, plays Sheldon, a public relations agent for two of the over-the-top actors. Maxwell is performing with Civic Theatre for the second time after portraying Max in “The Sound of Music” earlier this year. Maxwell performed in many national tours before taking a break from acting 10 years ago.
“I got tired of living out of a suitcase, it wore me down,” Maxwell said.
Austin Stodghill, a Carmel resident who grew up in Marion, plays Kevin, one of the students who bullies Emma in the first half of the show. He said he has been cast as a bully in previous productions.
“I don’t enjoy being a bully, but I feel like I can play it well because I was bullied myself,” Stodghill said. “The thing I love about the shows that have bullying in there is usually a turnaround where the bully becomes good and realizes they are being stupid.”
For more, visit civictheatre.org.