Flashback to the 80s with the cast of "The Awesome 80s Prom"

Feb 14, 2016

People always tell you that high school is the best days of your life, and Bradford Little Theatre’s upcoming show “The Awesome 80’s Prom” is giving actors and audience members a chance to relive their youth and travel back in time to 1989.

Portraying a teenager is not always an easy task. Tiffany Mager has been out of high school for 20 years and is playing cheerleader Heather Wynters. “At first I was very confident in my role, I was a cheerleader in high school, so it came naturally to me. As we started rehearsals, I realized very quickly that moving like a high school cheerleader again was way more challenging than I expected. After the first day of practicing our cheer and dance, I was sore for three days.” Candy Tingley of Limestone has said to herself several times during the past month “What have I gotten myself into? I was having babies and raising them in the 80s! Playing the role of Swedish exchange student Inga Swanson is challenging for this old body” she stated with a smile.

The actors’ ages range from 17 years to 60-something, with the 17 year old, Ryan Bailey, who plays class nerd Louis Fenterspock, being the only cast member still actually in high school.

Amanda Hollabaugh, playing Molly Parker, is a student at Pitt-Bradford and will play Molly Parker in the show. “As a 19 year old with the part of a high school freshman in 1989, I’ve had the chance to go back in time and learn to dance and talk like a teenager in the 80s. Overall, it has been a fun experience working with a cast of many different ages all coming together to reenact the 80s.”

The actress playing cheerleader Heather Wellington, Alex Fleming, is also 19 and is enjoying meeting new people and seeing their interpretations of a teenager from the 80s. “A part of me feels like I should have been a teen back then.” Kyle Heffern, who plays class president Michael Jay, was born in 1996. “As a child growing up, listened to a lot of 80s music, my older sisters were in love with 80s and 90s boy bands. Now I get to experience the 80s first hand by going back in time and re-living an era that occurred before I was even born. It’s strange to realize that we have all turned into teens for this show and we treat each other equally.”

On the flip side, Sandy MacFarlane has found an easy adjustment into her role of perky Missy Martin, the head of the prom committee. “I was a teenager and young adult in the 80s graduating high school in 1980 and college in 1984. I lived through the pop culture of the 80s with the big hair, music, fashion and TV. Most of the movies that the play is based on, I have watched.”

Allison Ambrose has the perfect opportunity to observe cast interactions in the role of disc jockey Johnnie Hughes, “the coolest part is that the age range doesn’t seem to matter…it’s not a divisive thing… no matter the age of the person, they embrace and love the music and are excited to delve into and develop their character. From the DJ stand point, I get to watch it all gel together. It’s totally rad!”

Limestone native Brandon Tully, playing drama student Dickie Harrington, sums it all up perfectly, “I’ve come to the realization that in life as well as with most of the characters in the show, youngsters generally concentrate on relationships between each other, but years later we accept our differences and even appreciate them for how they make us all unique. At 27 years old, I can fully appreciate the thought behind Louis Fensterspock’s speech near the end of the play.”

So tease out your hair and slip into a rad 80’s outfit, or come as you are and reclaim your youth as BLT celebrates prom in the most totally awesome decade ever. “The Awesome 80s Prom” opens at the Afterwords Club at Beefeaters on February 18th at 7pm, with two more shows following on the 19th and 20th,both at 7pm. For more information you can find Bradford Little Theatre on Facebook.

Tickets for “The Awesome 80s Prom” are available at any BLT outlet - A Slice of the 80s, Graham Florist, Togi’s Family Restaurant, or Ott & McHenry Pharmacy - or by calling Marcia at 814-598-1101. Cost is $20 presale, $25 at the door, if available. Ticket price includes show, non-alcoholic drinks, and hors d’ oeuvres.

“The Awesome 80s Prom” is recommended for mature audiences only.