Lesbians on Broadway!

by Alyssa Sileo

The lesbians are taking over Broadway — and I’m SO here for it!

In all sincerity, I’m pointing to the wonderful increase of LGBTQ+ rep on Broadway within the last couple of years, including Fun Home and Indecent, and now bolstered by two new shows, Head Over Heels and The Prom, which I saw during its first week of previews! It was a night to remember!

I’ve been waiting to see this show since June 2017, when I took a dance workshop with the producers at International ThesFest. I immediately loved this story, the music, and the creative team members I met. It was just a matter of counting down till Opening!

The Prom is the story of a group of Broadway stars attempting to get some good press by traveling to a small town in Indiana to become the crusaders of a cause. When Emma Nolan asks her girlfriend to the prom, the homophobic town erupts in response. Throughout the journey, both the Broadway stars and the town learn what it means to be brave and selfless.

I loved The Prom for so many reasons — this cast is such a wonderful group of kind, talented artists. It’s all about high school, which these days, I miss so much. And, most of all, seeing a story with queer women on Broadway is something so special to me. This production is positively hilarious, and it also tugged at my heartstrings!

And after the show, I got the chance to STEP ON THE STAGE! One cast member, Teddy Toye, took me and my best friend backstage and somehow understood my excitable babbling as I took in what it felt like to stand on the Longacre stage. I thought about so many things during those moments looking out into the theatre. First, I thought about how fun it must be for this cast to perform with artists that they love and for audiences that love them. I thought about how maybe one day I can perform on one of these stages in NYC. Then I got the most excited thinking about how I can bring a story about my beloved queer community to a place like this.

I am so inspired by this production’s commitment to arts education, too — not just within the incredible comments they make within the script about how drama class increases empathy — but also how a portion of ticket sales are benefitting the Educational Theatre Association, home of International Thespian Society!

This musical is all about building a better, more inclusive world. And onstage, online, and at the stage door, one essential thing is proven: that this advocacy makes our life more filled with love and jazz hands!

I cannot wait for more people to experience this inspiring and exciting musical. And I can’t wait to come back after the official opening!

About the Author:

Alyssa Sileo’s Thespian identity comes first and foremost in anything she carries out. As a member of the Drew University Class of 2022, she studies theatre arts, women’s and gender studies, and Spanish. She’s a proud NJ Thespian Alumni and member of their state chapter board. She is the leader of the international performances network The Laramie Project Project, which unites worldwide productions and readings of the acclaimed Tectonic Theater Project play and encourages community-based LGBTQ+ advocacy. Alyssa is humbled to serve as the 2017 Spirit of Matthew Award winner and as a Youth Ambassador for Matthew Shepard Foundation. She believes there is an advocacy platform tucked into every piece of the theatre catalogue and intends to write outreach into the cannon.