Grand Theatre announces the 2018 High School Project Prom Queen: The Musical

Book by Kent Staines
Music by Colleen Dauncey
Lyrics by Akiva Romer-Segal
Produced by Mary Young Leckie
Orchestrations by Justin Goldner
Based on the true life story of Marc Hall

Directed by Dennis Garnhum

Limited Engagement on the Spriet Stage
September 18 to 29, 2018

LONDON, ONTARIO, September 6, 2018 - The Grand Theatre High School Project will celebrate a first for the renowned mentorship program when it brings a new Canadian musical to stage with PROM QUEEN: The Musical.  Directed by Dennis Garnhum, this award-winning production tells the true story of Marc Hall, the Ontario teenager who took his school board to court when it refused to let him attend prom with his boyfriend.  PROM QUEEN: The Musical runs for 12 performances only on the Spriet Stage from September 18 to 29, 2018.

In 2002, Marc Hall was a 17-year-old blue-haired high school student living in Oshawa, Ontario.  After being denied permission to bring his same-sex date to prom, Hall took the Durham Catholic School Board to court, making international headlines and setting a historical precedent for the LGBTQ2+ community.

“PROM QUEEN celebrates the power of young people standing proudly for everything they know themselves to be,” said Dennis Garnhum, Grand Theatre Artistic Director. “With this High School Project, we connect closely to an important part of Ontario's history as we celebrate the power of young, confident minds and of a community coming together to inspire change.”  

From renowned producer Mary Young Leckie, whose recent work includes the award-winning film Maudie starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke, and with book by Kent Staines and original music and lyrics by rising stars and song-writing duo Colleen Dauncey and Akiva Romer-Segal, PROM QUEEN is an irresistible new musical for the next generation and beyond.  The Grand’s High School Project production, featuring 50 students onstage and another 30 behind the scenes, represents the first time this musical will be brought to stage by high school students, bringing an authentic voice to a remarkable story. 

“PROM QUEEN’S journey from the first glimmer of an idea for a musical to the High School Project’s production at the incredible Grand Theatre feels like a bit of a magic carpet ride,” said Ms. Leckie. “From its earliest beginnings in the front hall of my home with Colleen and Akiva performing The Louder We Get and Mother Mary for a mesmerized Kent Staines and I, this play has had some very special fairy dust lifting us up.  The creative team and Marc Hall are over the moon excited to see what the kids of London, Ontario have in store for us.  The future is brilliant for PROM QUEEN - expect a big announcement with more great things to come this fall!”

PROM QUEEN, originally developed through Sheridan College's Canadian Music Theatre Project (Come From Away), had its world premiere at Montreal's Segal Centre for the Performing Arts in a held-over run in 2016, was presented at New York's National Alliance of Musical Theatre’s New Musical Festival in 2017, and most recently took the stage in a public workshop at The Other Palace in London, England’s West End with an audience that included Andrew Lloyd Webber.

"I am just absolutely thrilled that PROM QUEEN is being produced by the Grand Theatre and the High School Project,” said Marc Hall. “I’ve received a flurry of messages from the students during these last couple weeks of rehearsals - they are so keen, excited, motivated - and many have said the story and themes in PROM QUEEN are really resonating with them. It makes me emotional just thinking about it - this is what PROM QUEEN is all about for me. To tell the story in such a beautiful way is incredible and I can't think of a better group to put on the musical than those who were around the same age as I was when the prom ordeal happened. I know they are going to be absolutely incredible. My family and I cannot wait for opening night!"


An acclaimed mentorship program unique in North America, the HSP began in 1998 with West Side Story. Since then, the Grand Theatre has produced 34 High School Projects. In 2016, the program celebrated its 20th anniversary with the best-selling Les Misérables School Edition, which was followed by the hit production of Evita last year.

The HSP offers an exceptional opportunity for students to receive education and training in the working environment of a professional theatre, at no cost to the participants. High school students from the London area are mentored by professional artists and coaches in all departments (acting, stage management, props, wardrobe, scenic art, sound, lighting, orchestra, and photography), culminating in a production on the Grand's Spriet Stage. The initiative provides leadership, creative, and communication skills that serve these students on and off stage - in every area of their lives.

The Grand Theatre gratefully acknowledges PROM QUEEN Title Sponsor Western Fair District, Make a Difference Community Pillar Partner Libro Credit Union, and Program Sponsors Thames Valley District School Board and Westminster College Foundation.

Regular tickets are $35to $40, and $25 for students 17 and under. Tickets are available at, by phone at 519-672-8800, or at the Box Office, 471 Richmond Street.  Prices include HST and are subject to change.

About the Grand Theatre – World Curious. London Proud.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum and Executive Director Deb Harvey, the Grand is a leading cultural hub located in the heart of downtown London, Ontario. The Grand offers diverse, relevant, and original stories from around the globe through collaborations with national and international performing arts organizations and is committed to developing, producing, and premiering original stories through COMPASS New Play Development program. The Grand supports educational programming with The High School Project, the only program of its kind in North America, and 100 Schools, a community initiative that brings professional theatre to London-area schools at no cost. The Grand’s season runs from September to May.


When:  Tuesday, September 18 at 1:30 pm (cameras, please arrive at 1:15pm to set up)
Where:   Grand Theatre, Spriet Stage, 471 Richmond Street
What:    Prom Queen: The Musical photo, video, and interview opportunity for media

For more information please contact:
Ashley Roberts, Communications Manager, Grand Theatre
aroberts [at] (aroberts[at]grandtheatre[dot]com)
519-672-9030 ext. 247


Book by Kent Staines
Music by Colleen Dauncey
Lyrics by Akiva Romer-Segal
Orchestrations by Justin Goldner
Produced by Mary Young Leckie
Based on the true life story of Marc Hall


DIRECTOR Dennis Garnhum
MUSICAL DIRECTOR Andrew Petrasiunas
SET DESIGNER David Boechler


KEYBOARD Andrew Petrasiunas
DRUMS Ted Peacock
BASS Colin Stewart
CELLO Adrian Wright
GUITAR - STUDENT Madeline Hall



Bradley Amesse LONNIE WYNN
Jack Crim OTIS DAY
Maddie Daley KRISTAL
Matt de Kort AUDY HALL
Dominique DelBen MISS LAWRENCE
Sarah Dennison EMILY HALL
Devon Dixon MARC HALL
Marcy Gallant CARLY
Damon Guidolin JASON
Tanner Hamlin NAPOLEON
Isaac Van Deven TRIPLE


Jean-Luc Bellone, Connor Brophy, Nevada Burwell, Angelina Coward, Emma Exley, Olivia Farquhar, Lauren Gillis, Sean Hodgins, Ella Howard, Jessica Ladd, Mya Lamport, Matthew Lanoue, Josh Larizza, Adam Longlade, Mark Luxton, Mikéla Marcellin, Daniel McKinnon, Elena Milo, Isabella Moyer, Courtney Murray, Vanessa Petko, Caitlyn Pringle, Brooklyn Pritchard, Amber Sellars, Asha Sen Chawla, Matt Sendas, Amber Solivio, Josh Straub, Jordyn Taylor, Sydney Thompson, Max Webb Comor, Dora Willsie.


Paris Beckman WARDROBE
Olivia Carson WARDROBE
Danté Foster delMundo STAGE STUDENT
Lorelei Gagie PROPS
David Girt SOUND
Sydney Jones SCENIC ART
Charlotte Kelly WARDROBE
Sarah Martinez WARDROBE
Charlotte Moretti STAGE MANAGEMENT
Kristen Newburn PROPS
DrueAnne Paschink PHOTOGRAPHY
Meriel Reed WARDROBE
Jhasna Rivas-Vasquez PROPS
Veronica Visla SCENIC ART


Dennis Garnhum
For the Grand Theatre:  Chariots of Fire, Beethoven Lives Upstairs, A Christmas Carol.
Theatre Credits (Selected): World premiere of musical The Little Prince (Theatre Calgary); Barber of Seville (Florida Grand Opera, Opera Lyra, Vancouver Opera); Timothy Findley's The Wars  (Theatre Calgary, Vancouver Playhouse); Director / Adapter of Lost:  A Memoir (Theatre Calgary, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Neptune Theatre); Director / Adapter of King Lear (Theatre Calgary, Bard on the Beach); Carmen, La Traviata (Pacific Opera); West Side Story (Bangkok University); Rat in the Skull  (Berkshire Theatre Festival); Stratford Festival (four seasons); Shaw Festival (six seasons).  Other:  Artistic Director of the Grand Theatre since 2016.   Artistic Director of Theatre Calgary from 2005-2016. Recipient of a Calgary Award for Community Achievement in Arts and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Andrew Petrasiunas
Musical Director
For the Grand Theatre: High School Projects: Evita, Les Misérables School Edition, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, Oklahoma!, Fiddler On The Roof, The Music Man, Oliver, Hello, Dolly!, Guys and Dolls. Other: Anne of Green Gables, The Spitfire Grill, Beauty and the Beast, Annie, It's A Wonderful Life, Schippel The Plumber, The Wizard of Oz, The Grand Theatre 100th Anniversary, Miracle on 34th Street.
Theatre Credits (Selected)Alberta Fusion (The Charlottetown Festival); Jacob Two-Two Meets The Hooded Fang (Young People's Theatre; Dora Nomination for Best Musical Direction); Alice Through The Looking Glass (Theatre Aquarius). 

Lisa Stevens
For the Grand Theatre: Debut.
Theatre Credits (Selected): Grease (Elgin & Winter Garden); Mamma Mia! (The New Theatre Kansas City; Rainbow Stage); West Side Story (Drayton), The Little Prince, Anne of Green Gables (Theatre Calgary), Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5! (US & UK National Tours); Disney’s High School Musical 1 & 2 (Worldwide); Bombay Dreams (US National Tour); First Wives Club (Old Globe, San Diego); In the Heights, Spamalot (Vancouver Arts Club). Upcoming - 9 TO 5! (Savoy Theatre, West End, London).  Film and TV Credits (Selected): Dreaming of A Jewish Christmas, State Like Sleep, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2.  Other: Broadway Bares: Game Night “Parcheesi” (Hammerstein Ballroom NY). On faculty at AMDA (NY CAMPUS)

Matthew Rossoff
Assistant to the Choreographer
For the Grand Theatre: Debut.
Theatre Credits (Selected): Broadway Under The Stars (Transcendence Theatre Company/Director, Choreographer); Soul Kitchen (Joe’s Pub, NYC/Choreographer); High School Musical (Paper Mill Playhouse, Associate Choreographer); Jesus Christ Superstar (Broadway); Zorba! (NYC Center Encores!); Jesus Christ Superstar, Camelot (Stratford Festival).  Other: Educator: Matthew Rossoff’s Body Presence: Randolph Academy, St Lawrence College, Capilano University. The Juilliard School, Circle In The Square, Broadway Connections, York University, and two-time associate faculty member at Canada’s National Voice Intensive. Certified yoga instructor, executive board member of lbs/sq” Theatre Company, and holds an M.F.A. in Theatre from York University.

David Boechler

Set Designer
For the Grand Theatre:  High School Project Evita. Other: Side by Side by Sondheim, Rock and Roll, Strawberries in January.
Theatre Credits (Selected)Cinderella (National Ballet of Canada); quondam (Royal Swedish Ballet); La Traviata (Pacific Opera with Dennis Garnhum); Hairspray, Holiday Inn, The Little Mermaid, Mamma Mia!, Singin' in the Rain, (Drayton); Mary Poppins (Rainbow Stage/Theatre Aquarius). Seven seasons at the Shaw Festival, four seasons at Stratford, including Cabaret, My One and Only, South Pacific. Other: David has two Sterling Awards, two Betty Mitchell Awards, and a Dora.

Lisa Wright
Costume Designer
For the Grand Theatre:  Head of Wardrobe 2008 – present. High School Projects: Evita, Les Misérables School Edition, Hello, Dolly!, The Addams Family: A New Musical, Legally Blonde, My Fair Lady, Footloose, Anything Goes, and Grease. Other: Art, The Mountaintop, Fly Me to the Moon, Hair. Assistant Head of Wardrobe for 7 seasons; came to the Grand Theatre as a tailor in 1989.  Theatre Credits (Selected): The Stratford Festival, Livent, Lighthouse Festival Theatre, Banff Theatre Centre.

Kimberly Purtell
Lighting Designer
For The Grand Theatre: Debut.
Theatre Credits (Selected): Snow Child (Arena Stage DC); Mamma Mia! (Citadel Theatre); Life After (Musical Stage Company/Canadian Stage); Life Reflected (National Arts Centre Orchestra); Brontë: The World Without (Stratford Festival); Declarations (Canadian Stage). Upcoming: Mary and Max (Theatre Calgary); Anything Goes (Arena Stage, DC).  Other: Three Dora Mavor Moore Awards, META, Pauline McGibbon Award.

Emily Porter
Sound Designer
For the Grand Theatre: Debut.
Theatre Credits (Selected): Beauty And The Beast, Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Mamma Mia!, Little Shop of Horrors, Shrek The Musical (Rainbow Stage); Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins, Into the Woods (Neptune Theatre); Brighton Beach Memoirs, The Jazz Singer, Kinderstransport, Sister Rosensweig (Harold Green Jewish Theatre); Jacob Two Two (Young People’s Theatre); Apocalypsis (Luminato); On the Rocks, The Way Back to Thursday (TPM); The Arsonists, Art (Canadian Stage); Bloodless (Theatre20); Love Form Afar (COC); St Carmen of the Main (NAC/Canadian Stage); The Admirable Crichton (Shaw Festival).

Kelly Luft
Stage Manager
For the Grand Theatre:  High School Project Les Misérables School Edition (’16 and ’07); Numerous professional seasons with the Grand including Chariots of Fire, A Christmas Carol, Art, The Wizard of Oz (’16, ’09, and ‘02).  Theatre Credits (Selected):  The Komagata Maru Incident (Stratford Festival); The Sound of Music, Hairspray (Drayton Entertainment); Le Bal (Theatre Plus); Not Wanted on the Voyage (Canadian Stage Company); two years in London England’s West End.  Opera Credits (Selected):  12 seasons with  Opera Lyra Ottawa,  10 seasons with Hawaii Opera Theatre, 6 seasons with Orchestra London/Opera Pacific Victoria,  16 seasons with Opera Ontario, Wagner’s Ring Cycle - Götterdämmerung (Canadian Opera Company); Idomeneo (Opera Atelier).  Upcoming: A Christmas Carol (Grand Theatre); Countess Maritza (Pacific Opera Victoria), Le Nozze di Figaro (Hawaii Opera Theatre).

Anna Spencer
Assistant Stage Manager
For the Grand Theatre: Debut.
Theatre Credits (Selected): The 39 Steps (Capitol Theatre); The Barber of Seville (Opera 5); Hound of the Baskervilles, Kingfisher Days, Stage Kiss (Festival Antigonish); Oksana G. (Tapestry Opera); The Chocolate Soldier (Toronto Operetta Theatre); A Christmas Carol (Highland Arts Theatre); L'Elisir d'Amore (Opera York); Les Misérables, Chicago, Into the Woods (Savoy Theatre).  Other: Graduate of Production Program at Ryerson University.

Kent Staines (Book) has been working in the Canadian entertainment industry for 25 years as an actor, director, and writer. His television writing credits include: co-creator and writer of the series MVP: The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives (CBC), Prom Queen: The Marc Hall Story (Tapestry Pictures / CTV), Moose TV (Rezolution Pictures / Showcase), and Spirit Bear: The Simon Jackson Story (Screen Door / CTV). Recent writing credits include the feature film Anxietyville and the webseries Chateau Laurier, which has over 4 million hits on Facebook and is currently featured at several international web festivals.  Together with his collaborators, Kent was the recipient of the Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) Pechet Musical Award for Prom Queen.

Colleen Dauncey (Music) & Akiva Romer-Segal (Lyrics) have collaborated on a number of works including Bremen Rock City, Going Under (Bravo Academy); Rumspringa Break! (Next Stage, CMTP); Touch Me (Theatre Calgary), and Lucid (upcoming). They were selected to participate in NAMT Festival of New Musicals, Goodspeed Writers Colony, The Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project, Cutting-Edge Composers, Canadian Music Theatre Project, Noteworthy, and Composium. They were the 2016 recipients (Prom Queen) and 2014 nominees (Bremen Rock City) for the Playwrights Guild of Canada New Musical Award, as well as recipient of Best Musical, 2014 Calgary Theatre Critics Awards for Touch or @colleenandakiva on Twitter

Justin Goldner (Orchestrations) has been privileged to make music with Sting, Ricky Martin, Macy Gray, Donald Glover, Ledisi, Jordin Sparks, Steve Martin, Jane Monheit, Matisyahu, Jason Robert Brown, Audra McDonald, and a host of others, including his mentor, Meshell Ndegeocello. He’s contributed to Grammy, Tony, and Golden Globe-winning projects, and is bewildered to have been allowed onstage at such storied venues as Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, the Apollo Theater, and Madison Square Garden whence he recently accompanied Ben Platt live at the 60th annual Grammy Awards. A restless traveler, peripatetic New Yorker and “language junkie,” music has taken Justin to 47 states and 42 countries including Iran, Latin America, South Africa, and 3 of the 7 “-stans,” where he has performed and engaged with local cultures, conducted workshops in 3 languages, and exchanged experiences and music with others from across the world.

Mary Young Leckie (Producer) is an internationally recognized producer of award-winning film, television, and theatre projects. Owner of Toronto-based Solo Productions, Leckie’s impact as a creative producer extends to script rooms, on set, and in the editing suites of some of Canada’s finest scripted content. Projects include the multi-award-winning feature films Maudie (starring Ethan Hawke & Sally Hawkins) and Where The Spirit Lives (Michelle St. John, Graham Greene). Limited series include The Arrow, Shattered City, and Everest. Acclaimed television films include An Officer and a Murderer (Rosif Sutherland, Gary Cole), Shades of Black (Albert Schultz, Lara Flynn Boyle), Secrets of Eden (John Stamos, Anna Gunn) and Prom Queen (Aaron Ashmore, Fiona Reid). Leckie’s theatrical projects include Prom Queen: The Musical which received its Canadian premiere at The Segal Centre in Montreal in 2016. It has since been seen at the prestigious National Alliance of Musical Theatre (NAMT) in New York City and was recently showcased at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Other Palace in London England. (Stay tuned for exciting announcements).  Leckie’s next theatrical venture will be the Toronto premiere of Stephen Massicotte’s international hit Mary’s Wedding at Toronto’s Crow’s Theatre in February of 2019. Leckie serves on the board of Toronto’s Coal Mine Theatre and That Choir. Maudie was recently awarded numerous international awards and 7 Canadian Screen Awards including Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Feature Film.

PROM QUEEN: The Musical was originally produced by The Segal Centre for Performing Arts  (Lisa Rubin, Artistic and Executive Director, Jonathan Rondeau, General Manager), in Montreal, on October 27, 2016, Orchestrated by Mark Camilleri, Choreographed by Sean Cheesman, and Directed by Marcia Kash.  Prom Queen: The Musical was presented at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals in 2017. Prom Queen: The Musical was developed in part at the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals in 2018.  Prom Queen: The Musical was supported in part by the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, and Citadel Theatre’s Play Development Program. Selections were first showcased at The Canadian Music Theatre Project at Sheridan College, Oakville, with support of the Toronto Arts Council. Subsequent development took place at Theatre Aquarius and the Segal Centre.