Exclusive Q&A with The Prom’s Isabelle McCalla

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The Prom is the Drama Desk Award Winner for Best Musical! It follows the charming Emma, who is told she cannot bring her girlfriend, Alyssa to prom. Some out of their luck Broadway stars looking for publicity decide to help Emma, much to her dismay. It is filled with heart, laughs and of course jazz hands! The production went on to become newsworthy for being the first broadcasted lesbian kiss on Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Tony Awards. Now the show is going on a national tour, is being turned into a Netflix film starring Meryl Streep and a young adult novel is being written. We got the chance to talk to the enchanting Isabelle McCalla, who plays Alyssa.

Congratulations on a spectacular and newsworthy Tony performance. What was that experience like?
It was absolutely mental. I’ve never felt that insane adrenaline rush in my entire life. Also, it’s everything I ever wanted growing up, so it was quite emotional for me, and to share it with my cast was magical.

The Prom and Alyssa’s story have touched many lives. Do you have a favorite fan story?
I met this young girl and her Mom at the stage door, and she told me that as soon as the curtain came down, she turned to her mother and said “I’m gay too. This is my story.” And her mother was, luckily, extremely receptive. She wanted to thank me for giving her the courage to come out, and believe in her “unruly heart.” We hear so many stories like that and I feel privileged to represent these young women.

What advice would you give to your high school self?
Stop comparing yourself to others. It will only drive you crazy, and other people’s gifts don’t take away from your own. Celebrate them, and once you do that, it will be easier to celebrate yourself.

The Prom is hysterical. Do you have a favorite line in the show?
Oh gosh, there are so many amazing lines it’s hard to pin one down. I’d probably have to say Barry’s line: “They might as well be wearing a garbage bag with the word “whore” spray painted on it. And you know why? Because…they’re whores.” It’s absolutely ridiculous and Brooks Ashmanskas’ delivery is perfection.

How do you tackle a two-show day?
Lots of sleep, water, and clean eating!

What are your dressing room necessities?
Speaker for my music!

Say there is a revival of The Prom someday. Which character would you love to play then and why?
I would LOVE to sink my teeth into DeeDee Allen when I’m older. It’s just so delicious. And of course no one can do what Beth Leavel can do, but I think it’d be fun to try and put my own spin on it eventually.

Barry’s going to prom and so can you! Get your tickets HERE through August 11!