Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

FPA’s Second Chance Prom: Reimagining Tradition

Join FPA tonight for the Second Chance Prom to celebrate queerness and connect with queer individuals.
Courtesy of Furman University Theatre

Prom. The age-old high school event can mean many things for different people: having the best night ever, wearing pretty dresses, dancing all night, sharing a midnight kiss. So for most, “unfulfilled” may not be the first word that comes to mind. 

However, many LGBTQIA+ teenagers report feeling unfulfilled by their experiences at prom, an event fraught with traditional values. Whether students are forced to wear a traditional outfit or are unable to share a moment on the dancefloor with their partner, being queer at prom, and in high school overall, is not easy and has left many with tainted memories of what should be a fun, coming-of-age moment. 

To combat this, the Furman Pride Alliance (FPA) has worked in tandem with Furman University Theatre Arts Department’s production of “The Prom” to put on the Second Chance Prom.  The event will take place today, Oct. 21, from 7-10 p.m. in the Furman University Playhouse.

In an attempt to create an environment of celebration, joy, and inclusivity, the Theatre Department’s first show of the year was “The Prom,” a musical comedy by Chad Beguelin, Bob Martin, and Matthew Sklar. 

When I asked the director, Furman Theatre Arts Departmental Chair Maegan Azar, what “The Prom” is about, she said it “is a reminder that without support and compassion, someone’s truest self cannot flourish; while also being a story about how even the best intentions need dialogue to support those in need truly.” 

The show’s plot revolves around Emma, a lesbian high school student who is banned from bringing her girlfriend to prom, causing calamity and chaos to ensue when four broadway stars show up to save the day. While the plot is outlandish, the sentiment is simple: a celebration of queerness that encourages young people to lift their voices and engage in hard conversations about allyship and queerness. With increasing anti-gay rhetoric and decision-making in America, which surrounds and harms the lives of queer youth, raising awareness and creating safe spaces is crucial. 

Inspired by the message of “The Prom,” FPA is holding a Second Chance Prom. This event is not only for the people at Furman but also for people in the wider Greenville community to reclaim a moment in their lives they might have been denied. 

When talking to FPA Event Coordinator Ori Mcmullan ‘25 about the motivation behind the event, they said, “we want to create a space for those who may not have had the best prom experiences whether it be from being out or closeted (or had not figured themselves out yet), or those whose proms were affected by [COVID-19]. We also especially wanted to create more connections between queer youth and FPA.” 

This event is meant to serve everyone in the Greenville community who could benefit from it: those in high school who may feel unsafe being their most authentic selves or college students who are looking to have the re-do they never got on prom. 

The Furman Pride Alliance Second Chance Prom will be held today, Oct. 21, from 7-10 p.m. in the Furman University Playhouse, with food in the student lounge, karaoke in the studio, and dancing on the main stage.

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