Preparing for ‘The Prom’


Natalie Neal, IV Leader Staff

IVCC is hosting the PROM, A Musical this year. Zellmer and Tracey Childers, a cast member in the production, gave more information about the production.  

Tickets for the show are on sale now and the show goes from April 14th  

 “It is full of heart and umph, it is funny and it was the perfect fit.” Zellmer said that he was looking for a new title to be played this year.  

 Tracey Childers plays DeeDee Allen in the musical. “DeeDee is a narcissistic Broadway diva”. Childers said at a rehearsal where cast members practiced their placements and had the time to practice their lines.  “I took the role because it was in the right age category for me and I love the diversity of the personality of her character.”   

 She was in theater in Oklahoma, and she performed in her first ever show there, The Drowsy Chaperone. She has been in the Valley for 4 years and works at the hospital. She was looking for practice and was surprised by how many theaters there were here.  

When asked if it was hard to choose who gets what role, Zellmer responded “Exceptional people just shine.” He works with people who have done theater professionally, whether they are from high school, IVCC students and even IVCC faculty.  

Before COVID only 40 people auditioned for these shows and he had to make do, after COVID he got even more it usually ends up as 62 people.  

 Don got into theater professionally when he was 13 and he continued his entire life. He owned his own dinner theater in Peoria for a while as well as worked in Bramson, Missouri for a while, he has even worked with celebrities. This is his 19th year working.  

The Illinois Valley Community College Theatre Department will present the recent Broadway hit “The Prom” as its spring musical playing April 13-23. Performances are April 13-15 and 20-22 at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays, April 16 and 23 at 2 p.m. Students, faculty and staff can attend the performances for free. Community members can buy
tickets online at: You can also purchase tickets at the box office starting one hour prior to curtain (6:30 p.m. evening
shows and 1 p.m. matinees). Tickets for The Prom are $22 for adults and $15 for high school and under.

“Obtaining this new title is very exciting for our department,” Don Grant Zellmer, IVCC director and choreographer of musical theater, said. “We’re always looking for some thing new and challenging, and The Prom hits all the right notes with an extremely funny book, terrific music, and a sizeable cast with many  parts aged from high school through adults. “It is full of heart and umph, it is funny and it was the perfect fit.” 

The show gained fame on Broadway and as a movie on Netflix. The story centers on four eccentric Broadway stars in desperate need of a new stage. When they hear trouble is brewing around a small town prom, they know that it’s time to put a spotlight on the issue … and themselves. The town’s parents want tokeep the high school dance on the
straight and narrow — but when one student just wants to bring her girlfriend to prom, the entire town has a
date with destiny. On a mission to transform lives, Broadway’s brassiest join forces with a courageous girl and the
town’s citizens and the result is love that brings them all together.

Production staff includes Dr. David Kuester, producer and costume coordinator, Alex Guerrero, music director, and Chad Brokaw, technical director.

The cast includes Barry Glickman played by Matt Valle; Dee Dee Allen: Tracey Childers; Emma Nolan: Zoe Starkey; Alyssa Greene: Lexi Johnson; Trent Oliver: Jake Jakielski; Shelly: Jennifer Walk; Mrs. Greene: Kelly Johnson; Mr. Hawkins: Don Grant Zellmer; Shelby: Courtney Atkinson; Kaylee, Bree Ninisn Coach: Brian Towne. The company includes Tricia Kelly, Gennaro Piccolo, Alessandra Deleon, Ethan Darrow, Levi Bland,David Zuniga, Zoe Bush, Ken Persky, and Victoria Campbell.