Final Bow

Final Bow: The Prom's Caitlin Kinnunen Predicts More Dances for Emma and Alyssa

Kinnunen may be saying goodbye to her Broadway classmates, but ”she’ll remember all the times they had together”.

Caitlin Kinnunen will end her time with The Prom as Broadway's first and only Emma Nolan (except for understudies and standbys, whom you should check out in this brilliant Instagram video). Originating a role in a brand-new Broadway musical is a thrill and a challenge all its own, but The Prom, which plays its final performance at the Longacre Theatre on August 11, seems to have handed its star a very particular set of joys and hurdles.

A life-affirming musical about two teenage girls with a simple desire to attend a high school prom together, The Prom had an inspiring 10 months at the Longacre Theatre, earning Kinnunen her first Tony nomination and an enormous collection of fan art from LGBTQ audience members who saw their story represented onstage. Read below to hear about more of Kinnunen's favorite memories with the show, not the least of which being the celebrity guest she prophesied within TheaterMania's very own walls.

Caitlin Kinnunen plays her final performance as Emma in The Prom on August 11 at the Longacre Theatre.
(© Seth Walters)

1. What is your favorite line that you get to say or sing?
"This heart is the best part of me."

2. What is your cast's best inside joke?
We all occasionally shout, "What girl?" It's a line from the show and somehow when we were back in Atlanta it became a thing. Three years later and it's still going.

3. What was the worst technical difficulty you experienced during the run, and how was it handled?
One night during "You Happened," the Applebee's drop came in. We had to hold the show and reset the number. Started fresh and it was like nothing had ever happened!

4. What is the most interesting present you received at the stage door?

We receive so much art! It's incredible. It's been very interesting seeing what everyone comes up with. Sometimes it's a scene from the show, sometimes it's something they've imagined happens after. I love it so much.

5. Who is the coolest person to come see the show?
For me? Ellen Page. I was awestruck and word-vomited all over her.

Kinnunen in a scene with Angie Schworer (Angie) in The Prom.
(© Deen van Meer)

6. What will be the most significant takeaway from your experience with The Prom?
The heart we all put into the show. It's been such an amazing process from day one. We got to leave our hearts out there every night and I will be forever grateful.

7. From the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to the Tony Awards, you've performed with your cast at a lot of high-profile events. Which of them has been the most memorable and why?
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! It was so cold! Performing outdoors for that will be a hard one to top.

8. What excites you the most about The Prom's future life as part of musical theater canon?
That people all over the world will get to experience its magic firsthand.

9. How much has your dance repertoire expanded now that you've had to learn Casey Nicholaw choreography?

Ha! I can do this choreography. Not sure about anything else. But I have become so much more confident in learning new things and trusting my body thanks to him.

10. What do you think happens to Emma and Alyssa after they graduate high school?
I've always believed Emma goes off to school somewhere in NYC. Alyssa clearly goes off to an Ivy League. I think they see each other whenever they can and during holiday breaks. I think they write epic letters to each other. Emma writes her songs, Alyssa shows her all of her environmental work. They definitely make it.

Isabelle McCalla and Caitlin Kinnunen as Alyssa and Emma in Broadway's The Prom.
(© Deen van Meer)