Monday, May 10, 2004

Prom regalia ducks the norm

By Mark Cooper
The Messenger-Inquirer

OWENSBORO - Vicki Boals said her mother was ecstatic when she learned her daughter was going to Owensboro High School's prom at the RiverPark Center.

But her beaming face soured in the next instant when her daughter added that, oh by the way, she and her date would be going covered in duct tape, Boals said.

"I don't like being normal," said Vicki Boals, 17, a junior, who said she was excited when her date, Heath Tucker, 18, a senior, asked her to join him in the project. "I like doing something people will talk about."

This is not your father's duct tape: The tuxedo that Tucker wore was mostly purple with red, white and black pinstripes, and Boals' dress was mostly black with purple and yellow accents.

The idea came to Tucker after he and other theater students put on a production earlier this year.

"We used a lot of duct tape on that show," Tucker said. "The whole couch was almost all duct tape."

Both Tucker and Boals are involved in theater at Owensboro High School.

There is another incentive. For the fourth consecutive year, the Duck brand duct tape company will award $5,000 in scholarship money to a prom couple who wins its Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest.

If Boals and Tucker win first place - decided by voters on the company's Web site June 18-27 - the high school will also get $2,500. Winners will be announced July 7.

The couple bought 17 rolls of Duck brand tape in a variety of colors, Tucker said. The tape was applied to old clothing, although such accessories as flowers, earrings and a bracelet made from a cardboard sleeve were made entirely from the duct tape rolls.

The total cost? About $50.

The couple's creations have inspired Owensboro High School theater teacher Carolyn Greer to plan a children's theater production next year that will be built and staged entirely with duct tape.

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