Kuhn surprises “Wedding Singer” audience with proposal to girlfriend

Carolyn Brown

The buzz of a crowd fresh from watching the final evening performance of “The Wedding Singer” on Nov. 16 quieted when Taylor Dant (12) walked to center stage, microphone in hand. “Billy Idol has an announcement to make!” he declared, grinning.

Dant, who played Robbie, the main character, told the crowd that the play wasn’t completely over. Mr. Greg Kuhn (Assistant Principal), wearing a spiked blonde wig and leather pants to complement his role as a Billy Idol impersonator, strode forward.

“Ladies and gentlemen, if you will indulge me an announcement for just a moment, we have somebody very special in the audience. Her name is Shawn Marshall. I wonder if you could ask her to come up and join us,” Kuhn said. “She’s some random audience member.” The audience laughed as Marshall shyly walked to meet Kuhn center stage.

“Shawn and I have been dating for almost three years now,” Kuhn continued, as the audience, knowing what was ahead, started clapping and oohing. “And tonight, my sons are here, her son is here, our parents, so many of our dear friends and family, and our YPAS family; and, Shawn, when I imagined asking you this question, I never dreamed that I would be wearing ten times more makeup than you.”

The audience’s excited oohs rose to loud cheering as Kuhn pulled out a wedding ring box and got down on one knee. Some actors began to jump up and down.

“Shawn Marshall, will you… marry me?”

The crowd erupted. Marshall nodded yes.

Tyler Johnson-Campion (11), who played George in “The Wedding Singer,” said, “[I was] shocked. I didn’t even know, I thought he was already married.” The proposal was originally a secret: “We weren’t supposed to know, but before the end of the performance, it had gone around. Everyone knew,” Johnson-Campion said.

Jordan Kuhn (10), Kuhn’s son, knew of the proposal about a week in advance. “Every day except the day directly beforehand, [Mr. Kuhn] was really confident about it; he had everything planned out that he wanted to say. But on the car ride over to YPAS, my little brother kept saying, ‘What if she says no? Dad, seriously, what if she says no, what about that?’ He just kept making him worry more and more,” he said.

“I don’t get nervous in front of people. You could put me in front of 5,000 people and I wouldn’t get nervous, but I was for this,” Kuhn said. “[Shawn] kept saying, ‘I cannot believe your guts and how brave you are. Wow, it’s been hard for me to concentrate at work.’”

Max Abner (11), assistant director of “The Wedding Singer,” said, “I think it made the whole show a lot better. We had to change some of the technical stuff at the end because we knew we were working toward that. It was adorable.”

Carolyn is a senior in HSU at duPont Manual High School and a staff writer for ManualRedEye.

Morgan Loy, Emily McConville, and Zoe Schaver also contributed to this article.