Stairway to Stardom Hits the Stage at Hillsborough Community College

February 8, 2019


Tampa, FL

Hillsborough Community College’s Visual and Performing Arts Series present Stairway to Stardom by Amanda Szeglowski | cakeface on March 1 & 2 at the HCC Ybor City Campus Mainstage Theatre. 

With crackling wit and startling honesty, Amanda Szeglowski and the women of cakeface serve up a silver-sequined dissection of the American Dream. Synthesizing razor-sharp choreography and a poker-faced delivery of original text, the cast shatters the facade of "making it." Featuring sound and visuals from Brooklyn electronic duo Prism House and clips from the 80s cult-favorite New York public access TV show of the same name, Stairway to Stardom honors the contributions of the wildly passionate but questionably talented among us.



Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, cakeface is an all-female-identifying company based in New York City. The company’s projects thread together intricate choreography and original, abstract scripts, contemplating the uncomfortable through the use of grim themes and an inherently wry female wit. As The Village Voice put it, “Szeglowski’s cast members, for their part, are nothing but talented, and are capable of getting into the minds of their audience with bitterly truthful life stories. Even better, they make you laugh along the way.” cakeface has been presented by HERE, En Garde Arts, Stony Brook University, Ars Nova, Dance New Amsterdam, AUNTS, Movement Research at Judson Memorial Church, Dixon Place, Triskelion Arts, The Tank, Smith & Tinker writers’ group, Dance Place (Washington DC), Going Dutch (Chicago, IL), Hillsborough Community College, Rebound Dance Festival (New Haven, CT) and the Florida Dance Festival (Tampa, FL). 



A Tampa, native, Amanda is an alumna of Howard W. Blake School of the Arts and the University of South Florida.  Amanda Szeglowski, Founder and Artistic Director of cakeface, is a New York City-based writer, director, choreographer and performing artist. She is a recipient of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation's Women Playwrights Commissioning program and was a HERE Resident Artist from 2014-2017. Formerly a Company Dancer with the internationally acclaimed Ellis Wood Dance (NYC) over a span of four years, she performed with the company in New York and on tour in locations such as Portugal, Germany, San Diego and Washington DC, and set work/taught at UC Berkeley and New York University, among others, all while also serving as the company’s Managing Director. Amanda launched her all-female company cakeface in 2008. As Culturebot describes, "cakeface is a group of fierce, funny, talented women," and later offered, “Think Monica Bill Barnes for the Amy Schumer Generation,” in the Culturebot article “Eight Reasons cakeface’s Harold, I Hate You Is Your New Favorite Downtown Dance/Theater Piece .” With her company, Amanda has taught master classes at the University of Maryland College Park, University of Tampa, Hillsborough Community College, and Howard W. Blake School for the Arts, and guest lectured at the University of South Florida. Her recent premiere, Stairway to Stardom , was deemed “vastly entertaining and ridiculously clever” ( This Week in NY ) and received 4 stars and a critics’ pick by Time Out New York.



All performances are at 7:30 p.m. General admission is $15. All HCC students, faculty and staff are admitted free of charge with valid ID.  The box office opens one hour prior to the performance.  Advance tickets can be purchased at

The Mainstage Theatre is in the Performing Arts Building of the Ybor City Campus. It is located at 1411 E 11th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605.



written + directed by Amanda Szeglowski 
choreographed by Amanda Szeglowski
performed by Ali Castro, Jade Daugherty, Ayesha Jordan, Nola Sporn Smith, and Amanda Szeglowski
sound + video design by Prism House (Brian Wenner + Matt O’Hare)
lighting design by Amanda K. Ringger
costume design by Oana Botez
set design by Aviva Novick
main photo by Benjamin Heller
gallery photos by Maria Baranova




“Absorbing and suggestive, this droll dance-theater piece is less campy and more disciplined” - Time Out New York (4 stars & Critics’ Pick) 

“Vastly entertaining and ridiculously clever” - This Week in NY    

“Szeglowski’s cast members, for their part, are nothing but talented, and are capable of getting into the minds of their audience with bitterly truthful life stories. Even better, they make you laugh along the way.” – The Village Voice   ­­ 

“The work is truly exciting and hypnotic” - Hi! Drama     

“Crystalline delivery…These performers, speaking from simultaneous narcissism and mediocrity, are unquestionably talented.” - Eye on the Arts

Hillsborough Community College serves more than 45,000 students annually on campuses on Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa and in Brandon, Plant City, Ruskin and Ybor City. Hillsborough Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, please visit

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