By Jeff Murphy, September 30, 2019
WARRENSBURG, MO – Have fun traveling back in time as the University of Central Missouri Theatre and Dance and UCM Music production of “Hairspray,” Oct. 3-6 in the university’s James L. Highlander. Shows Oct. 3-5 are at 7:30 p.m., and on the weekend of Oct. 5- 6, there will be 2 p.m. matinees.
The 1950s are out, and change is in the air! “Hairspray,” winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, is a family-friendly musical, piled bouffant-high with laughter, romance and deliriously tuneful songs.
The musical is set in Baltimore in1962, where the lovable plus-size teen, Tracy Turnblad, has only one desire – to dance on the popular "Corny Collins Show." When her dream comes true, Tracy is transformed from social outcast to sudden star. She must use her newfound power to dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob, Link Larkin, and integrate a TV network... all without denting her 'do!
When asked about the show, director Mary Trotter states that “Hairspray” is still relevant in 2019 because it tackles challenging social issues that permeate our communities as much today as they did in 1962, the time the play takes place. Though serious in theme, the show is a total blast! The goal of this production is to fill our audience with such a sense of wonder and fun that their hearts can be fully open to the type of radical inclusion Tracy (the main character) and I both want for our world today.”
“Hairspray” includes music by Marc Shaiman, Lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, and book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan.
The cast of includes Noell Eithun as Tracy Turnblad; Logan Mathes as Link; Lacy Goettling as Penny; Demetrius Hampton as Seaweed; Chadwick Burkhart as Edna; Nathan Endresahk as Wilbur; Ashton Bennett as Velma; Savannah Purkey as Amber; Zach Kujath as Corny Collins; Elise Marshall as Motormouth Maybelle; Ally Fields as Little Inez; Melanie Grantham as Prudy; Jace Nielsen as Mr. Pinky; Tony Smith as Harriman F. Spritzer/Gym Teacher; Emily Layt as Matron/Principal; Daisha Jackson, Alley Brown and Maya Strickland as The Dynamites; Tristan Jordan, Valerie Ruggle, Ethan Shaffer, Ashlyn Reece, Jaggard Williams, Hannah Womack, Cougar Lang, Eleanor Panico as The Nicest Kids; and Té Nickerson, Raheem Fielder-Bey, Mekdelawit Keller, Jade Seraaj, Derek Caswell and Isabella Bryn-Johnson as The North Avenue Ensemble.
The Pit Orchestra includes Conductor: Dr. Julie Baumanis; Strings: Karly Johnson and Morgan Abernathy; Drums: Alex Clearbrook; Percussion: Joey Carter; Trumpet: Kevin Wanner; Trombone: Desmond Blake; Reeds: Solara Martin, Shelby Rouse, Damon Pelto; Guitars: Holden Haby and Matt Knowles; Bass: Grant Klinksick; Cellos: Dr. Michael Bersin and Riann Mack; and Keyboards: Denise Robinson and Abby Terrill.
The production team includes Director: Mary Trotter; Choreographer: Ashley Miller-Scully; Musical Director: Dr. Jacob Sentgeorge; Scenic Designer/Technical Director: Ken George; Costume Designer: Jennifer Van Buskirk; Lighting Designer: Ben Gonzales; Sound Designer/Sound Board Operator: Seth Holt; Make-Up Designer: McKenzie Mick; Hair Designers: Maryn Edwards and Caitlin Whitehead; Stage Manager: Blake Legens; Props Master: Alex Davis; Assistant Directors: Zach Kujath and Emily Coffin; Assistant Stage Managers: Molly Ehrnman and Madison Brown; Assistant Choreographer: Carly Othic; Assistant Scenic Designer: Ashlyn Reece; Assistant Technical Director: Kyle Yorg; Assistant Lighting Designer: Seth Sneary; Assistant Costume Designers: Kenlyn Shettlesworth and Kayla Gross; Rehearsal Pianist: Denise Robinson; Dance Captain: Cougar Lang; Master Electrician: Ally Fields; Set Construction: THEA 1600 Stagecraft Class, Kyle Yorg, Seth Holt, Emily Coffin, Sofia Gotto, Té Nickerson and Alexis Brown; Deck Crew: Morgan Luetkenhaus; Sound Crew: Luke Habjan and Breaunah Smith; Projection Operator: Jaylin Kitchen; Spot Light Operators: Petra Gray and Sophia Gotto; Light Board Operator: Katie Marshall; Fly Masters: Maggie Wallisch, Trevor Jones and Dalton Grafton; Costume Shop Assistants: Kenlyn Shettlesworth, Maryn Edwards, Cydni Stanford, Demetrius Hampton and Kelsi Richardson; Stitchers: Emily Layt, Kelsi Richardson, Cydni Stanford and Alexis Kratz; Box Office Manager: Bailey Collins; House Manager: Karlee Etter; Assistant House Managers: Camryn Brigham and Jen White; Marketing/Publicity Director: Dr. Aaron Scully; Assistant Marketing/Publicity Director: Sabrina Ortiz; Social Media Marketing Lead: Ashton Bennett; Marketing Media Content Manager: Derek Caswell; Publicity and Marketing Team: Emily Layt, Paige Tretter, Elizabeth Henks, Demetrius Hampton, Ally Fields and Emma Hill; Videographer: McKenzie Koppe; Podcast Engineer: Danielle Sachse; Graduate Shop Assistant: Callie Carmosino; Office Professional: Jane Tackett; CAHSS Administrative Assistant: Heather Stringer; and Office Assistants: Matthew Briggs, Emily Layt and Tony Smith.
This production of “Hairsparay” is for all audiences over five years old. Tickets are $10 for students, $15 for UCM faculty/staff and $20 for the general public. They can be purchased online at ucmo.edu/theatretickets, by calling 660-543-8811, or at the Box Office at the Highlander Theatre weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
To learn more, contact Dr. Aaron Scully, faculty member and publicity, UCM Theatre and Dance, at email@example.com or 660-543-8793.