Indiana State University Newsroom



‘Hairspray’ — Crossroads Rep’s biggest musical yet — opens July 6

June 29, 2018

Crossroads Repertory Theatre will present its largest musical production to date with the opening of "Hairspray" at Indiana State University's Dreiser Theater on July 6.

Based on the John Waters film of the same name, "Hairspray" is a fun and offbeat Broadway musical with a great message. The play is set in 1962 when Tracy Turnblad has only one desire -- to dance on the "Corny Collins Show!", which is inspired by a popular music program that aired on WJZ-TV in Baltimore "The Buddy Deane Show." When her dream comes true, Tracy must use her newfound power to dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of a teen heartthrob and racially integrate a TV network -- all without messing up her hair.

"I want the audience to look at the 1960s politics behind this production," said director Bill Kincaid. "The black dancers on the ‘Corny Collins Show!' are only given one day a month that they are allowed to be on the show, but the rest of the month belongs to the white dancers. Once the black dancers and the white dancers get to know each other, there really is no reason why they cannot dance together."

The decision to make that change and integrate is what Kincaid believes sets "Hairspray" apart.

"This show is energetic with catchy music and bright colorful costumes, but it is about a group of outsiders and is the first musical where a female character is specified by the author to be played by a male actor," said Kincaid. "The outsiders include this mysteriously masculine mother character, some fat kids, some nerdy kids and some ethnic minorities. This group makes the decision to fight for what they believe is right -- to fight for integration not because they want to be famous, but because it is the right thing to do."

This summer, all of Crossroads' productions will be at the Dreiser Theater on 6th Street, which Kincaid has found this to be favorable for the musical.

"There are big differences from the New Theater (which is under renovation this summer), and I believe that ‘Hairspray' will play even better in a proscenium theater as opposed to in the New Theater where the audience would be on three sides," said Kincaid.

Nissi Shalom, who plays as Little Inez and Shayna, is a student at Western Illinois University. She recently won the Open Jar National Award at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) in Washington, D.C., beating out 17 other national finalists. At Western, Shalom is an actor, singer, dancer and choreographer.

The entire cast is terrific, Kincaid said, and he is excited to be working with a group of people who are passionate about what they are doing.

"One of the members of the cast is currently a university student being taught by someone who used to be my student. Also, there are three other students in the show that are current or former students of mine," said Kincaid. "I have worked with many of my students before, but this is my first time working with a ‘grand-student.'"

"Hairspray" runs at 7:30 p.m. July 6, 7, 20, 25 and 28 and 4 p.m. July 8, 22 and 29 in Indiana State's Dreiser Hall, 221 N. 6th Street.

For more information about this summer's season or to buy tickets, go to crossroadsrep.com or call the box office at 812-237-3333.

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Photos: https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/ISUphotoservices/Photo-Services-People-and-Grou/Hairspray-2018/i-zFdWF9g/0/42f1c087/X3/June%2029%2C%202018%20CRT%20-5466-X3.jpg -- The cast of "Hairspray" rehearses.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/ISUphotoservices/Photo-Services-People-and-Grou/Hairspray-2018/i-zgGjxW8/0/95671ca4/X3/June%2029%2C%202018%20CRT%20-5502-X3.jpg -- The cast of "Hairspray" rehearses.

Media contact: David Marcia, instructor, department of theater, Indiana State University, David.Marcia@indstate.edu

Writer: Connor Myers, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, cmyers34@sycamores.indstate.edu or 812-237-3773

Story Highlights

Based on the John Waters film of the same name, "Hairspray" is a fun and offbeat Broadway musical with a great message. For more information about this summer's season or to buy tickets, go to crossroadsrep.com or call the box office at 812-237-3333.

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