WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA. Last week, in downtown Winston-Salem, Spring Theatre started rehearsals for the sensational musical Hairspray at Spring Theatre, getting the show ready for fans of all ages July 30-31 and August 1st at the HanesBrands Theatre.

The cast includes triple-threat Jazmine Jeffcoat, who will play Tracy Turnblad, Kelsey Thacker who will play her best friend, Penny, I’zaah Gray Jones who will play Seaweed, and Kyle Brady who will be playing Link. Other cast members include Bella Hart-Peck, playing Corny Collins.

Motormouth will be played by Morrissia Ravenell, Anna Hartle and Joanna Jarvis will be taking on the roles of Amber and Velma, and Ethan Rapier and Bryson playing Edna and Wilbur. Other cast members include Elizabeth Nixon-Chatfield, Katelyn Branch, Tara Flury, Olivia Callaway, Madilyn Myers, Catherine Googe, Jessica Branch, Jayden Jeffcoat, Mary Cain, Emily Cox, Avery Greer, Mahalia Wages Hargrave, Shaun Hartzfeldt, Paisley Holland, Nick Kelley, Elinor Labore, Lily Newcomb, Sophia Pisapia and Sarah Brice Shearburn.

While the unforgettable songs, sensational dancing and overall “pizazz” of the show provides more than enough to fill an evening, members of Spring’s artistic team believe there’s a much deeper reason to produce this show.

The show is set in 1962, and promises to be a family-friendly musical, piled bouffant-high with laughter, romance and deliriously tuneful songs, but also some important themes of reality that hope to hit home. “It has, at its core, a constant pulse of anti-discrimination in its heart that will continue to be relevant as we grow as a community and a species”, says Dan Beckmann, Artistic Director of Spring Theatre. “One of the primary reasons we chose to produce this show was to shine a spotlight on many of the black artists who lend themselves to Spring, and to tell a story that will always need telling”.

CJ Albee, the show’s Music Director, added, “even as the complexity of race relations, self love, and classism continue to evolve, there is definitely value in seeing a story that involves people of all shapes, sizes, colors, and creeds coming together to realize a common goal.

Spring Theatre, now midway through their 10th season, focuses on celebrating the younger generation of performers. The cast’s oldest member is 20 years old, and the youngest is 13. But these young performers go through the same rehearsal process that performers of any age would: “Watching the cast make discoveries and grow is my favorite part”, says Hairspray’s director, Chad Edwards. “This age group has a great energy and enthusiasm and they are mostly fearless. Also, it’s really great to see them bond as a group and collaborate as a cast, and to discover new friendships”.

Choreographer Jordan Booker-Medley has already been challenging the cast with some new moves in rehearsals. “I love the music, and an opportunity to revisit the time through movement”, said Jordan. “There was such an interesting thing happening in dance during the 60’s, and I can't wait to bring some of that to the forefront”.

Founded in 2011, Spring Theatre was built to cultivate people of courage and communities of joy through youth-inspired theatrical experiences. Spring Theatre helps established and aspiring theatre artists reach their full artistic potential through mentoring, main stage productions, theatre camps, workshops, and master classes. As a result, Spring Theatre’s youth are confident community members who are prepared for leadership roles including, but not limited to, performing, writing, directing, and staging their own productions. The family of Spring Theatre fuels the creative spirit of the entire Triad and beyond.

You can catch Spring Theatre’s Hairspray at the HanesBrands Theatre on Friday, July 30th at 7pm, Saturday, July 31st at 2pm and 7pm and Sunday, August 1st at 2pm. Tickets are $15 and are on sale now. The ticket link can be accessed on www.SpringTheatre.org. At this time, masks are required for all audience members. For additional media items, to set up interviews, or to be involved in any way with Spring Theatre, please email Erinn@SpringTheatre.org or call Spring Theatre at 336-528-5343.

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