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Hairspray, WOW!

McDaniel Theatre Department brought the house down with our run of HAIRSPRAY this past weekend! After having the first set of auditions at the end of last semester, followed by another set during the first week of school this semester, the production team assembled about 30 people to hop back into 1960s Baltimore for a few weeks. It takes so many more people to put on a show than you see on the stage. In addition to the multitudes performing onstage we had crew people, myself included, running around backstage to make sure each piece fit perfectly together and an awesome production team that were the masterminds behind everything. Starting the last week in August and ending the first week in October were some of the most stressful days of my semester. I give everyone that was at all the rehearsals mad props. Almost every night of the week they were huddled in the freezing theatre, working on another dance or another song or more blocking. They put all their time, hearts and talents into this show to make it as good as it possibly could have been. I was honored to be working as the Dramaturg and Assistant Costumer. I had previously done a production of HAIRSPRAY as an actor so it was an amazing experience getting to know the dark side of the theatre world. Get it? Dark side. Sorry, bad joke.
Anyway, production week was a mess of crazy. Adding lights, sounds, special effects and costumes is always a big change for everyone. By the end of our dress rehearsal on Tuesday there were still a few kinks to work out and I was worried how the next night would turn out. The cast did so much publicity for the show and made it known to the entire Westminster community that it was going to be a must-see so we knew everything had to be perfect. Opening night came on Wednesday and we had a few hundred sitting in the audience. The magic theatre gods watched over us and performed a miracle. The show went on without a single problem. The last beat of music played and everyone was on their feet cheering. Then Friday and Saturday came. On Friday, we started the show about fifteen minutes late because at 7:30pm, when we were supposed to start, there was still a line out the door and down the street. Both nights we did sold out shows. It was the first sold out show since ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW was performed in the Fall of 2009.
The entire experience was such an accomplishment. For such a small department, we pulled it together and wrangled up people who had always admired the show and theatre and didn’t know how to get in. We gave hundreds of people the chance to experience a girl have her dream come true in 1962 Baltimore. The community we built over the last few months is one that I hope lasts long after the show is forgotten about. I loved meeting all the new Freshman and the people who had never even thought about doing a show before HAIRSPRAY. I made so many new friends and I love seeing their smiling faces all over campus. You never really can stop the beat.

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