KSU students partner with Beck Center for production of “Hairspray”

Courtesy of Kathy Sandham.

Drew Parker

Nine students and alumni will represent Kent State University in a production of “Hairspray” at The Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood.

The summer production, which began July 8, will run every weekend until August 14.

“Getting to work with a new director is the best thing about a production. The way that they approach the show and the craft of theater is always different,” said Brian Crowley, a recent graduate of Kent State.

Crowley will play Brad the councilman in the production. Other students involved in the production include senior Brittany Eckstrom, playing the lead role of Tracy Turnblad, senior Anna Bradley as Penny Pingleton, and junior Cody Zak as Link Larkin. The ensemble also includes Senior Bethany Ferry, Martin Parry, and Andrew Kruse.

Artistic director Scott Spence said the involvement of Kent students is beneficial for the production because of casting age requirements.

“It’s a great relationship for the both of us. Kent State has one of the best musical theater programs in the area,” Spence said. “It’s a good partnership; we’re able to use younger performers that are of the correct age for this production. As a school, they’ve had a greater impact on this production than any other.”

Set in 1960s Baltimore, the light-hearted musical tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, a plump and cheerful teen determined to land a spot on a popular teen dance program, while attempting to break racial barriers in her segregated community.

Tickets are currently available for Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. Admission is $28 for adults, $25 for seniors 65 and over, $17 for students with valid identification and $10 for children 12 and under. Discounts are available for groups of 13 or more.

Contact Summer Kent Stater reporter Drew Parker at [email protected].