News Items from UNC Greensboro

Group photo of student actors during dress rehearsalThe first UNCG musical of the year kicks off this week with a whole lot of spunk, hip-shaking and, of course, hairspray.

The UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance (SMTD) is coming together to produce the Tony Award-winning musical “Hairspray” from Oct. 1-8 at UNCG’s Taylor Theatre.

“Hairspray” has been on th school’s musical docket for a number of years, and the faculty, students and staff couldn’t be more excited for this production.

“When we started talking about ‘Hairspray,’ everything just clicked,” said Jody Kaizen, UNCG Theatre manager and arts administration program director. “It has a powerful message, and it’s really relevant to a lot of the race relations issues that are happening right now.”

UNCG has brought in guest director and choreographer Amy McCleary, a seasoned theater professional who’s worked as a director, choreographer and performer at theaters across the nation.

Justin Cowan ’14, a graduate student pursuing a Master of Music degree in conducting, is working alongside McCleary as the show’s musical director.

Behind the scenes, UNCG students are doing it all. The set and lights were designed by MFA design students and built by both undergraduate and graduate students. All of the costume design was done by UNCG senior Terry Baker. The orchestra is a combination of students, faculty and alumni from the music department.

Given the growing interest in musical theater from SMTD students, Cowan has led an effort to expand UNCG’s musical theater curriculum. Last year, he teamed up with UNCG alumnus Dominick Amendum ‘01, the musical director of Broadway’s “Wicked,” on a course titled “Audition Techniques for Musical Theater.” The students received private coaching and instruction from Cowan and Amendum – an opportunity that was truly once-in-a-lifetime. The course is being offered again this year, along with three new musical theater classes.

What can the audience expect from “Hairspray”? A lot of fun and a lot of laughs.

Students, faculty, staff and the Greensboro community are invited to attend one of “Hairspray’s” eight showings, including the “Pay What You Can” preview on Oct. 1. You can purchase tickets at the Taylor Theatre Box Office located at 402 Tate Street in Room 115 of the Brown Building or online at theatre.uncg.edu. Tickets are also available by phone at 336-334-4392 (Taylor Theatre) or 336-272-0160 (Triad Stage).

By Alyssa Bedrosian

Full story at UNCG Now news site.

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