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July 10-12 & 16-19: 'Hairspray'

Musical concludes 48th annual Highland Summer Theatre season.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 6-23-2014

The Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance will conclude its 48th annual Highland Summer Theatre season with the musical “Hairspray,” with performances at 7:30 p.m. July 10-12 and 16-19 in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts. It is sponsored by the Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic and Farrish Johnson Law Office.

Based on the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters, “Hairspray” tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, a social outcast in 1962 Baltimore, and her efforts to become a dancer on a weekly Corny Collins TV show. Along the way she finds love and a social cause: to integrate a TV network.

“Hairspray” is directed by Paul J. Hustoles, chair of the department, with musical direction by Nick Wayne and choreography by Sam Stoll, a spring BFA musical theatre graduate who also appears as “Link Larkin.” Appearing as “Tracy Turnblad” is Gianna Schiller, a junior theatre generalist from Anoka who made her Minnesota State Mankato debut as “DeLang” in the studio production “Sky Girls.”

Other leads include Jake McInerney, a spring BFA musical theatre graduate who has appeared in all four summer productions, as “Corny Collins”; Stephen Mark Crisp, a fall 2011 BFA musical theatre graduate who appeared as “Dr. Madden” in “Next to Normal,” as Tracy’s mother, “Edna Turnblad”; and Leigh Jacobson, a senior BFA musical theatre candidate who appeared as daughter “Natalie” in “Next to Normal,” as Tracy’s friend, Penny Pennington. In total, the cast numbers 37.

Tickets are on sale now at, or at the Theatre & Dance Box Office in the lobby of the Earley Center from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, and one hour before performances. Call 507-389-6661. They are $22 regular, $19 discounted (groups of 15 or more, those over age 65 or under age 16) and $15 for students with a current Minnesota State Mankato MavCard; discounted rate tickets must be purchased through the box office.

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