“Hairspray” to be presented by students at WVSU

Contact: Dr. Donna M. Simon
(304) 766-3363


Nov. 1, 2012

“Hairspray” to be presented by students at WVSU

First student musical to be performed on campus in 30 years

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – For the first time in 30 years, a musical will be presented by students on the campus of West Virginia State University.

Students in the Music and Communications Departments of WVSU are teaming up to present the Broadway musical “Hairspray” Nov. 14-17.

“There is a lot of talent on this campus, and we are going to make good use of it in this musical,” said Professor Susan Marrash-Minnerly, who is also serving as the director of the musical. “These kids deserve an opportunity to show off their talents.”

The cast for “Hairspray” is all students, with one exception. WVSU English professor Dr. Tim Alderman also has a role in the show.

The cast has been practicing three days a week in the buildup to the public performances.

Marrash-Minnerly said that she had wanted to perform a musical on campus for some time, and that “Hairspray” was the leading choice because it is “big, splashy and fun.”

“Hairspray” is set in the 1960s and follows Baltimore’s Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, who has a passion to dance. She wins a spot on the local TV dance show, “The Corny Collins Show” and, overnight, is transformed into a teen celebrity.  She then uses her newfound fame to launch a campaign to racially integrate the show.

“I think that a lot of issues addressed in ‘Hairspray’ are appropriate to talk about on a college campus,” Marrash-Minnerly said. “It is about acceptance, and it delivers the message in a fun and wild manner.”

“Hairspray” will be presented nightly at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14-17 in the Davis Fine Arts Theater on the campus of WVSU.

Tickets are free to WVSU students, $10 to the general public, and will be available at the door.

“Hairspray” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.


West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, WV. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.


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