Young actors steal spotlight in Aiken Community Playhouse opener 'Hairspray'

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 Opening the 2013-14 season at Aiken Community Playhouse with Hairspray made a few dreams come true.

High school seniors Michael Coleman and Stephanie Mundy are playing the lead roles as Link and Tracy in Hairspray opening at Aiken Community Playhouse.  DUSTIN TURNER/STAFF
DUSTIN TURNER/STAFF
High school seniors Michael Coleman and Stephanie Mundy are playing the lead roles as Link and Tracy in Hairspray opening at Aiken Community Playhouse.

Director Bradley Watts said he saw the original Ricki Lake movie and thought it would make a wonderful musical.

“A few years later, they made it into a musical stage show, and I fell in love,” he said. “I followed the show for years and knew it was something I had to be a part of.”

Michael Coleman, who plays leading man Link, is making his stage debut with Hairspray. A 17-year-old senior at Aiken High School, Michael said he has done chorus for a couple of years but wanted to try his hand at theater.

“I would have been happy just to be a part of the ensemble,” he said, “but I was thrilled and extremely honored to get the male lead.”

Augusta Christian Schools senior Stephanie Mundy has wanted to play leading lady Tracy Turnblad since she was 12. Six years later, she’s taking the stage as the bubbly, plus-size teen whose dream to be on The Corny Collins Show becomes something bigger in the early days of desegregation.

Hairspray is very fun and a little silly, but it deals with real issues at the same time,” she said. “Tracy is a lot like me, someone who just wants to do what’s right.”

Michael said the show “takes something that’s so serious and puts it in a funny light so people will listen to the message.”

Hairspray shows that no matter what shape, size or color you are,” Watts said, “you can succeed, as long as you are true to yourself. It’s about more than race; it’s about acceptance, really.”

Hairspray begins its three-week run Friday, Sept. 6, at Aiken Community Playhouse, 126 Newberry St. SW. Tickets cost $10-$25. For more information, call (803) 648-1438 or go to aikencommunityplayhouse.com.

ONSTAGE

WHAT: Hairspray

WHEN: 8 p.m. Sept, 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 and 21 and 3 p.m. Sept. 15 and 22

WHERE: Aiken Community Playhouse, 126 Newberry St. SW

TICKETS: $25 adults; $20 seniors (60 and up); $15 students; $10 children (under 12)

MORE: (803) 648-1438 or aikenncommunityplayhouse.com


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