Sixties Saturday #2


Hello and welcome back to the Playhouse blog for Sixties Saturdays!

The past week we’ve been hard at work getting all Act 2 of the show blocked (which means how the actors move and transition on stage), and we were able to finish blocking the entire show!

Hairspray Rehearsal

Hairspray Rehearsal

Last week we had the privilege of having two guest speakers come in, Robin Washington and Allegra Henderson.

Robin Washington Speaking

Robin Washington speaking to the cast of Hairspray.

Elegra’s discussion was focused on the history of slavery, and the events that led up to the Civil Rights movement, while Robin’s focused on more personal events, and  how race is actually just a perceived idea when talking about the color of someone’s skin. The cast got a lot of great information and impact from both of the speakers, and we are really appreciative of them coming in.

Students Presenting

Hairspray students presenting a Timeline project for Allegra Henderson.

This week, we have the first segment of research topic facts to help get you into the mindset of what led up to and what was going on during the show in terms of Civil Rights.

Sarah Fields, (DJ Motormouth Maybelle in HAIRSPRAY) is here to give some facts about slave codes, and the history of slavery and emancipation.

  • Slavery started in the ancient world, and wasn’t based on race, but on social status.
  • Slaves were first brought over to the US around the year 1770
  • Slave codes said how treat slaves
  • Slave codes also said how to treat a slave if they were to rebel or try to escape
  • Slavery was abolished in the US in 1865, however this did not give African Americans the same rights has the rest of the white (male) population

This week, we have interviews on three characters that are almost never seen without each other in the show…


(From left to right in picture)

Kori Ponder is 17 and goes to Marshall. She plays Judine in HAIRSPRAY. When asked what her favorite part about the show was, she said, “I really like when everyone becomes integrated at the end. However, the treatment of the African Americans in the show is horrible. It is exaggerated and some of it is turned into jokes, but its there to show the point that torturing someone for how they look is never ok.”

Marit Williams is 16, and goes to Hermantown High school. She plays Kamilah, and also said her favorite part of the show was the integration at the end. After asking how the Dynamites are connected in the show, she said, “The Dynamites are brought together by their love for and of music. That’s also what connects Kori, Crystal and myself in real life.”

Crystal Wirtz is also 16, and goes to Duluth East High School. She plays Shayna, and said, “My favorite part of the show is ‘Welcome to the Sixties.’ The Dynamites get to rock out in it, and it is a lot of fun. I also like the messages that are portrayed through the show, two which are loving one another, and even if you can’t accept someone, at least tolerating them and treating them like a human being.”

That is all for this week’s #SixtiesSaturdays! Check back next week for another research topic, and more actor interviews!



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