Girls on the Corny Collins show compete for the title of Miss Teen Hairspray in Hairspray Jr. Photo courtesy of Delle Kincaid.
Simmons Middle School hosted about 600 students from Gwin and Green Valley elementary schools to view Hairspray Jr. on Oct. 24.
As a part of its Theatre Outreach Program (TOP), this performance was the most recent installment of Simmons’ productions that target young audiences. In previous years, Simmons’ TOP has traveled to schools such as Gwin, Bluff Park, Green Valley, Trace Crossings and South Shades Crest to bring examples of theater to kindergarten through second-grade students.
About 143 students auditioned for Hairspray Jr. Forty-eight were cast as actors, and 30 sang behind the scenes, serving as the pit chorus. About 2,000 audience members saw the show.
TOP, established by the theater director, Delle Kincaid, was founded on the belief that performing arts are an essential component to a rich and excellent education. It is the mission of TOP to provide young area schoolchildren with high-quality live theatrical experiences.
The TOP program is the first of its kind in any Over the Mountain secondary school and one of the only outreach programs in the state sponsored by a public school. Outside of the TOP program, performing arts at Simmons gained state and national acclaim when they took the main stage at the 2013 State Thespian Festival and National Thespian Festival with their production of Once On This Island Jr.
~Submitted by Delle Kincaid