Cast member: Teachers said high school production of 'Hairspray' - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

HS production of 'Hairspray' canceled; teachers reportedly tell cast musical could be demeaning

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Students in the school play have been sacrificing jobs and other extracurricular activities to practice for "Hairspray." Students in the school play have been sacrificing jobs and other extracurricular activities to practice for "Hairspray."
Brighton High School principal Christi Huffman said the musical was never approved, Brighton High School principal Christi Huffman said the musical was never approved,
The musical highlights the integration and injustice students faced in 1960s America. The musical highlights the integration and injustice students faced in 1960s America.
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(WMC-TV) - Mid-South school leaders dropped the curtain on a well-known musical often performed at other high schools.

Students in the school musical have been sacrificing jobs and other extracurricular activities to practice for "Hairspray." This week they found out all of their hard work was for nothing, because officials say they never approved the musical.

"I was turning it in tomorrow [Thursday], because tomorrow was the due date," said cast member Ally Wallace.

Wallace was ready to turn in money she raised for her school's production of "Hairspray," until she learned the curtain will stay down on what was a first act for many cast members.

"I started crying," said cast member Matthew Bailey. "We're a month away from opening night."

Brighton High School principal Christi Huffman said the play was never approved, and she had no idea students had been practicing and raising money for months.

"It's my responsibility to make sure that whatever content that is age appropriate, is school appropriate, and it follows the procedures."

Bailey had to take off three days a week at his part-time job to practice for a musical that now may never happen. The musical highlights the integration and injustice students faced in 1960s America.

Bailey said teachers told the cast it could be considered demeaning.

"They said it was damaging to us, but we were never asked if we felt discriminated against when we were cast," said Bailey.

Huffman said teachers should have told her about the production earlier so she could review content. She understands parent's frustrations now that they know the show will not go on despite months of practice.

Huffman said the lack of communication is the reason she did not know about the musical.

Several Shelby County and Mid-South schools performed Hairspray recently.

Brighton's principal says the staff is reviewing procedures and hopes to be able to approve future musicals and plays with more time to review content.

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