ANDOVER - After many hours of rehearsals amatuer thespians from throughout the region are taking the stage this weekend for a production of the hit Broadway musical "Hairspray" at the Collins Center for the Performing Arts at Andover High School.
The show, a production of the Andover Summer Theatre Ensemble, is tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m.
Executive producer and director Elly Seavey said the cast includes young people from middle schools, high schools and colleges with varying degrees of theatrical experiences and backgrounds.
The cast also includes Andover Selectmen Chairman Brian Major who had his first speaking role in the 2010 STE production of "Oliver."
The production is supported by a 10-piece orchestra and dozens of behind-the-scenes crew members.
The story is set in 1962 Baltimore and focuses on a plus-sized teenager Tracy Turnblad (played by Andover High senior Brianna Rockwell) whose dream is to dance on a local TV dance program.
She succeeds and then launches a campaign to integrate the show.
Artistic Director Susan Choquette, who is the drama director at Andover High School, said the show has a social message, but is also fun.
Cast members are Joseph Benjamin, Scarlett Bouchard, Emily Brownholtz, Jeremy Brownholtz, Katherine Burns, Michela Caffrey, Krishel Castellanos, Cassandra Charles, Madeline Corliss, Chris Cortner, Gillian Cowe, Ravyn Dallaire, Elle Denison, Abel Dominguez, Lea Duncan, Jasmine Etesse, Natalie Gaimari, Elizabeth Gorrie, Jane Hannon, Alyssa Helman, Cassandra Kobelski, Nicole Lau, Kendra Lizardo, Brian Major, Samantha Marton, Dylan Millis, Jennifer Morris, Olivia Oberto, Michael Ren, Sadie Reppucci, Conor Richardson, Brianna Rockwell, Michaela Sapienza, Nashley Soto, Gabriela Taveras, Rachel Trowbridge, Maddy Wagner, Nyomi White,