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Dance, engineering, and US history

The Middle School throws itself into Hairspray, the winter musical
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
 
On Monday, Middle School students were in the theater until well after dark.
 
 


All winter, Trinity Rep’s Rachael Warren has been spending Monday afternoons with the cast of Hairspray, this year’s Middle School musical, drawing on the rich history 1960s dance crazes for choreographic inspiration. 
 
 

First thing Tuesday morning, the Middle School students were back, sprawled on the theater floor with straightedges and power tools.
 
 


The set design elective was beginning to build the Hairspray scenery, learning the time-tested technique of building sturdy, light, durable backdrop flats.
 
 

The conversation ranged from the abstract - is a triangle really stronger than a rectangle? - to very concrete questions of screw length and plywood strength.
 
 

The math involved in making scale drawings was familiar to the students who’d been in the architectural model elective this fall.
 
 

It’s yet another interdisciplinary lesson sparked by this production, and it won’t be the last.  Hairspray is a rich script, a energetic dance-filled musical with issues of race, gender, and 1960s US history at its core. The Middle School has thrown itself into the show wholeheartedly, rehearsing six days a week on the run-up to opening night. The show runs Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, February 22-24, at 6:30pm; all the performances are free and open to the public.

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