Skip Navigation
Regional News
Kevin Scott and Leanne Brunn at a rehearsal of "Hairspray." Photo: Claire Woodcock
Kevin Scott and Leanne Brunn at a rehearsal of "Hairspray." Photo: Claire Woodcock

"Hairspray" a sign of big changes at Potsdam's Community Performance Series

Listen to this story
For two decades, the Community Performance Series in Potsdam has provided the North Country with musical performances and arts education opportunities. CPS is a college-community partnership with SUNY Potsdam that stages a musical theatre performance each summer. This season, CPS is producing not one, but two musicals. But that's not the only change.

See this

Cast members rehearse the song "Good Morning Baltimore." Photo: Claire Woodcock

Hear this

Download audio

Share this


Explore this

Reported by

Claire Woodcock
News intern

The show opened Tuesday evening in the Snell Theatre at SUNY Potsdam. It’s a lighthearted musical that tells a story about Civil Rights in Baltimore in the 1960’s. CPS is trying something new this year, using lots of cast and crew from outside the area.

Cast members crowd around the television to watch the Corny Collins Show. Photo: Claire Woodcock
Cast members crowd around the television to watch the Corny Collins Show. Photo: Claire Woodcock
"Hairspray" is a demanding show. It's technically complicated, the set is huge and the choreography is insane. A lot of cast auditioned in New York City, but the actors came from all over the country. These are professionals that have big careers in theatre. Director Donna Drake also came from New York City and a colorful career on Broadway. She has both acted and directed in the business, and has been involved in nine Broadway international tours. The set designer, lighting designer and various other crew members also joined CPS from out of town.

Cast members at one of the last rehearsals of "Hairspray." Photo: Claire Woodcock
Cast members at one of the last rehearsals of "Hairspray." Photo: Claire Woodcock
So what does this mean for the future of CPS? The direction the company seems to be going in mirrors the way summer musical theatre used to happen here in the North Country. For a long time, another organization was doing that here- Music Theatre North staged hundreds of shows, until they closed in 1995. Whole casts and crews would come up from other places and produce several summer musical performances for the community. After that, CPS focused on one production a summer with mostly locals. This year is sort of a test run for CPS.

Hear the full story here.

“Hairspray” opened Tuesday and will continue to run through Saturday July 27th at 7:00 p.m. “Little Shop of Horrors” will open Tuesday, August 6th at 7:30 p.m. There will also be matinee show at 2 p.m. on the Saturday performances. Both shows will be held in the Snell Theater at SUNY Potsdam. Tickets are available for purchase at the CPS box office in the lobby of Snell Theater. You can get your tickets by calling CPS at 267-2277 or online at www.cpspotsdam.org. They are also available at Northern Music and Video in Potsdam.

Visitor comments

on:

NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.