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Please note that the cast members in your production of Hairspray must accurately reflect the character descriptions contained in the script. The use of make-up to portray Black characters in your production (e.g., blackface) is not permitted under this Production Contract.
Our story’s unsuspecting protagonist, she is large and in charge. Confident, talented, and incredibly determined. A romantic with a good heart and desire to cut up the dance floor. Always on top of the latest trends. This role should be played by a white actress.
The charismatic host of the Corny Collins’ Show. Good looking and smooth talking, he is a genuinely nice guy both on and off camera. Corny should be played by a white actor.
Tracy’s big and blonde mother. She is a working housewife who has lost her confidence and dream to be a plus-size clothing designer. Boisterous and commanding. Often played by a male in drag. This role should be played by a white performer.
Tracy’s best friend and dorky sidekick. Not the brightest girl, but she has good intentions. Bursting to get free of her mother’s dominating control, she falls for Seaweed with childlike curiosity. This role should be played by a white actress.
Amber’s mother and the director of Corny Collin’s show. She is a devious taskmaster and snobby racist. The former Miss Baltimore Crabs will go to any length to ensure her daughter is the next big thing. This role should be played by a white actress.
Link’s girlfriend and Tracy’s nemesis. She is pretty, thin, shallow, snobby, and racist. Can’t dance but is expected to win Miss Baltimore Hairspray. Always feels the need to be the center of attention. This role should be played by a white actress.
The star heartthrob on Corny Collins’ show. He is extremely attractive and talented. Hoping to get his big break with a recording contract, he unexpectedly falls for Tracy. This role should be played by a white actor.
Tracy’s classmate and friend, who is discriminated against due to his skin color. He is cocky but surprisingly lovable. Talented in song and dance. He falls for Penny. Seaweed should be played by a Black actor.
Seaweed and Little Inez’s mother, she also appears as the Guest DJ on the Corny Collin’s Negro Day show. Big, blonde, beautiful and proud of it. She is sassy and confident. This role should be played by a Black actress.
Tracy’s simpleminded and kind father. He owns a joke shop and supports his daughter in spite of everything else. He also loves his wife, Edna, very much. This role should be played by a white actor.
Penny’s strict mother. Very conservative, controlling, and closed minded. This role should be played by a white actress.
The charismatic leader of the Manhattan newsies, is an oprhaned dreamer and artist who yearns to get out of the crowded streets of New York and make a better life for himself out West. Fiercely protective of his best friend, Crutchie, and strongly loyal, Jack isn’t afraid to use his voice to attain better conditions for the working kids of New York City. Though living on the streets has given him a tough-guy exterior, Jack has a big heart and can demonstrate a sweet vulnerability – especially when it comes to bantering with a certain female reporter. Must have a great pop tenor voice and sense of physicality.
A dedicated newsie with a bum leg that’s painful, but helps sell more papes. Though he walks with the assistance of a crutch, Crutchie doesn’t let it define him; when in a jam, Jack Kelly’s best friend relies on a goofy- sweet sense of humor and optimistic resilience. Crutchie is the heart of the resistance. Though his movement will suggest his bum leg, Crutchie should still be included in the dance numbers.
Les’s straight-laced, bright big brother starts selling newspapers to help his family earn a living, but becomes swept up in the fervor of the strike. A leader in his own right who is learning to use his voice to uplift others, Davey is the brains of the resistance.
Davey’s cheeky younger brother, is inspired by the freedom of the newsies and loves their independent lifestyle. A precocious and natural newsie, Les is an intuitive salesboy and a pint-sized charmer. He should present as younger than the other newsies.
Including Albert, Buttons, Elmer, Finch, Henry, Ike, Jo Jo, Mike, Mush, Race, Romeo, Specs, Splasher, and Tommy Boy, are some of the hard-working kids of New York City that go on strike for a livable wage.
Three newsies who are hesitant to join the strike.
The proud leader of the Brooklyn newsies, boasts an intimidating reputation and a short singing solo in “Brooklyn’s Here.”
An ambitious young reporter, works hard to make a name for herself as a legitimate journalist in a time when women aren’t taken seriously. Quick, funny, and resourcesful, she boldy captures the voice of a new generation rising in her coverage of the newsies’ strike. While she generally has no time for cocky, streetwise young men, she makes an exception for Jack Kelly. Though she only has a brief dance solo in “King of New York,” Katherine should have a great contemporary pop voice with a high belt – diction is key.
The upper-class kid of a publisher who sides with the newsies. Can double as a newsie.
The son of William Randolph Hearst who joins the newsies’ cause. Can double as a newsie.
Or “Weasel,” runs the distribution window for the World and knows most of the newsies by name. Assisted by the intimidating Delancey brothers, who keep order by any means necessary, Wiesel is Pulitzer’s disgruntled paper- pusher.
Tough brothers who work at the distribution window for the World, take the side of the publishers in the strike and are known to use their fists to make a point.
Assist the Delanceys in roughing up the newsies at the end of Act One.
A pompous businessman through and through, owns the World and is concerned solely with the bottom line. Katherine’s no-nonsense father, Pulitzer doesn’t sympathize with the strikers, but he does eventually – and grudgingly – respect Jack.
Editor, advises Pulitzer, but ultimately admires the kids’ newspaper.
Pulitzer’s bookkeeper, comes up with the ideas to raise the newsies’ price per paper.
Pulitzer’s practical and insightful secretary.
The Guard removes the newsies from Pulitzer’s building.
The crooked and sinister warden of The Refuge, a filthy and horrible orphanage, is concerned only with catching enough kids to keep his government checks coming.
Inspired by vaudeville performer Aida Overton Walker, this big-voiced saloon singer and star of the Bowery offers her theater as a safe haven for the newsies. An astute entertainer with great comic delivery, she’s a good friend to Jack and stands firmly behind the newsies in their fight for justice.
Female performers at Medda’s Theater.
Introduces Medda’s act.
The three nuns offer breakfast to the hungry newsies. Feel free to cast additional nuns.
Takes the triumphant photo of the newsies at the end of “Seize the Day.”
A newspaper customer.
Allows the newsies to congregate in his restaurant to plan their strike – when he doesn’t have any paying customers, that is.
Assist Snyder and turn against the newsies in the fight that concludes Act One.
The Mayor of New York City rebuffs Pulitzer’s attempts to shut down the newsies’ strike.
A well-respected lifelong public servant, inspires Jack to stand up to Pulitzer.