Hairspray JR.
You can't stop the beat in this big and bold adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical about one girl's inspiring dream to dance and change the world.
Available to groups performing in venues with a capacity of less than 500. Geographical restrictions may apply due to professional activity.
Show Essentials
+ Ensemble

Full Synopsis

Early on a Monday morning in early June 1962, Tracy Turnblad wakes up to face another day, full of hope and big dreams ("Good Morning Baltimore"). After school, Tracy and her best friend, Penny Pingleton, race home to watch "The Corny Collins Show," a local teenage music and dance show on TV ("The Nicest Kids in Town"). On the show, teen idol, Link Larkin, pledges his love to Amber Von Tussle by giving her his Council Member ring, and Corny Collins announces auditions for new Council Members. Seeing her chance at stardom, Tracy plans to cut school and audition for the show, but her mother, Edna Turnblad, does not approve. Elsewhere, Penny and Amber also argue with their mothers ("Mama I'm a Big Girl Now").

Tracy goes to the audition, but is ridiculed by the girls on the show and sent away by Amber's mother and show producer, Velma Von Tussle. Sitting in detention, a frustrated Tracy learns some new dance moves from Seaweed J Stubbs, a black student whose mother is Motormouth Maybelle, the DJ who hosts the monthly Negro Day on "The Corny Collins Show." The next evening there is a school dance and, there, Tracy is able to impress Corny with the new moves she picked up in detention, earning her a spot on "The Corny Collins Show." During her debut, Link Larkin sings a song just for Tracy ("It Takes Two"). Now a local star, Tracy gets an offer to be the spokesgirl for Mr. Pinky's clothing store, The Hefty Hideaway, which gets her mother out of the house for the first time in years as the duo heads to the store to update their wardrobes ("Welcome to the Sixties").

At school, Tracy continues to be teased by Amber and becomes the target in a dodgeball game. After the game, Link, Penny and Seaweed stay behind to help Tracy and, there, Seaweed invites them to join him at his mother's record shop ("Run and Tell That"). The Von Tussles barge in and spoil the party with their bigotry, but this gives Tracy the idea to integrate "The Corny Collins Show" by having Motormouth and her daughter, Little Inez, crash Mother/Daughter Day on the show. Fears of police and jail don't stop Tracy from moving forward with the plan.

Unfortunately, the plan for integration lands all of the mothers and daughters in jail ("The Big Dollhouse"). Everyone gets out, except for Tracy, who is denied bail ("Baltimore – Reprise"). Link comes to the rescue and professes his love for Tracy while, elsewhere, Seaweed and Penny reveal their feelings for each other too ("Without Love"). The kids hatch a plan to get Tracy on the nationwide Miss Teenage Hairspray broadcast, and bring the news to Motormouth, who expresses that she will never stop fighting for equality ("I Know Where I've Been").

Corny Collins begins his nationwide broadcast ("(It's) Hairspray") and introduces Amber for her dance ("Cooties"). Just before Amber is crowned Miss Teenage Hairspray, Tracy and her friends storm in and take over the show ("You Can't Stop the Beat – Part 1"). Corny declares Tracy is the new Miss Teenage Hairspray 1962, and Tracy declares that "The Corny Collins Show" is officially integrated. Edna makes a grand entrance, and even the Von Tussles can't resist the celebration ("You Can't Stop the Beat – Part 2").



Cast Size: Medium (11 to 20 performers)
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown


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.

Tracy Turnblad
Tracy Turnblad is a young lady with big hair and an even bigger personality! She is the hero of our story and she is sweet but also strong in her convictions. She is bigger in size than the other girls, but she isn't shy about it - she can still dance with the best of them! Make sure to cast an excellent singer, dancer and actor, but most importantly, cast a young lady who has wonderful stage presence and can easily capture the audience's hearts. Tracy should be played by a white actress.
Gender: female
Corny Collins
Corny Collins, the host of "The Corny Collins Show," is a Baltimore celebrity. Foremost, Corny is a charmer, so be sure to cast a young performer with great energy and who is unafraid of being in the center spotlight. Corny should be both an experienced singer and actor. Corny should be played by a white actor.
Gender: male
Edna Turnblad
Edna Turnblad is Tracy's loving mother who doesn't spend much time outside the house. She works days and nights as a laundress in her home, and her lack of social interaction has made her a bundle of nerves. This is a fantastic role for a young white lady with great acting chops who can transform into an older character. Edna should be a proficient singer and be willing to sell it with strong character choices.
Gender: female
Wilbur Turnblad
Wilbur Turnblad is Edna's loving husband and Tracy's supportive father who just wants the best for his girls. This is a good role for a new performer. Make sure the actor playing Wilbur complements Edna. It can be fun to cast a Wilbur who is significantly smaller in stature than Edna for some great physical comedy! Wilbur should be played by a white actor.
Gender: male
Penny Pingleton
Penny Pingleton is Tracy's fun and sheltered sidekick. She is a young lady caught between her mother's very strict rules and her own wants and desires to be just another teenage girl. This is a good role for an actress with a sweet voice and great comedic instincts. Penny should be played by a white actress.
Gender: female
Prudy Pingleton
Prudy Pingleton is a fun role for a performer who can really jump headfirst into a character role. She is Penny's eccentric but loving mother, who wants the best for her daughter but is extreme in her means. Prudy should be a good actress, capable of capturing the conflict of being a caring mother who can't help but be overprotective. Prudy should be played by a white actress.
Gender: female
Amber Von Tussle

Amber Vontussle is a prom queen nightmare! She is definitely "The Corny Collins Show" favorite, but she is competitive and has a bad attitude. Amber is a great performer, so cast a young lady who can do it all. Amber should be played by a white actress.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Velma Von Tussle
Velma Von Tussle is a carbon copy of Amber - just twenty years older and meaner! She is most concerned with making sure her daughter wins Miss Teenage Baltimore. Cast a white actress who is unafraid of being a little bit evil and who can make bold acting choices.
Gender: female
Link Larkin
Link Larkin is Baltimore's biggest heartthrob, and Tracy's dream guy. Link is considered the best performer in town, so cast a young man who is a triple threat - a great actor, singer and dancer. He should have a lot of charisma and a sparkle in his eye. Think of any teenage idol who is able to reduce girls to tears - there's your guy! Link should be played by a white actor.
Gender: male
Seaweed J. Stubbs

Seaweed J. Stubbs is the object of Penny's affections, and together, they are determined to defy the segregation laws of the 1960s. Seaweed can do it all! This is a great role for an experienced young Black performer who can sing, dance and act well.

Gender: male
Little Inez Stubbs

Little Inez Stubbs is Seaweed's little sister and a great breakout role for a Black actress. Little Inez gets her moment in the spotlight, so be sure to cast a young lady who is a great singer and dancer. Cast an actress with a quiet exterior who can and will be bold when the opportunity comes.

Gender: female
Motormouth Maybelle

Motormouth Maybelle is a soulful part for a Black performer who can play an older age. In this story, she is the face of the Civil Rights Movement and sings the beautiful anthem, "I Know Where I've Been." Cast a performer with a great voice and more importantly, someone who has strong stage presence.

Gender: female
The Dynamites

The Dynamites (Judine, Kamilah and Shayna) are a dynamic musical trio, iconic of the Motown era and the 1960s. Think the Supremes. Cast three young women who are advanced singers and dancers who complement each other. They don't need to look alike, but cast a group that can be synchronous in their music and dance.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: A5
Vocal range bottom: E4
Mr. Pinky
Mr. Pinky owns a ladies' clothing shop and is a salesperson inside and out - he is always the first to give a compliment. This is a perfect character role for a young person who may be new to the stage but has wonderful energy and acting potential.
Gender: male
Council Members

Brad, Tammy, Fender, Sketch, Shelley, IQ, Brenda and Lou Ann are the famed teenage performers on "The Corny Collins Show." This is a great opportunity to feature your best singers and dancers, as they'll have to emulate some of the most famous dance moves from the 1960s. Find kids with a lot of personality, and encourage them to be bold in their characterizations of each teenage performer.

Gender: any

Other standout ensemble roles include:Gym Teacher, Cindy Watkins, Matron, Principal, Lorraine, Gilbert, Thad, Duane, Stooie, Beatnik Chick, Male Guard, Guard, Newscaster and Council Members. These roles give more texture to the lively world of 1960s Baltimore. This is truly a story about communities intersecting, so be sure to remind all of your actors that each role matters.

Gender: any
Full Song List
Hairspray JR.: Good Morning Baltimore
Hairspray JR.: The Nicest Kids In Town
Hairspray JR.: Corny Collins (Underscore)
Hairspray JR.: The New Girl in Town
Hairspray JR.: Mama, I'm a Big Girl Now
Hairspray JR.: Big Girl (Playoff)
Hairspray JR.: I Can Hear the Bells
Hairspray JR.: Transition to Detention
Hairspray JR.: Detention to Hop (Part 1)
Hairspray JR.: Detention to Hop (Part 2)
Hairspray JR.: The Madison
Hairspray JR.: The Nicest Kids (Reprise)
Hairspray JR.: It Takes Two
Hairspray JR.: It Takes Two (Playoff)
Hairspray JR.: Welcome to the Sixties
Hairspray JR.: Sixties (Playoff)
Hairspray JR.: Scatter Dodgeball
Hairspray JR.: Run and Tell That
Hairspray JR.: Hear the Bells (Reprise)
Hairspray JR.: Dirty Boogie
Hairspray JR.: The Big Dollhouse
Hairspray JR.: Baltimore (Reprise)
Hairspray JR.: Without Love
Hairspray JR.: Without Love (Reprise)
Hairspray JR.: I Know Where I've Been
Hairspray JR.: I Know Where I've Been (Playoff)
Hairspray JR.: (It's) Hairspray
Hairspray JR.: Cooties
Hairspray JR.: You Can't Stop the Beat (Part 1)
Hairspray JR.: You Can't Stop the Beat (Part 2)
Hairspray JR.: Exit Music


Curriculum Connection

  • Citizenship
  • Racial Discrimination and Integration in the 1950s and 1960s
  • Bullying
  • Tolerance
  • Diversity
  • 1960s American Music and Lifestyle


Based on the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters


Under the terms and conditions of your organisation’s Performance Agreement, the following credits must appear on all advertising (including websites) relating to the production. Credits must be reproduced faithfully in accordance with the following layout. No alterations or deletions can be permitted unless stated below.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.



Author Billing – Hairspray JR.


In accordance with the Performance Agreement, all advertising, such as posters and programme covers, must include the show logo as provided in the ShowKit® Director's Guide and all of the following author billing.


It is a violation of your contract if you crop or edit the logo in any way.


The [Licensee]


Production of




Hairspray JR.





Book by
Music by
Lyrics by




Mark O'Donnell
  Thomas Meehan
Marc Shaiman
 Scott Wittman
Marc Shaiman
Based on the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters

The following billing must appear on title pages of programmes:

Orchestrations by Harold Wheeler
Arrangements by Marc Shaiman

The billing to you must be in the form specified above, including the words "Production of" below your billing, which shall be visually contiguous with the title, all so that the audience is informed that you are the producer. Your billing shall be no less than 50% of the size of the logo or artwork title, as measured by the proportion of the average size your billing to the largest letter in the logo or artwork title.


The size of credits to the authors shall be no less than 20% of the artwork or logo title as measured by the proportion of the average size of their names to the largest letter in the logo or artwork title.

The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited.

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