The students of MS 577 and PS 17 danced and sang their twist on Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman’s musical Hairspray. A stage full of energetic watusiers, poniers, and mashed potatoers gave the audience the yen to join in the dancing on stage. However the great audience of parents, friends, and fellow students maintained their seats. Lakey Evans-Peña of the Williamsburg Movement & Arts Center (aka WMAAC) led the cast as the show’s director.
Hairspray Jr. marked the third year that Williamsburg Movement & Arts Center (aka WMAAC) partnered with St. Nick’s Alliance/School Settlement to present a junior musical for the MS 577 after school program. “With each year our student talent has grown stronger, leading to our best musical performance to date! The wonderfully talented cast of MS 577 & PS 17 participants, grades 6 through 8, worked dutifully 3 days a week for 4 months under the direction and tutelage of WMAAC Teaching Artists DeAunna Blackwell & Nicky Guiland. None of this would have been possible without the support of MS 577 Principal Maria Masullo, PS 17 Principal Dr. Robert Marchi, St. Nicks Alliance Site Director Ivelise Arroyo, her on site staff and the entire St. Nicks Alliance & School Settlement organization,” said Evans-Peña
MS 577 and PS 17 share a building on 208 N 5th St, Brooklyn. Most of the cast was made up of MS 577’s middleschoolers, however a couple 5th graders from PS 17 had featured roles. “The collaboration between [St. Nicks Alliance] School Settlement Association after school program @ MS 577 with PS 17 was greater this year. This year two of our 5th graders had major parts in the Production of Hairspray. It has allowed 5th graders that join the after schools drama club to build real friendships with middle scholars that normally would not have occurred,” said PS 17’s Parent Coordinator Nancy DeName