Through Aug. 20: ‘Hairspray’

square-hairsprayEmpire Theatre Company will open its fifth season with the hit musical Hairspray at the Empire Arts Center on Aug. 9.

The musical takes place in 1962 Baltimore, and the lovable plus-size teen Tracy Turnblad has only one desire – to dance on the popular Corny Collins Show. When her dream comes true, Tracy is transformed from social outcast to sudden star. She must use her newfound power to dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a TV network, all without denting her ‘do!

Hairspray will run Aug. 9-13 and 16-20 with all performances at 7:30 p.m. at the Empire Arts Center. Tickets are $22 for adults and $17 for students/military. Seating is reserved. Tickets can be purchased weekdays at 701.746.5500 or anytime at

“The Empire Theatre Company is excited to bring Hairspray to Grand Forks for the first time ever,” says Executive Director Emily Montgomery.  “It’s our biggest musical production to date, and it certainly won’t disappoint.”

Hairspray features the following regional actors:  Abigail Gilbert, Chris Stoner, Hyrum Patterson, Therese Kulas, Leah Biberdorf, Maura Ferguson, Brody Katka, Cody Olson, AnneMarie Brack, Leo Lakpa, Sasha Yearwood, Elisabeth Hoplin, Casey King, Calli Medley, Seth Cline, Alex Kleven, Juliet Wolfe, Casey Hennessy, Bethany Van Eps, Tyler Folkedahl, Justine Liza, Nicque Robinson, Daysha Ramsey, Ponny White, Cathleen Pollot, and RJ Morin.  The production is directed by Chris Berg.  David Henrikson is music director, and Patrick Kasper is the choreographer.  The stage manager is Jace Erickson, with Ivy McGurran acting as assistant stage manager.

The Empire Theatre Company is a program of the Empire Arts Center.  The Empire Theatre Company’s mission is to produce contemporary plays and musicals that are well-crafted and bold.  Hairspray opens ETC’s fifth season, which also includes Constellations, A Christmas Story The Musical, Peter and the Starcatcher, and Blackbird.

About Empire Arts Center
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Empire Arts Center is dedicated to promoting the arts in the greater Grand Forks community. The Empire provides a welcoming venue for other local arts organizations, as well as developing our own artistic programming such as the Empire Theatre Company and the Backstage Project. The Empire is also home to the UND Art Collections Gallery; exhibits from this collection have displayed works by renowned artists such as Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali.