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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

“Thank God for COVID,” says All-White High School Who Were Planning Production of “Hairspray”

by Ish Gupta. @doofyish.

BOTSFORD, Conn. – The Botsford High School Drama Club announced Tuesday that, despite initial widespread lament over the coronavirus-related cancellation of their Spring musical, they’re now relieved by the decision, as their previously planned, all-white production of Hairspray would have likely not gone over well, the students confirmed.

“Don’t get me wrong. Not getting to do my senior show sucks, but to be honest, maybe it’s a good thing we didn’t bring that out into the world,” said Botsford senior Emily Crebbin. “I don’t know if you can picture a 17-year old Drake Bell-looking white guy singing “Run and Tell That”, but it’s not something anyone ever needs to see.”

Many students, involved with both on and offstage aspects of the production, expressed various concerns since the rehearsal process began.

“I was confused as to how we were gonna cast this from the beginning, and then when it hit me that we had legitimately zero students of color, I started to freak out,” said makeup artist Jasmen Hunter. “Can you imagine if someone asked me to paint their face black during tech week? I just got accepted at Central, I can’t have that on my resume. You saw what happened to those kids on TikTok.”

Music Director Stefano Sanzo noted that the recent Black Lives Matter protests in response to the murder of George Floyd, and the ensuing national conversation surrounding race relations in America, would have made everyone involved even more uncomfortable with their plan.

“These kids are smart. They know the last thing anyone needs after a week of civil unrest is a bunch of rich kids from Connecticut singing to them about a civil rights movement they weren’t even alive for,” Sanzo told reporters. “I mean, this would have been a bad idea no matter what, but the world is straight up and justifiably on fire right now. I’m honestly surprised you’re even reporting on this.”

Despite the growing awareness of current issues in the Botsford community, it seems that neighboring communities have yet to face those difficult conversations. At the time of reporting, several other area high schools were looking forward to their Fall performances of Ragtime, West Side Story, and Botsford Elementary’s upcoming performance of Once on this Island.


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