Hairspray perfect for Demopolis High

Published 7:00 pm Friday, April 1, 2011

Next week Demopolis High School will become the first such institution in the state of Alabama to perform Hairspray.

That distinction is an honor to the theater department and the young men and women putting on the production. But it is also appropriate.

Demopolis sits less than an hour from Selma and just about two hours from Montgomery, two hotbeds for the Civil Rights movement.

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That proximity means Demopolis has keen insight into prejudice and its problems, central themes in Hairspray’s subject matter.

But integration has worked in Demopolis. Black. White. Hispanic. All seem to get along quite well in any venue.

High school is a microcosm of that functionality. The football team won a state title in 2009 with a strong mix of black and white students. Students cooperate with one another each day, paying little to no attention to race. Focused more on the content of character.

It is appropriate that Demopolis High School is the first in the state to do Hairspray because Demopolis exemplifies the musical’s positive message.