Amish Acres

Amish Acres® Historic Farm and Heritage Resort is Listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is America's most complete Amish heritage experience featuring historic interpretation, culinary and performing arts, lodging, and shopping.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Hairspray weaves a tight net

After twenty years of producing Plain and Fancy musical theatre with some of the best young talent in the country selected from annual New York City auditions, some interesting relationships have developed.

Recently Bob Cline (Plain and Fancy, 1995), who is now a casting director in NYC, was holding auditions for the upcoming national tour of Hairspray, Broadway's Tony Award winning musical of 2003. Tracy Funk (Plain and Fancy, 2003) was at the audition. Bob, seeing that she was an Amish Acres Round Barn Theatre (RBT) alumnus, asked if she knew Jerry O'Boyle (Plain and Fancy, 1994+). Jerry was artistic director of RBT for seven years. He has been out of professional theatre since 1999 but has kept his foot in the community theatre door while continuing to live in Nappanee. Bob was having trouble finding a suitable actor to play Edna Turnblad, the role for which Harvey Fierstein won the Tony for best actor...or was it best actress?

Having his number from Tracy, Bob called Jerry at his dispatcher's job and suggested he come to NYC and audition for the part. Jerry couldn't arrange a timely flight and went about his business. A week later Bob called back with urgency and implored Jerry to get on the next plane and bring his high heels. He was hired on the spot. The tour begins shortly in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The reason I know is because Bret Schrier (Sound of Music, 1998) who was directing Forever Plaid at the RBT at the time of Jerry's hiring, was called the next week to music direct and conduct the same tour. They arrive in Atlantic City Thursday and the run at Harrah's opens July 23 through September 8 before it hits the road. I've always heard musical theatre is a small world, I didn't know Nappanee was in the middle of it.

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