Street Theatre Company’s upcoming production of the popular musical Hairspray is nearing the end of rehearsals. I was lucky enough to meet with several members of the show’s extremely talented cast and crew. This week I interview Daniel Rye, who plays Seaweed, who falls in love with the heroin’s best friend.
Daniel, thanks for making the time to share your experience with us. Tell us a bit about your personal history in the theatre.
College is where I really started out- I attend Austin Peay. This is my first show in Nashville, so I’m branching out a little bit. My first show in college was If. I also played the lead role in Pippin, and we just finished Bat Boy. So there have been a lot of diverse roles for me. Playing Bat Boy was challenging- he’s so wild and athletic, so there was a lot of physical preparation. So far, it’s my favorite.
So Street is the first professional theatre company you’ve worked with. How has that been?
Street theatre has been great since the first moment I came to auditions. They helped melt some of the pressure off my back, and the audition was a great process. I haven’t had a dull or sour moment working with these guys.
Hairspray is a challenging show that deals with tough topics. Tell us about your character.
Seaweed and myself are completely different people. Seaweed’s suave and outgoing, but I’m almost introverted at times. One of the fun things about it is relating to the character and pushing past my own personality.
What’s it like to be a part of a show as relevant to social integration as Hairspray?
The show has helped emphasize my world-view. I’d like to say it’s something that I’ve not been used to growing up, but I have a black father and a white mother and racism still goes on today. This show speaks about what most people push to the back of their minds, and it’s been a pleasure to be a part of a show that brings that back out.
Do you have a ‘dream role?’
My all-time dream role would be Joseph in the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It was one of the first plays I saw, and I just fell in love with it.
This production has a lot going for it. What would you say is the most amazing thing about Street Theatre’s Hairspray?
The vocal talent in this cast is amazing. When I came in for my first music rehearsal with the cast I was blown away by the beautiful sound while we were still sight-reading.
Other articles in this series:
- In the green room at Hairspray with L.T. Kirk
- In the green room at Hairspray with Jon Royal
- In the green room at Hairspray with Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva
- In the green room at Hairspray with Tonya Pewitt
- In the green room at Hairspray with Michael Holder
- In the green room at Hairspray with Tamaiya Clayton
- In the green room at Hairspray with Rollie Mains
- In the green room at Hairspray with Cathy Sanborn Street
Hairspray runs March 25-April 16, with performances Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 5 p.m. Tickets are $16 and $14. For more information visit the Street Theatre Company website.