Penguin Project

Penguin Project

Hairspray Jr.

Friday, January 18, 2019 – 7:30 PM 
Saturday, January 19, 2019 – 7:30 PM 
Sunday, January 20, 2019  – 2:00 PM

The 1950s are out, and change is in the air! Hairspray JR. is the family-friendly musical piled bouffant-high with laughter, romance and deliriously tuneful songs. Adapted from the Broadway production that won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Hairspray JR. is a show that will celebrate your students’ diversity and bring audiences to their feet with its positive message and uproarious sense of humor.  
It’s 1962, and spunky, plus-size teen, Tracy Turnblad, has one big dream – to dance on the popular “Corny Collins Show." When she finally gets her shot, she’s transformed from social outcast to sudden star. In balancing her newfound power with her desire for justice, Tracy fights to dethrone the reigning Miss Teen Hairspray, Amber von Tussle, and integrate a TV network in the process. With the help of her outsized mom, Edna, and guest DJ, Motormouth Maybelle, the rhythm of Tracy’s new beat just might prove unstoppable.

Hairspray JR. is filled with a host of parts for a wide cross-section of students and an abundance of energetic production numbers. 
Online Ticket Ordering


Once a year, a magical and touching celebration of the human spirit unfolds at Eastlight Theatre in East Peoria, Illinois. A group of children in a program called The Penguin Project® take to the stage to perform a modified version of a well-known Broadway musical. This production is unique, however, because all of the roles are filled by children with developmental disabilities including Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, visual impairment, hearing impairment, and other neurological disorders. They are joined on stage by their “peer mentors”, a group of children the same age without disabilities, who have volunteered to work with them side-by-side and guide them through 4 months of rehearsals and the final production. By creating unrestricted access to the performing arts, The Penguin Project® demonstrates that the special challenges of a disability need not handicap a child’s ability to participate in life’s experiences. For more information, please visit http://www.penguinproject.org/


  • 2004 Annie Jr.
  • 2006 Music Man Jr.
  • 2007 Guys and Dolls Jr.
  • 2008 Beauty and the Beast Jr.
  • 2009 High School Musical Jr.
  • 2010 Fiddler on the Roof Jr.
  • 2011 Disney’s High School Musical Jr.
  • 2012 Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr.
  • 2013 Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.
  • 2014 Grease! School Edition
  • 2015 Seusical Jr.
  • 2016 Singin in the Rain Jr.
  • 2017 Crazy for You Young Performers Edition
  • 2018 Mary Poppins Jr.