Director Homero Bayarena on Glyndon Area Players’ ‘Hairspray’ by Teresa McCormick Ertel

Choreographer Dejelle Johnson.

Glyndon Area Players is a community theater group known for going big, and this year it offers a stellar production of Hairspray, which is opening this Friday, August 10th. I am also the Assistant Director.

Baltimore’s favorite musical is brought to the stage with bold sets, Choreographer Dejelle Johnson’s energetic choreography, and Gordon Green’s deft music direction. The talent and energy brought by the cast will have audiences dancing into the 60`s along with Tracy, Link, Seaweed and Penny. The show’s director Homero Bayarena is putting in double-time as he also takes on the role of Edna Turnblad.Teresa:  How many shows have you directed for Glyndon Area Players?

Homero: This is Glyndon Area Players’ 15th production. This will be the 9th production that I have directed.

Teresa McCormick Ertel, Homero Bayarena, and Gordon Green. Photo by Dana Rampolla.

Has the company fulfilled your goals and vision from when you founded it 15 years ago?

Homero: Somehow I wanted to leave a legacy of showcasing local talent and bringing attention to the arts. Through the years, we have delivered to that goal with excellence. I always believed we could deliver bigger, better, and professional level productions, regardless of the show. To know that this is our 15th production brings me great joy, knowing that hundreds of artists have graced our stage, built our sets, worked behind the scenes, or played in the orchestra.

Rehearsing “Good Morning Baltimore” for Friday’s opening of ‘Hairspray.’ Photo by Teresa McCormick Ertel.

Has the experience of directing Hairspray in its hometown city of Baltimore influenced the way you have directed this production?

Homero: I looked at Hairspray as a wonderful challenge. Every show that I have directed transports me to another world, time period or fantasy land. Hairspray brought me to my backyard. I didn’t grow up here in Baltimore, but I invested many hours interviewing locals to get the flavor of what Baltimore was like back in the 60s. We worked diligently to maintain the flavor of Baltimore but also to maintain the vision of John Waters’ original film version of Hairspray.

Teresa: Directing this show has been a dream of yours, so our process from the beginning was very careful and calculated. You and I spent about 12 hours total blocking and discussing your vision for the show before we began rehearsing, and casting was also key.

Share some thoughts on your audition process and cast for this production.

Homero: We never really know who will show up during auditions. You pray that the “right” people will show up. I never get nervous about it. People will show up and then it is my task as Director to figure out how to fit them into show roles. I wanted to make sure we stayed true to the ages of the actual roles so I was thrilled when we ended up with an older teen cast. The adults that round out the cast list are extremely talented and balance out the energy from the teen cast.

Teresa: Yes! It amazes me how this charismatic cast came together. For instance, we recruited our Link Larkin for auditions after I spotted him at a local art school function and our Motormouth Maybelle was originally just at auditions to support her daughter, one of the Dynamites. I agree that this is a special group of people and we’ve got some truly show stopping moments. And how fun that Baltimore staple Café Hon is catering our luncheon?

The cast rehearsing “Big, Blonde, and Beautiful.” Photo by Teresa McCormick Ertel.

Homero: We are very proud of our Pre-show Dinner and Pre-show Luncheon. Linwoods Restaurant from Owings Mills, MD has done an amazing job of providing 5-star catering for our Pre-show Dinner. People will come year after year, especially for the famous Linwoods crabcakes. Personally, I also absolutely love the kid’s meal they provide. This year since we are in Hairspray mode, we wanted to once again provide something that was very ‘local.’ Where else to go local for our Pre-show Luncheon than Cafe Hon? We are thrilled to share local flavor, featuring Cafe Hon’s meatloaf sliders with mashed potatoes.

What is up next for G.A.P.?

Homero: We currently have a show slated for next year that might involve something called a ‘barricade’ but we are waiting for the copyright approval. If our first choice does not get approved, then we will be taking a visit to Siam. Regardless of the show, once again GAP will deliver with excellence.

Rehearsing ‘Without Love.” Photo by Teresa McCormick Ertel.

Hairspray plays through August 10-19, 2012 at Glyndon Area Players -at Sacred Heart School  -63 Sacred Heart Lane, in Glyndon, Maryland. For tickets, call (410) 861-8958, or fill out the ticket order form. Here are directions.


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  1. My friend and I saw some of your cast at The Honfest and liked their voices so much that we had decided we wanted to see the play even though we had seen Hairspray at River Hill School last year. Those Hairspray littl cards with info, etc. that you gave out at The Honfest were great as for size, etc. Nexr time put a phone number as we got lost coming to the show Saturday. The programs were great (I read them cover to cover always), set designs were great, band was great, acting, costumes, etc. were all great. The only negative comment we found was the little energetic girl spoke too fast and many of her words were missed. Too, some of the speaking voices were not loud enough and did not project as they should. Other than that, it was a great show, particularly the set designs…..awesome. Thanks for a great show and keep up the good work!! Great talent!


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