Spartan actor tours with “Hairspray!” 

Posted on April 09, 2024

Ensemble cast dances in a musical number.
The cast leaps during "Run and tell that." Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel.

Singing! Dancing! Touring the United States! UNC Greensboro’s Gabriel Yarborough stepped into a revival of “Hairspray!” last fall and the UNCG acting major has been touring cities like Boston and Denver ever since. Upcoming stops include Vancouver, San Francisco, and Houston. 

Yarborough brought lessons from UNCG with him. He used his experience performing in UNCG shows like “SpongeBob: The Musical” to launch this phase of his career. “I realized what my personal process was for learning and fully enveloping myself in a new world in a short amount of time,” he says, referring to the challenges of learning a role quickly and maintaining a demanding rehearsal schedule. 

Portrait photo of actor Gabriel Yarborough

He also dove into university life. In addition to acting, he pursued minors in musical theatre and dance. He was a Spartan Orientation staff member, Spartan Guide, and member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. “I love helping people and leaving my mark on campus,” he says. 

Now, Yarborough may be on the road, but he has lots of folks rooting for him at home. The youngest of six, he says family members have often traveled to see him perform. “My family reminds me constantly how proud they are of me and they always try to come out and support me in everything I do,” he reports.  

What does he say about his new role? “‘Hairspray!’ will have you sweating but in a fun way! The community is really great here and it doesn’t even feel like work.” 

This production reunites the original Broadway creative team of director Jack O’Brien and choreographer Jerry Mitchell to bring John Waters’ classic story to the stage. “Hairspray!” will be in Charlotte May 31 – June 2 at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. 

by Mercer Bufter ’11 MA

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