‘Hairspray’ to open with seasoned acting group


Nikko Maresca

Alum Izzy Amor, first-year theater student Allison Vallario, third-year culinary student Annie Gorenflo and second-year transfer studies student Johnny Dunkerly (left to right) will be in “Hairspray” this fall.

Daniel Nickerson, Web Designer

The cast of AACC’s production of “Hairspray”—which opens on Nov. 9 in the Kauffman Theater—is a collection of seasoned actors and those who are relatively new to the acting game.

“I’ve done theater ever since I was like, 9 years old,” Johnny Dunkerly, a second-year transfer studies student, said.

Dunkerly, who plays Link Larkin, the love interest of heroine Tracy Turnblad, acted in elementary and middle school, at his church and in community theater before winning the role in “Hairspray,” his first show at AACC.

“It was nerve-racking,” Dunkerly said about trying out for the first time at AACC, but admitted he already “feels a lot better. Everyone’s nice and open and excited to hear [my] ideas.”

Annie Gorenflo, who plays Tracy Turnblad, also started acting as a child.

“I took a drama class when I was 5, and I just fell in love with it,” said Gorenflo, a third-year theater arts student. She said “Hairspray” is her favorite play yet, despite acting since seventh grade.

“I enjoy all aspects of theater,” Gorenflo said. “I’ve been raising myself in it.”

Jonas Pallaro-Sonneborn, a fourth-year creative writing student, will play Edna Turnblad, Tracy’s mother.

“I get to wear a drag costume,” said Pallaro-Sonneborn, who played the same role in his high school’s production of the show. He defined this opportunity as coming “full circle.”

Pallaro-Sonneborn said he stopped acting for his first two years of college, and then performed in the production “Neverwhere,” a fantasy story that takes place in London.

Pallaro-Sonneborn went beyond acting to assistant direct the AACC double feature of “The Actor’s Nightmare” and “Other Stage Dreams” in April, which details the struggles actors face while auditioning.

He also wrote and directed a play titled “Dragon Hunting Support Group,” which AACC actors performed at last year’s Capital Fringe Festival.