All posts by theberman

PAIJ Players


The 1950’s are out, and change is in the air!  Hairspray, winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, is a family-friendly musical, piled bouffant-high with laughter, romance and deliriously tuneful songs.

It’s 1962 in Baltimore, and the lovable plus-size teen, Tracy Turnblad, has only one desire – to dance on the popular “Corny Collins Show.”  When her dream comes true, Tracy is transformed from social outcast to sudden star.  She must use her newfound power to dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob, Link Larkin, and most importantly – integrate a TV network…all without denting her ‘do!


Wednesday, February 15 @ 7:30 pm
Thursday, February 16 @ 7:30 pm
Saturday, February 18 @ 8 pm
Sunday, February 19 @ 2 pm
Sunday, February 19 @ 6 pm


Performed by the very first PAIJ Players (Performing Arts in the J), the amazing cast is comprised of members of the Metro Detroit Community, from ages 12 and up – this group of talented performers will knock your bobby socks right off!



All of our production team members are working professionals in Michigan regional theatres and have been through university-based training programs. Areas of focus for core faculty are fundamentals of acting, voice training, improvisation, dance and musical theatre.

CO- DIRECTOR: Mitch Master
Mitch is the Director of the Performing and Visual Arts Department at the Frankel Jewish Academy Metropolitan Detroit. He has a B.S. in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Theatre from Grand Valley State University. Mitch has directed more than 75 musical/drama youth theatre productions and performed in more than 35 stage productions. He studied at The New Actor’s Workshop in New York and spent two years gaining invaluable experience in film/TV in Los Angeles. Mitch has taught and directed youth theatre programs such as the Bloomfield Players, Birmingham Community House, Cranbrook Theatre School, Detroit Country Day School, Seaholm High School, Birmingham Public Education, Kingswood Boys and Girls Middle School, UCLA’s “Bruin Kids” in Los Angeles, Marvin L. Winans Academy of the Performing Arts in Detroit, the Village Players and Deborah’s Stagedoor in Rochester.

CO- DIRECTOR: Elaine (Hendriks) Smith
Elaine (Hendriks) Smith has been a part of The Berman since it’s opening in March, 2011.  Prior to The Berman, Elaine was the Artistic Director of The Historic Gem & Century Theatres (Detroit, MI), Deputy Director of Matrix Theatre Company (Detroit, MI), the Production Manager of Commotion Entertainment and has over 20 years experience as a theatrical manager, designer and presenter nationwide on such production as: Say Goodnight Gracie (Lighting Designer, Stage Manager, Production Manager), Altar Boyz (Production Stage Manager), The Second City, Detroit (Stage Manager & Designer) and Trinity Irish Dance Company (Lighting Designer).

Elaine has been a proud mentor of youth at Matrix Theatre Company, Minnesota Festival Theatre, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, The Second City, Detroit, Roeper Summerstock Theatre and The Berman.  She strongly believes that to help art thrive, you have to educate people that it is accessible and invaluable.


CHOREOGRAPHER: Lindsey Tycholiz