Theatre UCF will present “Hair,” the American tribal love rock musical, Oct. 15-25 on the Main Stage at the UCF Campus.
The play, by Gerome Ragni, James Rado, and Galt MacDermot, made its debut in 1967 as a product of hippie counterculture and the sexual revolution of the era. The musical tells the story of a group of politically active hippies who are fighting against the Vietnam War. The “tribe” of friends is helping the leader of the group, Claude, decide whether he should succumb to the pressure of his parents and enlist in the war, compromising his principles.
The show’s themes include sexuality, pacifism, drug use, religion, race, environmentalism, and other issues that are still topical today. The fact that the characters in the play are all young adults makes the play particularly appealing for the college-aged students who are in UCF’s production.
Director Earl D. Weaver notes that he performed the role of Claude as a young adult in 1984. “Having grown up as a baby boomer and child of the 1960s, I had a deep connection to the musical’s themes and message,” said Weaver. “I got to work with a group of like-minded performers my same age as well, and the experience changed my life. I left that production with a deeply felt sense of love for humanity and an understanding that as an artist I had a responsibility to effect social change in the world around me.”
Senior musical theatre major Tyler Beauregard is playing the role of Berger, Claude’s free-spirited best friend, and notes that his involvement in the play has affected his general outlook on life. In the play, the charismatic Berger is physically abusive to his girlfriend, which Beauregard says is challenging for him.
“There are so many issues in the play that are a sharp punch to the gut,” Beauregard said. “It is a good opportunity for everyone to sit back and really get what’s going on in the world. I can’t believe it’s been this many years [since “Hair” first debuted] and these things are still happening.”
Weaver and the cast decided they wanted to include a service-learning project in conjunction with the production and are hosting a drive to collect items for UCF’s student-run Knights Pantry. “Because of the nature of the show and because the show is about community and social consciousness, we wanted to do something in that vein,” he said. “Knights Pantry is dear to my heart and serves hundreds of our students, providing food, toiletries, and other items that students might need.”
The cast is asking that all patrons bring either a non-perishable item or monetary donation to the show. Knights Pantry has a list of the most-needed items on their website, www.knightspantry.org.
Patrons can also contribute to the décor of the theatre by printing out and coloring the black and white Hair poster found at theatre.ucf.edu. All 11×17 or smaller posters that are brought to the theatre will be hung for display in the lobby.
Production at a glance:
(This show contains brief nudity, profanity, sexual situations, and multiple gunshots.)
Books and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado
Music by Galt MacDermot
Directed by Earl D. Weaver
Oct. 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24 at 8 p.m.
Oct. 18, 25 at 2 p.m.
In the age of Aquarius, peace, love, and freedom reign
Flower Power comes to life in “Hair” with a vitality, a timelessness, and a philosophy that bridges generations and cultures. The rock music score includes popular favorites like “Aquarius,” “I Got Life,” and “Let the Sun Shine In.”
$20 standard, $18 seniors, $10 UCF ID