Age of Aquarius: Penn State Centre Stage presents 'Hair'

March 18, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Centre Stage will present the Grammy and Tony award-winning musical "Hair" March 29 to April 9 in the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center.

With music by Galt McDermot and book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, "Hair" tells the story of the “tribe,” a group of politically active, long-haired hippies living a bohemian life in New York City and fighting against mandatory enlistment during the Vietnam War. Directed by Emmy Frank, with music directed by Beth Burrier and choreographed by Aquila Kikora Franklin, the Centre Stage production of "Hair" will feature an exciting cast comprised of current School of Theatre students.

Set in an East Village park in 1967, "Hair" centers on Berger, the charismatic leader of the “tribe,” and Claude, a sweet-natured guy from Queens who is about to be drafted. Other memorable characters include Sheila, Berger’s war protester girlfriend; Chrissy, the lovable flower child; Woof, a major Mick Jagger fan; and many more. The real star of "Hair," however, is the rocking score, which includes the classic hits “Let the Sun Shine In,” “Aquarius,” and “Good Morning Starshine.” "Hair" broke new ground in musical theatre by defining the genre of "rock musical," using a racially integrated cast, and inviting the audience onstage for a "Be-In" finale.

The original Broadway cast recording won the 1969 Grammy Award for “Best Score From an Original Cast Show Album” and the 2009 Broadway revival of "Hair" won the Tony Award for “Best Revival of a Musical.”

“When 'Hair' premiered on Broadway in 1968, it was instantly the hottest ticket in town because it broke every rule of musical theatre and even several laws of society in that era,” said Emmy Frank, director and candidate for the master of fine arts in directing for musical theatre at Penn State. “'Hair' is a protest musical about the United States' involvement in a controversial war. It’s about tense racial relations during the civil rights movement, feminism, the sexual revolution, and so much more. I don't think there is a more exciting time to be directing 'Hair' than in 2016, when so many of these issues have resurfaced for our nation in equally powerful ways.”

Preview performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on March 29 and 31. Evening performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. April 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, and matinee performances will begin at 2 p.m. April 2 and 9. Evening tickets are $25 and matinee/preview tickets cost $18 each. Student tickets are $12 with a valid Penn State ID. Note that "Hair" contains explicit content, including nudity, drug references, sexual references and violence. No one under the age of 18 will be admitted without a Penn State ID or parent/guardian.

An opening night reception will be held on Friday, April 1, and the $30 cost includes pre-show hors d’ouevres and post-show desserts. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the reception and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. The cost of the reception does not include a show ticket.

For additional show information, visit Tickets are available at the Penn State Downtown Ticket Center, Eisenhower Box Office, Bryce Jordan Center, or by calling 814-863-0255 or 1-800-ARTS-TIX. Student and group sales discounts are available.

Last Updated March 24, 2016