A provocative—albeit controversial—theater production arrives at Las Positas College this spring.
1967’s notorious musical “Hair” is set to deploy the raucous echoes of the hippie movement upon a new generation on April 12 through the 21 at LPC’s Mertes Center for the Arts Main Stage Theater.
The production revolves around the struggles and celebrations of the famous 1960’s American youth counter-culture. Tackling heated topics such as war, alienation, revolution, sex, drugs and spirituality, “Hair” has gathered wisdom with age. The 46-year-old production is not only currently relevant—it is marginally more potent than its debut.
“’Hair’ is not typically featured within the community theater,” Wesley Morgan, director of LPC’s “Hair”, said. “When I told my friends and the (LPC) staff that I will be directing “Hair”, they all asked me ‘really? You are running that play?’”
Aside from its subversive themes, “Hair” garnered infamy for an aggressively unconventional modus operandi.
The original production’s cast featured inexperienced actors unsuspectingly recruited from hippie communes. Even audience members were invited to join the actors onstage—in the middle of the show. During an era of tension between an older, sexually repressed generation and the younger, “free-love” sentiments, the original “Hair” featured full nudity onstage.
For the sake of respecting the audience and the cast, Morgan has opted to forgo the nudity in LPC’s production.
Staying true to the script, the nudity will be implied rather than explicit. Morgan also employed a more selective casting than the original production. The cast will be made up of LPC’s own theater community. The audience will still be invited to participate onstage—which is sure to make for a unique show each respective night.
Until opening, the cast is working hard, dedicating each night away from busy school and work schedules for rehearsal.
“Hair” should, without a doubt, “let the sunshine in.”