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Cal State L.A. travels back to the ’60s, into the Age of Aquarius

A tribe of 24 CSULA students to perform the ’HAIR’ rock musical at the State Playhouse

Event details

“HAIR” - lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and music by Galf MacDermot

May 17-19 and May 23-26
Thu.-Sat. 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m.

State Playhouse, on the Cal State L.A. campus. For campus map or directions: http://www.calstatela.edu/univ/
maps/cslamap.php

Admission is $12 for general, $8 for seniors/students. For tickets, go to http://www.calstatela.edu/
academic/al/
purchasetickets.php
For details, call (323) 343-4118.

Credits

Director:
Professor Stephen Rothman

Musical Director:
Professor Steve Wight

Choreographer:
Adjunct Faculty Member Colette Brandenburg

Scenic Designer:
Guest Artist Ken George

Lighting Designer:
Guest Artist Casey Cowan Gale

Costume Designer:
Guest Artist Naila Aladdin-Sanders

Stage manager:
Ariel Richardson, student

Assistant stage managers:
Roland de Leon and Jennifer Castillo, students

Assistant light designer:
Jessica Morataya, student

Group picture of “HAIR” student-actors at rehearsal.
(Rehearsal photo courtesy of CSULA Department of Music, Theatre and Dance.)

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius…

Though all of the cast members are not old enough to have had those lyrics engrained in their minds several decades ago, after countless rehearsals performing “HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical,” they likely now hear it in their sleep.

Presented by the University’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance, Cal State L.A. will take audience back into the “Age of Aquaurius” for two weekends—May 17-19 and May 23-26—in the State Playhouse on the CSULA campus.

Introduced on Broadway in 1968, “HAIR” is a recipient of the Grammy for Best Score from an Original Cast Show Album.

The rock musical tells a story of a group of young people in New York City’s East Village who band together, much like a Native American tribe. They question authority and the society they are living in. They seek to change the world, and to recreate themselves.

Whitney Tenney, a third-year MFA student in Television, Film and Theatre, shared that one of the greatest challenges in this production has been allowing herself to trust and break down barriers.

Group picture of student-actors from HAIR production.
(Cast photo courtesy of CSULA Department of Music, Theatre and Dance.)

“Luckily, the tribe and director have been the most wonderful, open, loving, committed, hardworking and creative group of people I have ever worked with,” she said. “I am very proud of my own growth as a member of this incredible ensemble. With the insular hippie love circle we’ve cultivated over the last seven weeks, I hope that the audience feels our trust, love and dedication to spreading the message that makes ‘HAIR’ such a unique, timeless and important piece of American theatre.”

According to Stephen Rothman, the musical’s director, “HAIR” captured the experimental atmosphere of the 1960’s. It became a forum of struggle between tradition and change as attempts were made to censor the show’s content and even ban the production altogether.

Twice “HAIR” producers and performers went to the U.S. Supreme Court fighting for the freedom it was celebrating, and signaled a new age as the courts upheld the show’s right to freedom of speech.

“What makes this performance so special and magical is that the students have all evolved during this rehearsal process into a collaborative unit known as the tribe,” said Rothman. “As such, they have reached a level of professionalism on stage that matches the work you see at The Mark Taper Forum and The Pasadena Playhouse. I am so proud of our 24 cast members for making this incredible performance journey.”

Members of the cast include CSULA students Kristen Bailey, Candice M. Clasby, Elizabeth J. Cron, Romeiro Davis, Kevin Ezeh, Anthony Fisher, Ruben Francisco Flores, Jeanette Franco, Ramon Garcia, DJ Glenn, Katy Groskin, Kate Harmon, Jennifer Harrell, Hana Michelle Kipnis, Jessica Miller, Brenda Perez, Matthew Ryan Pest, Mark Peterson, Rocio Ponce, Miraya Romo, C. DeJuan Ruffin, Christopher Sorenson, Erika Elise Steele, and Whitney Tenney.

“We [the cast] have known we are part of this thing called a ‘tribe’ for more than four months,” said Cron, a junior in the theatre arts and dance program. “We’ve done everything any other cast would do for a musical: learn lines, music, choreography, and blocking. It goes far deeper though. We learned to love one another and ourselves. We are brothers and sisters; we are professionals. It will be our greatest joy to share our stories and messages of peace and love. Join us for a trip to the 1960s and find yourself becoming the newest member of our tribe!”

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Last Update: 05/17/2013