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2018-08-06 Print

Revolutionary Musical Hair at The Western Stage

The Western Stage presents Hair, a social and cultural phenomenon, a jubilant assertion of life and freedom, and a cry for peace during the show’s 50th Anniversary.


SALINAS, Calif. – 1960 America gave birth to a counter-culture of free-loving, psychedelic, young men and women who abhorred what their country had become. Their protests against the unpopular Vietnam War, in which scores of their generation were brutally exterminated, became the fuel that produced the musical Hair, a social and cultural phenomenon, an assertion of life, and a cry for freedom. On its 50th anniversary, The Western Stage is proud to present the show that brought counter-cultural values to a mass audience and helped loosen up an entire generation.

Hair performs August 11 – September 1, 2018 at Hartnell College’s Mainstage Theatre (K104)/, 411 Central Ave. Salinas, CA.

Hair tells the story of the "Tribe;" a group of politically-active, long-haired "Age of Aquarius" hippies living a bohemian life and fighting against the draft into the Vietnam War. Claude, his good friend Berger, their roommate Sheila, and their friends struggle to balance life, love, and the sexual revolution with rebellion against the war and conservative parents and society. Ultimately, Claude must decide whether to resist the Vietnam draft as his friends have done, or to succumb to the pressures of his parents (and conservative America), compromising his pacifist principles and risking his life. With themes of alienation and civil disobedience, Hair embodies the 60’s generation's search for meaning through "be-ins," "love-ins," and protests.

At its premier, the musical broke new ground in musical theatre history by defining the genre of "rock musical," using a racially integrated cast, and inviting the audience onstage for a "Be-In" finale. Reviewed as daring and fresh, Hair’sthemes had never been brought to the stage before. Hair criticizes and satirizes racism, discrimination, war, violence, pollution, sexual repression, and other societal evils. It is a truly psychedelic musical (in the true sense of the word), perhaps the only one ever on Broadway. In the original production, a scene in which two characters use nudity to protest and provoke police sparked controversy but also praise. In the 1960’s Hippie culture, nudity symbolized rejection of parental & societal repression and an embrace of the alternate philosophy of naturalism, spirituality, honesty, openness and freedom.

Since its premier, numerous productions have been staged around the world, spawning dozens of recordings of the musical, including the 3 million-selling original Broadway cast recording. Some of the songs from its score became Top 10 hits and a film adaptation was released in 1979. A Broadway revival opened in 2009, earning strong reviews and winning the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for Best Revival of a Musical. In 2008, Time wrote, "Today Hair seems, if anything, more daring than ever."

The cast includes not only guest actors Daniel LaJune (Claude) and Bailey Durnin (Sheila) from Santa Maria/PCPA, but actors whose training included TWS’ Young Company: Colin St. John (Berger), Symphonie Constant (Dionne), and Elizabeth Lippa (Ensemble). Several actors recognized locally are Joshua Reeves (Woof), Pete Russell (Hud), Sara Mardon (Jeanie), with Alejandro Albino, Marilyn Cruickshank, Alex Gomez, Aubree Grider, Malia Machado, Adrian Murillo, Larisa Palaniuk, Spencer Wolf, Samson Wright, and Alanna Youngblood filling out the Tribe.

Hair is directed and choreographed by TWS Associate, Lorenzo Aragon, assisted by Sam Trevino, with music direction by Don Dally. Scenic design is by Theodore Michael Dolas; costume design by Sanja Manakoski from Chicago/Northwestern University; hair and makeup design by Maegan Roux; lighting design by Derek Duarte; and sound design by Jeff Mockus.

DETAILS: The Western Stage presents Hair, a social and cultural phenomenon, a jubilant assertion of life and freedom, and a cry for peace during the show’s 50th Anniversary.

WHAT: Hair, Book and Lyrics by Gerome Ragni & James Rado, Music by Galt MacDermot
MAINSTAGE MUSICAL, August 11 – September 1, 2018.

WHEN: Aug 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 31, Sept. 1. Fridays / Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2:00 p.m..

WHERE: The Mainstage Theater, Hartnell College, Building K, 411 Central Ave., Salinas.

TICKETS AND INFO: $26 general admission; $24 for seniors and military; and $12 for children age 5 – 15. Hartnell students are free with student I.D. Other students $20 with I.D. or $5 Student Rush on day of performance. For single or group tickets and information, go to or call 831-755-6816.

PRESS: For press tickets contact Berniz House at or call 831-210-4663. High-resolution press photos can be found here.


Founded in 1974, The Western Stage (TWS) has evolved over the last four decades into one of the most respected community-based theaters on California’s Central Coast. TWS is committed to enriching the culture of its community by bringing together professional artists, theatre students, and community members to produce a dynamic season of plays that enhances the lives of both the artist and audience; developing new works that speak to the history and culture of the Salinas Valley; and provide educational opportunities that allow students of all skill levels to explore and develop their unique talents.


The Hartnell CCD serves over 17,000 students annually through its main campus in Salinas, the Alisal Campus in East Salinas, the King City Education Center, and various outreach learning centers throughout the Salinas Valley. Hartnell College, a Hispanic Serving Institution, provides associate degree and certificate programs, workforce-training, courses in basic skills, and prepares students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Hartnell College is recognized for its innovative public and private partnerships that support world-class education for STEM, career technical education, fine and performing arts, humanities/social sciences, nursing/healthcare, and athletics. We are proud to be the winners of the 2015 Innovation Award for CSin3 – a Computer Science bachelor’s degree in three years. We are growing leaders through opportunity, engagement, and achievement. For more about Hartnell CCD, visit

Contact Info
Berniz House
411 Central Ave, Salinas, CA 93901]]

Phone: 831 -759-6012