Kent State presents tribal love-rock musical "Hair," honors victims and legacy of May 4

The School of Theatre and Dance's 2019-2020 season, designed to coincide with Kent State University's commemoration of the 50th anniversary of May 4, continues with a production of the Tony Award-winning tribal love-rock musical Hair.

Directed by professor Terri Kent and choreographed by guest artist Martín Céspedes, Kent State's production of Hair captures the counterculture of the late 1960s, underscoring the atmosphere of anti-war protest that permeated the era and was present on the campus of Kent State on May 4, 1970. 

With book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado and music by Galt MacDermot, Hair is the 1967-set story of a 'tribe' of hippies celebrating love and peace and protesting racism, violence, and discrimination during the height of the Vietnam War. Featuring classics such as "Aquarius," "Let the Sun Shine In," and "Good Morning Starshine," Hair drives audiences to ask difficult questions and challenge social norms. 

The production team sees Hair and its themes as a representation of the climate in which May 4 later took place, with the tribe in Hair protesting many of the same issues that students at Kent State protested between April 30 and May 4, 1970. Assistant director Ryan Scoble also identifies the musical's timeless quality, as we continue "to grapple with many of these issues and are still striving to find unity, peace, and love in a world that feels constantly divided."

Despite being set three years prior to May 4, Hair will visually recognize the events at Kent State during the show's opening sequence. Additionally, in keeping with the long-standing tradition of Hair casts to name their 'tribe,' Kent State's cast found another way to pay tribute to the victims of May 4 and honor their and the Kent State community's legacy. "Our tribe has selected the name 'Antinanco,'" says assistant director Ryan Scoble, "which is the Mapuche Indian word meaning 'eagle of the sun.' This name was chosen to pay tribute to the Golden Flashes we lost that day, as well as the amazing school community that rose up and continues to thrive in the shadow of these tragic events."

Hair runs Nov. 1-10, 2019 in E. Turner Stump Theatre, located in the Center for the Performing Arts, 1325 Theatre Drive, Kent, OH 44242.

 

The production team includes music direction by assistant professor Jennifer Korecki, costume design by Maru Perez, lighting design by associate professor Jakyung C. Seo, scenic design by Tetta Askeland, sound design by Parker Strong, and technical direction by Steve Sawicki. Nate Holley is the props master, Ryan Scoble is the assistant director, and Grant Abbott is the production stage manager.

 

For tickets call 330-672-ARTS (2787), purchase online at www.kent.edu/theatredance or in person at the Performing Arts Box Office located in the Roe Green Center lobby of the Center for the Performing Arts at 1325 Theatre Drive. The box office is open Mon. – Fri., Noon to 5 pm. Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for Kent State University alumni, $14 for faculty and staff, $14 for seniors (60+) and non-Kent State students age 18 and under are $10. Tickets for full-time, Kent campus undergraduates are free of charge. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets for $12 per person.  Flex pass subscriptions are also available. The box office accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, checks, and cash. 

 

For more information on "Hair," please visit https://www.kent.edu/theatredance/hair.

 

HAIR is presented by arrangement with Tams-Witmark, A Concord Theatricals Company (www.tamswitmark.com)


About Guest Choreographer Martín Céspedes:

 

Choreography credits include Man of La Mancha at Porthouse Theatre, Billy Elliot, The Wild Party, American Idiot the Musical, As You Like It & Much Ado About Nothing for Great Lakes Theater, The Fantasticks at St. Louis Repertory Theater, Jane Eyre at Cleveland Musical Theatre, the Ohio premiere of Jośe Rivera’s Marisol at Baldwin Wallace University. Performance credits include Broadway tours of Man of La Mancha with Jack Jones, Ron Holgate, David Canary, The King and I with Hayley Mills, Marie Osmond, Faith Prince, South Pacific with Robert Goulet, West Side Story with Bebe Neuwirth, and Le Cid with Placido Domingo and the Washington National Opera, broadcast live from Kennedy Center. Television appearances include NBC Dance Fever, Weekday Fever. Concert performances with Earth Wind and Fire and The Bee Gees.  Martin was awarded the 2018 Cleveland Critics Circle winner Best Choreography for Jane Eyre and was recently honored for artistic achievement at the 2019 Hispanic Leadership Conference.

As an educator Martín has taught Broadway dance intensives for the School of Cleveland Ballet, and Theater Dance in NYC. He currently sits on the judge panel for Playhouse Square’s Dazzle Awards. 

Martín is a proud member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Actors Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists.

 

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Media Contact:

 

Joni Koneval, 330-672-0116, jkoneval@kent.edu

POSTED: Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 2:47pm
UPDATED: Thursday, November 7, 2019 - 9:02am
WRITTEN BY:
Joni Koneval