COVENTRY â€” Coventry High Schoolâ€™s adaption of Hair: the American Tribal Love-Rock Musical opens tonight in the high school auditorium.
Since September, a group of 28 students plus the backstage crew and band have been learning their lines, music and choreography for the show that will be held on tonight, and both Friday and Saturday nights.
According to the theater program director, Myke Wilkinson, Hair became a hit in 1968 on Broadway and was very controversial due to drug use and sexual references.
â€śItâ€™s about a group of hippies that are in an abandon lot, a construction site lot, in New York City, and they tell stories and sing songs about themselves, their lives, against societyâ€”celebrating peace, freedom and love,â€ť said Wilkinson.
In order to be appropriate for a high school production, he explained the show has been adapted for a younger audience including removing a number of songs.
â€śI wanted to do this one because I like the music a lot,â€ť he said. â€śI think the spirituality, and the peace, freedom and love [aspect] is important, even in todayâ€™s environment.â€ť
When Wilkinson saw Hair on Broadway, he said that by the end of the show, the audience was dancing in the aisles. â€śWhich I hope is the same way here.â€ť
Khrysta Ryan, 17, the stage manager for the show, said, â€śThe show, in general, is something Iâ€™ve always been passionate about.â€ť
â€śI was confused at firstâ€”thinking how are you going to do the show at a high school?â€”because if youâ€™ve seen the show, you know itâ€™s very risquĂ©. [But] everything, the changes and the way that each person took the character into their hands, changed the show completely,â€ť said Ryan.
Hair is set in the winter of 1968. One of the cast members, William Stiles, 16, explained that it is about one â€śtribeâ€ť of friends who are trying to promote peace during a time when people are being drafted into the Vietnam War.
â€śIt kind of upsets usâ€¦ People are just sending us off to war and force us to do things just by the fact that we live in America,â€ť said Stiles.
Coventry High School will perform Hair on Dec. 8, 9 and 10, beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets for adults are $12 and students 18 and under are $10, and will be available at the door.
For the full story, pick up today's edition of The Times.