UCF’s Theatre department has been known to perform plays that step out of the box and challenge the norm. In 2012, the department performed Spring Awakening, featuring teens discovering the complexity of teenage sexuality. This Fall, the theater department will challenge safe musicals with another rock musical , Hair.
The musical Hair, created in the late 1960s, is a result of the hippie counterculture and sexual revolution that erupted during the anti-Vietnam war peace movement. The play circled around a young American man whose greatest possession is his hair, unfolds when he is inducted into the Army and at the same time loses his freedom.
When first created, the musical experienced obstacles trying to make it to the Broadway stage due to is use of profanity, and sexual content and nudity. Some critics believe the use of rock music to be vulgar and objected against the plays irreverence.
After first only being performed at public theaters the musical had a turn of events. Micheal Butler, a young entrepreneur from Chicago, discovered the play and because of his admiration to the antiwar message, bought the rights to it. After reconstructing and expanding the play, Butler made history by taking the first off – Broadway musical to Broadway on April 29, 1968 at the Biltmore Theatre.
The wildly divisive, yet historical musical directed by Earl Weaver, opens this week on the main stage, Thursday, October 15 at 8:00pm and will run through October 25. Tickets are on sale now and are available at UCF’s Theatre department’s website for $10 for UCF students.