‘Let the Sunshine In’ on Franklin Pierce University

Hello everyone,

Lend Me Your Comb is back. Here is my latest blog…It is about Franklin Pierce’s production of HAIR. Hope you enjoy:     

This year Franklin Pierce University performed Hair, a love and rock musical. It was performed at the Warehouse Theatre from Wednesday April 11 to Sunday April 15. This musical production was directed by Nancy Stone, and choreographed by Wendy Dwyer.
Hair won the Tony for best revival of a musical in 2009. “I thought that many of the students would be familiar with it because it won this prestigious award. I also thought that it would be a musical the faculty might remember and the time period in history,” explained Nancy Stone, when giving reasons for choosing this particular musical. Stone thought it would provide a conversation on all different levels. The musical first opened on Broadway in 1967, not “long after the Civil Rights Act. [Hair] was one of the first to show that young people were breaking down barriers between races, and I think that is an important message to remember at this age,” explained Stone.
“I was interested in finding something that would reflect the early integration that happened in the 60s. Luckily, I think here at Franklin Pierce we are well integrated. There was once a time when there was segregation, and this show came out not long after the Civil Rights Act. It was one of the first to show that young people were breaking down the barriers between races, and I think that is an important message to remember at this age,” she said.
Stone explained that it portrays two main themes. “It exemplifies the theme of sacrifice that young men and women now make for their country, and the theme of questioning authority, and questioning the military. It is important to recognize those who serve, but not forget to question why they serve,” said Stone.
Franklin Pierce’s performance did have some edits of the original musical, if it did seemed like things were missing. Stone deleted some parts. The original production is supposed to have a cast of 35, and to be presented in a big theatre. “I knew we wouldn’t have enough people to make all of the costume changes and make all of the number of characters that were represented. I condensed; I put some of the characters into one character. I cut some songs in which I felt was not advancing the plot, nor did I have enough people to cover one song and go on to another song and get ready.”
The character of Berger was played by Roger Snell, who graduated from Franklin Pierce in 2007. The male selection that auditioned for the musical this year was quite slim, so Stone along with Dwyer and the vocal director, Dorothy Yanish, decided to ask Snell if he would like to do the show, and he accepted. This is not the first time an alumnus has come back to perform in a theatre production.
“The whole performance was wonderful, but at such a speed it was hard to digest what was going on. I don’t think any character had the time to develop,” said student, Gabe Vega. Alyssa Borelli, a freshman said, Hair “was well choreographed and the lighting was amazing. The performance was entertaining; it was a lot of fun. It demonstrated an abundant amount of talent that comes from Franklin Pierce.”
There were mixed reviews, it did seem like I was missing something, but it definitely came together in the end. I was not fully familiar with Hair before I went to see it here; I had only seen bits and pieces of some performances. My favorite song is definitely “Aquarius,” that is the song that opens up the show. It explains that a new age is dawning, and times are changing. Overall the set was wonderful and the cast and crew did an amazing job. Sometimes it is hard to do such an influential piece, but I think they pulled it off. The issues that were prevalent in the show still apply to today’s society, and need to be reiterated. The singing and dancing were phenomenal, and the entire production was amazing. For what they had to work with, the end product came out very well.

Amelia Walters
Pierce Arrow Assistant Editor-In-Chief

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