After years of working community theatre shows, I thought I knew what to expect going into Summer Stock Stage's production of "Hair."
I expected it to be cutesy and pretty amusing to see a bunch of high-schoolers try to relive the Vietnam War era, even though I couldn't do much better myself. I found out that I underestimated these kids -- big time.
Instead of being surrounded by eager parents who forgot to turn the flash off on their cameras as they sneaked pictures they were told not to take, I found myself enveloped in a community of regular theatre-goers. It was a fun crowd that ranged all age groups. I saw high school aged kids dressed up to support their friends and an older generation of people in tie-dyed dresses and scarves reminiscent of when "Hair" first appeared on stage. I even recognized many theatre professionals that I have had the chance to work with. My boyfriend and I had fun counting how many Indiana Repertory Theatre actors and staff we saw roaming around the lobby.
Each piece of this production was shrouded in professionalism and passion. I had heard about the wonderful professional atmosphere these young actors had been in during the rehearsal process, and I saw it translated on stage. Each character was engaged in the action. I know this can only come from a tight bond and a close working relationship between cast members. If an audience member's eyes had wandered from the person singing a solo, they could see the entire tribe hanging on their every word.
See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.