Portland Center Stage kicks off their 2023-24 season with a spectacular high-energy musical that’s all about community: directed by Isaac Lamb, HAIR begins preview performances on September 30, opens on October 6, and runs through November 5 on the mainstage. Exploring ideas of identity, free love, community, global responsibility, and peace, HAIR reminds us that history is never far away — and that our collective voice is a powerful tool for change. Tickets are on sale now, including sliding scale tickets for BIPOC affinity night, a.k.a. The People’s Party, on Thursday, October 12, at 7:30 p.m.
When HAIR debuted on Broadway in 1967, barriers were broken and the “rock musical” genre was defined. HAIR celebrates boundary-pushing young people, who would rather lift up ideals of peace, love, and exploration, than be drafted and forced into government-led wars and restrictive societal paragons. Journey into the 1960s counterculture movement of freedom with new forms of self-identification, radical ideals about who and how to love, and beloved songs such as “Age of Aquarius,” “Let the Sunshine In,” “Hair,” and many more.
“I think what drew me to HAIR is how important it feels right now to tell stories about young people attempting to remake the world. We are confronted with generational problems on so many fronts – systemic racism, vast income inequality, climate change, the housing crisis, political divisions – and making this particular show feels like an intentional act of hope in turbulent times,” says director Isaac Lamb. “HAIR may be rooted in a very specific time period but it remains distinctly relevant and has much to tell us about the cultural headwinds we currently face. May we be lucky enough to have our younger generations seize the reins with as much love and joy as the ensemble of humans HAIR brings onstage.”
Isaac is joined in his pursuit of love and joy by designers near and far, including Music Director Ty Chiko and Choreographer Muffie Delgado Connelly, whose work was recently on stage in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Scenic designer Diggle’s work features a community mural with artwork from community members collected at PCS’s Open House in August; Local costume designer Lucy Wells will bring the 1960s hippie garb to life; Lighting Designer Carl Faber will bring the sunshine in; HAIR’s rock classics will be supported with sound design by Scott Thorson. Finally, HAIR wouldn’t be complete without the extraordinary wig design by Jessica Miller. On stage, new faces and PCS favorites come together: Solomon Parker III, Skyler Verity, Maddie Tran, Hannah Sapitan, Delphon “DJ” Curtis Jr., Antonio Lopez-Villarreal, Olivia Phillip, Lauren Steele, Bets Swadis, Tyler Andrew Jones, Renee Ross, Noellia Hernandez, Paul Louis Lessard, Malia Tippets, Morgan Ashley Bryant, Travis Keith Battle, and swings Danielle Valentine, Evelyn Wohlbier, Emmanuel Davis.
“Every now and then, a piece of American performance is so memorable that it both redefines its medium and reframes the culture at large.” – New York Times
ABOUT THE PLAY
Let the sunshine in! With an iconic score that changed pop culture forever, HAIR is as relevant today as it was when it radicalized a generation in 1968. This revolutionary rock musical tells the story of a group of counter-culturalists whose worlds are shaken when one of them receives his draft notice for the Vietnam War. Exploring ideas of identity, free love, community, global responsibility, and peace, HAIR reminds us that history is never far away — and that our collective voice is a powerful tool for change.
Thu, September 7, 5 p.m. • FREE
Join us in celebrating September First Thursday featuring live music DJ set by AloSo (Fever Dream, The NumberZ FM, and Diva Drag Brunch), crafts by artist Cositas PDX, and an art exhibit titled I Think of You/illuminating mass incarceration in the Ellyn Bye Studio lobby. Complimentary beer will be provided by our partners at Deschutes Brewery while supplies last.
Fri, September 22, 7:30 p.m. • FREE (RSVP)
The Immigrant Story and Portland Center Stage bring the acclaimed live storytelling event, The Immigrant Story Live, to the U.S. Bank Main Stage. We invite you to hear four compelling first-person tales of courage, fortitude, and resilience in the face of unimaginable challenges by members of our community from Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Mexico, and India, followed by a melodious singing performance by Shivani Joshi, presenting traditional ghazals and folk tunes from South Asia.
The People’s Party: BIPOC Affinity Night for A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Thu, October 12, 7:30 p.m. • Sliding scale tickets w/ FREE pre- & post-show offerings
The People’s Party: BIPOC Affinity Nights are a mindful curation of an environment meant to center the experience of people who identify as part of the BIPOC community (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) — dedicated to generating a space for BIPOC individuals to engage with the performance in ways that are authentic to them. All people who self-identify as BIPOC, and their guests, are specifically invited to attend. Though no one will be turned away, it is encouraged that folks outside of the BIPOC community join us on another night.
The group features a mix of local and national actors, including Solomon Parker III, Skyler Verity (RENT), Madeline Tran, Hannah Sapitan, Delphon “DJ” Curtis Jr. (Hedwig…, RENT, Choir Boy), Antonio Lopez-Villarreal, Olivia Phillip (Ain’t Misbehavin’), Lauren Steele (tick, tick…BOOM!, the ripple, the wave that carried me home), Bets Swadis (JAW 2023), Tyler Andrew Jones (tick, tick…BOOM!, A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Renee Ross, Noellia Hernandez, Paul Louis Lessard, Malia Tippets, Morgan Ashley Bryant, Travis Keith Battle, and swings Danielle Valentine, Evelyn Wohlbier, Emmanuel Davis.
THE CREATIVE TEAM
Book & Lyrics by Gerome Ragni & James Rado; Music by Galt MacDermot; Director Isaac Lamb; Music Director Ty Chiko; Choreographer Muffie Delgado Connelly; Scenic Designer Diggle; Costume Designer Lucy Wells, Lighting Designer Carl Faber; Sound Designer Scott Thorson; Wig Designer Jessica Miller; Intimacy Director Amanda Vander Hyde; Band Leader Joshua Hegg; Stage Manager Janine Vanderhoff; Assistant Stage Manager Kristina Mast; Associate Director Megan Smith, and Dramaturg Kamilah Bush. New York Casting by Andrea Zee.
TICKET AND PERFORMANCE INFORMATION
When: September 30-November 5, 2023*
*Opening Night/Press Night: Friday, October 6, at 7:30 p.m.
Preview Performances: September 30, October 1, 4, 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Pay What You Will Performances: June 4 and June 22 at 7:30 p.m.
The People’s Party: BIPOC Affinity Night: October 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: On the U.S. Bank Main Stage at The Armory, 128 NW Eleventh Ave, Portland, Oregon.
To Purchase Regular Tickets: Prices range from $25 to $93, and tickets may be purchased at 503-445-3700 or in-person from the box office. Prices vary by date and time and are subject to change.
Ticket Specials: Visit pcs.org/deals to view ticket specials, including Rush Tickets, Pay What You Will, Arts for All, Active Duty, Military Veteran, Student, Under 30, The Armory Card, Groups of 10+, and more.
Please Note: This production is recommended for ages 14 and up. It contains mature themes and language, drug use, and brief nudity.
Accessibility: Learn about accessibility options at pcs.org/access.
PORTLAND CENTER STAGE
Portland Center Stage’s mission is to create transcendent theatrical experiences and community programs that break down the barriers separating people. We support our community in celebrating the full scope of humanity, appreciating difference, and fostering belonging. PCS was established in 1988 as a branch of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and became independent in 1994. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Marissa Wolf and Managing Director Liam Kaas-Lentz, the company produces a mix of classic, contemporary, and world-premiere productions, along with a variety of high-quality education and community programs. As part of its dedication to new play development, the company has produced 28 world premieres, many of which were developed at its JAW New Play Festival. PCS’s home is The Armory, a historic building originally constructed in 1891. After a major renovation, The Armory opened in 2006 as the first building on the National Register of Historic Places, the first performing arts venue in the country, and the first building in Portland to achieve a LEED Platinum rating.
Portland Center Stage is committed to identifying and interrupting instances of racism and all forms of oppression through the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA). Learn more at pcs.org/idea.
The Portland Center Stage 2023-24 Season is funded in part by Season Superstars Ronni LaCroute, the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, and the Regional Arts and Culture Council; Season Supporting Sponsors Ray and Bobbi Davis, and US Bank; Producing Sponsors Ellyn Bye, Mark Spencer, Argyle Winery, and Deschutes Brewery; and Guardian of the Arts Sponsor, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Oregon Arts Commission, a state agency funded by the state of Oregon. HAIR is supported by the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE, Liberace and Liza is supported by The Watermark at the Pearl, What the Constitution Means to Me is supported by Chrys Martin and Jack Pessia, and Quixote Neuvo is supported by Kelly Bulkeley and Hilary Krane. Additional program sponsors are the Brown-Forman Company, Multnomah Whiskey Library and NW Natural.