The Age of Aquarius - Hair The Musical and Counterculture Movement

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The Age of Aquarius - Hair The Musical and Counterculture Movement

Themes of the Past Return to The Spotlight

The Age of Aquarius - Hair The Musical and Counterculture Movement

Let the sunshine in and trip back to 1968 with Bangalow Theatre Company as they bring to Byron Bay the long-awaited Tribal Love-Rock Musical HAIR.

Set in ‘The Age of Aquarius’ in New York City, HAIR explores the counterculture movement of the iconic hippie era of the late 1960s. This timeless classic, first staged in 1968, captures the spirit of the counterculture movement and is a celebration of youth, freedom and the power of love.

It’s 1968 and the Vietnam War is raging while the Age of Aquarius is dawning. Following the huge success of Rent, Chicago and Little Shop of Horrors, Bangalow
Theatre Company (BTC) is set to consolidate its reputation as the region’s premier community-centric live theatre production company with HAIR - the American tribal
love-rock musical.

Byron’s wait for this quintessential hippie musical is finally over! Bangalow Theatre Company’s HAIR beautifully and authentically captures the energy, passion, struggles and possibilities of the era. The immensely talented and dedicated local cast deliver this show with fun, conviction and huge heart”, said Kate Foster, Director.

Hair tells the story of a group of young people who are trying to find meaning in a world that seems to be rapidly changing. Through a blend of rock, folk and soul music, the show explores themes of self-discovery, political activism, and the search for peace and understanding. HAIR follows a young group of hippies fighting the establishment, dodging the drafts, getting high, living and loving in New York City.

HAIR centres around Claude, his best mate Berger, roommate Sheila, and their tribe of friends as they struggle to balance the demands of a harsh world with their dream
for a more peaceful planet. A sensation when it premiered, HAIR has brought the counterculture movement into theatres all around the world for almost 60 years. The issues of alienation, civil disobedience and youthful defiance are timeless. The BTC production of HAIR features a strong local cast of 16 actors and will be in the capable hands of award-winning actor and director Kate Foster who directed Calamity Jane and Little Shop of Horrors and was assistant director of Rent for BTC.

"We're thrilled to bring Hair to Byron Bay. This show has been a cultural touchstone for more than 50 years, and we're honoured to bring its message of hope, love and understanding to our community, " says Kate Foster, Director.

The Bangalow Theatre Company's production of Hair features a talented cast of local performers who bring a fresh and dynamic energy to this classic show. With its powerful message and upbeat music, Hair is the perfect show for audiences of all ages, and is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Meet The Cast:

“Nothing revives the spirit like the power of music & theatre”. Halley plays the character of Jeanie in BTC’s production of “Hair”. “I love Jeanie! She’s eccentric, mad & full of heart!” Music & the performing arts have always been Halley’s happy place. “It’s my medicine”. After studying a Bachelor of Performing Arts at QUT; Halley went on to fine tune her craft at The Actors Studio in Surry Hills, Sydney. Halley later discovered her passion for songwriting & formed alt-folk band “Jungle Bird”, performing around venues in Melbourne, India & The U.S. Halley has also worked in Film as an acting coach & Disability Advocate for young adults. She is very passionate about diversity representation on screen, speaking on panels at the Melbourne International Film Festival. “After a long hiatus/ life detour from performing arts, I was craving to reconnect back with that part of myself. I felt the call to audition for BTC’s “Hair”. I’m pumped to be a part of this show and so excited to offer this to our community. It’s just the remedy we need after a long, arduous couple of years!”

Mick has thoroughly enjoyed being a firm fixture on theatre stages for several years now, with highlights including lead roles in the likes of “Chicago”, “Pirates of Penzance”, “Cosi”, “Calamity Jane” and “RENT”, as well as his recent turn as the titular “Fantastic Mr Fox”. Television credits include “Eden” and “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here” as well as a featured role in an ABC miniseries screening later this year.

Jocelyn Lewis (Joss) debuts in her first musical and theatrical stage show with HAIR. Her aspiration to live a creatively abundant life drew her to the magnetic pull of the Tribe as she embodies a character that emerged from the back story sessions, who she has named Jelly Bliss. Joss was born and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa in the Apartheid regime, experiencing the harsh realities of systemic racism. She has had a rich musical childhood of singing and a strong sense of community. She has been involved in local choirs and thrives on good harmonies in music. Joss works in a supporting role for teachers in high school as well as mentoring and encouraging students with their work. Joss is an artist, experimenting in various mediums specialising in ceramics, printmaking, soft sculpture and spinning her home grown alpaca fleece. Joss uses her art practice as a tangible way to work through, sit with and ground grief. Joss's biggest achievement is being a mother to two incredibly awesome daughters, and living alongside an inspiring and active partner. From the beginning Hair The Musical has been an epic journey into diving deep into group connections and experiencing the intricate creative processes of the theatre.

SAM YOUNG - Berger
Sam is a graduate of The Victorian College of the Arts and since 2012 has appeared in several theatrical productions and independent theatre-making projects across Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Most recently Sam appeared onstage in Tugun Theatre Company's production of COSI in 2021, prior to that he played a principal role in the Brisbane Shakespeare Festival’s production of Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick. Sam has appeared on numerous television series such as Neighbours (2013), Winners and Losers (2014), The Doctor Blake Mysteries (2015) and Molly (2016) and appeared in the feature film ‘Tailgate’ which aired in cinemas and 9Gem. This is Sam’s first production at BTC since moving into the area in 2022. He is excited to join the ensemble and perform in this production.

Raised on the Gold Coast, Arielle spent much of her early 20’s traveling through the UK and Europe. Recently moving to the Northern Rivers, Arielle is new to the area and BTC. Arielle had a multicultural upbringing like many migrant families in Australia. With a Uruguayan Mother and Latvian Father, Arielle grew to be passionate about language, culture, history, travel and food. Arielle has spent much of her adult life finding the confidence to access and express her inner Latina flare and fire. Being part of HAIR, is a pivotal part in this. Arielle has had a lifelong passion for music, dance and acting. Performing is in her bones and has been a lifelong dream, finally being actualised. “I am over the moon to be on stage sharing this incredible experience and expressing my creative passions with this amazing cast, company and community. Being part of HAIR has been a life-changing experience.”

Max Foggon is a natural born performer. Beginning his journey at age 14 when he joined his fathers reggae/funk band “Ragga Jump” as the bass player, he knew the stage was his home. He then joined the Ballina Players theatre group and appeared in numerous musical theatre shows over the past decade including Grease, Chicago, The Little Mermaid and Beauty & the Beast where he played The Beast. Max also appeared in BTC’s last show RENT in 2021 playing the chapter “Tom Collins”, he was also Nominated for Best Vocal Director in a Community Theatre Musical, Ballina Players, The Little Mermaid - Gold Palm Theatre Awards 2018. After high school, Max enrolled at Southern Cross University to study a Bachelor of Contemporary Music, graduating in 2017. His musical style is influenced by greats such as Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Daft Punk and Jamiroquai. Max now works at the Byron Bay Beach Hotel as the assistant entertainment manager and has mixed acts such as Bernard Fanning (Powder Finger), Wolfmother, Daryl Braithwaite and Katchafire. Musician, Technician, Actor, Entertainer. Max Foggon’s performance skills are bound to excite you and leave you in awe!

Finja spent her childhood studying and performing music and drama. As a teenager she did her Violin Associate Diploma in Music performance (AMusA). She went on to study a Bachelor of Arts / Music at the University and Conservatorium of Melbourne. After a long hiatus she made it back on the stage for the BTC’s 2021 production of RENT.By day Finja is raising four delightful daughters aged 8 and under. She keeps herself inspired through homeschooling her eldest and chasing after her twin toddlers. By night Finja is thrilled to utilise her mother-hen qualities by transforming into the love inducing, shepherdess come peaceful protestor that is “Shelia Franklin”.

Jake's "super hobby" of singing and dancing earned him the lead in Oliver at age 13, after which he joined Shepparton's local theatre arts group, where musical productions became part of his life. At 16 Jake and his hometown best mate took their acoustic duo on the road to Melbourne, gig'ing and performing across the inner city and its famed pub venue circuit. Throughout his 20's Jake balanced career aspirations with his passion for community theatre, contributing to notable productions including Grease, Fame and The Sound of Music amongst others. But it would be his move to the Northern Rivers and the discovery of the BTC community that would help reignite Jake's love for all facets of creative production, theatre and the arts in general. First cast in BTC acclaimed production of Rent, Jake has since added credits in a variety of short films, performing as Boggis in Byron Castings production of Fantastic Mr Fox and pursued an array of other behind the scenes roles.

Japanese-born, Tia steps into her 4th show with Bangalow Theatre Company. Her love of performance started early on, watching her father busk to big crowds on the streets of Japan in the 90’s. At age 11, Tia and her family moved to Australia, and it was here that she continued to hone her skills as a professional dancer; learning all styles from contemporary to jazz and hip hop, and then, eventually teaching.Straight out of high school, Tia trained at Byron Bay Film and Acting School. She’s also a familiar face in past BTC performances as our leading lady Mimi Marquez in RENT, Little Shop of Horrors and Chicago.Now, having moved back to the northern rivers after her 2 year stint in Brisbane, she has had wonderful opportunities assistant directing two youth plays alongside Anouska Gammon and Bobbie Field. “Having a live audience is very special,” Tia said. “The whole character takes over me. It’s beautiful to get a reaction to everything we’re singing.” It’s Tia’s dream to be a full time actor and performer.

Emily Turner was born in Las Vegas, to Jazz musician parents who played the circuit in the 70s and 80s. Making her debut at four years old, sneaking onto the stage with her father’s jazz trio- The Chicago Jazz Exchange. Singing three musical theatre songs. “Tomorrow” and “Maybe” from Annie and “Where is Love” from Oliver to an enthusiastic audience at the El Paso Jazz club in Texas. She is a vocalist blending Soul, Jazz and RnB into her style. Signed to Warner/Chappell as a songwriter at 22 she wrote songs for various artists while working as a vocalist across the jazz, soul, funk, blues and RnB genres as a lead and backing vocalist in bands that toured with the likes of Chris Isaak and Kate Cebrano. She also works as a session vocalist in recording studios. Emily studied Jazz/Contemporary Performance and Composition at NMIT in Melbourne while juggling her first child and gigging 3-5 nights a week. Her love for recording studios saw her recently complete a Bachelor of Audio Engineering here in Byron Bay, at SAE Creative Institute. This is Emily’s debut on the musical theatre stage and she is thrilled to be a member of the tribe, coming full circle and embracing the challenge of a new direction.

Toby plays Lucius, this is his first foray into musical theatre, a musical virgin who has now been deflowered, ridin' the pleasure train outta virgin town. He is also known as Reverend Rainbird who plays instruments and sings songs and things. He also likes taking long walks on the beach, cross stitch and interdimensional travel.

In a departure from its usual home in Bangalow, BTC’s production of HAIR will be staged at Byron Theatre from Thursday 23 March to April 1 to give audiences a more up close and personal theatre experience, with shows at 7:30pm on weeknights and 2pm and 7:30pm on weekends.

Click here to purchase tickets.

PLEASE NOTE: This show contains nudity, smoke and strobe lighting

For media information please contact:
Viv Fantin: 02 6687 1965 / 0402 747 400