JP’s Marge Dunn to Star in Production of Hair at New Rep Theatre

A Jamaica Plain resident will be starring in the upcoming performance of the celebrated musical “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical” at the New Repertory Theatre in Watertown.

“Hair” first exploded onto the theater scene in 1968 as Broadway’s first rock musical. Taking place at the height of American involvement in the Vietnam war, Hair tells the story of a group of hippies who attempt to make sense of their realities through free love and psychedelics. The musical, which features hit songs like “Aquarius” and “Let the Sunshine In”, was turned into a successful feature film in 1979, starring John Savage and Treat Williams.

Marge Dunn of Jamaica Plain will be taking on the lead female role of Sheila, played in the film by Beverly D’Angelo. This is not her first performance with New Rep, having recently tackled the role of Chris in its production of Cardboard Piano. Her other credits include roles with Lyric Stage, Nora Theatre, Greater Boston Stage Co, Plays in Place, Brown Box and Theatre on Fire. Her roles have earned her three nominations for the Independent Reviewers of New England.

Dunn received her bachelor’s in English and theatre studies from Wellesley College. She currently works as a Tech Director at the Roxbury Latin School and is a theatre production and movement teacher with Watertown Children’s Theatre.

Dunn, who is originally from Winchester, moved to Jamaica Plain five years ago and says she can’t imagine living anywhere else in Boston.

“I knew the area beforehand and truly fell in love with the community here,” she said. “Feeling connected to my living space as well as my whole neighborhood is such a gift to a creative person.”

Dunn also said that as an artist and performer, she takes inspiration from Jamaica Pond and the Arnold Arboretum.

“I am one who needs some green space and clear air,” she said. “It does wonders for my being.”

“Hair” will be Dunn’s first musical production in three years. While she auditioned specifically for the role of Sheila, she said she would have accepted any role, such was her love of the musical.

“The show itself really changed the game in the musical theatre world when it was written,” she said. “It’s so representative of its time in history, and I think the spirit of the show is relevant to a lot of young people today.”

“Hair” also stars Alex Hanscom and is directed by Rachel Bertone. The production will run January 26 through February 23 and tickets can be purchased at newrep.org or at 923-8487.

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