1st Edition

Staging Rebellion in the Musical, Hair Marginalised Voices in Musical Theatre

By Sarah Elisabeth Browne Copyright 2022
    194 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    194 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume provides a comprehensive survey of the musical Hair and will offer critical analysis which focuses on giving voice to those who are historically considered to be on the margins of musical theatre history.

    Sarah Browne interrogates key scenes from the musical which will seek to identify the relationship between performance and the cultural moment. Whilst it is widely acknowledged that Hair is a product of the sixties counter-culture, this study will place the analysis in its socio-historical context to specifically reveal American values towards race, gender, and adolescence. In arguing that Hair is a rebellion against the established normative values of both American society and the art form of the musical itself, this book will suggest ways in which Hair can be considered utopian: not only as a utopian ‘text’ but in the practices and values it embodies, and the emotions it generates in its audiences.

    This book will be of great interest to scholars and students of music, musical theatre, popular music, American studies, film studies, gender studies, or African American studies.




    1: Hair: Origins, Forms, and the ‘Fragmented’ Musical.

    PART I: Race

    2: ‘Colored Spade’: Reappropriating Stereotypes.

    3: ‘I Ain’t Dyin’ for No White Man’: Black Power on Broadway.

    PART II: Gender

    4: Feminist Approaches.

    5: Multiple Masculinities.

    PART III: Hair and Its Resonances

    6: Crossing Over: Hair and the Music Industry.

    7: Reviving the Text: Hair in the Contemporary Era.

    8: The Utopian Promise of Hair.

    9: Conclusion.



    Sarah Elisabeth Browne is Head of the School of Performing Arts and Associate Dean at the University of Wolverhampton, UK. She has worked extensively as conductor, arranger, and musical director, and has worked in education for over 20 years. Her research interests include the politics of race and gender in musical theatre, American musical theatre of the 1960s, and stage-to-screen transitions of musicals.