So, I know my dad has already written a blog about this, but yes, I was cast in UMaine's production of Hair as Jeanie. I am VERY excited. There's nothing I enjoy more than being on a stage and this character is going to be very fun to get to know and make my own. I was bored at my local laundromat the other day and was taking advantage of their free wifi and researching some analysis's of the show and I especially liked Scott Miller's take on Jeanie (note:in this particular part of his analysis he's paralleling the show to the bible, his analysis compares the show to many things):
"And like Mary Magdalene and Jesus, Jeanie loves Claude, but he can't return her love. Because Claude is the emotional and moral center of Hair, Jeanie is by extension the most important female character in the show, even though it might not appear that way at first glance. She acts as Greek chorus several times throughout the show, explaining things to the audience, identifying characters and relationships, but she also gets a solo introduction song in Act I ("Air") along with the other leads. It's through her that we feel the tragedy and the anguish of those Claude will leave behind. There are cryptic references throughout the show that Jeanie may be psychic in some way (or at least some kind of hippie mystic), that she knows Claude will end up going to war, and that she may know that Claude will die in Vietnam.
It may even be that Jeanie is denying the fact that Claude is the father of her unborn child only to free him from any responsibility, since she knows he doesn't really love her. It's probable that they have slept together. Though there's nothing in the text that says this explicitly, Jeanie and Claude allude to this in their conversation before the Be-In, and it's certainly an interesting idea for the actors to explore. Though Claude is in love with Sheila, Jeanie is in love with Claude and, along with Berger, she will suffer the greatest loss when Claude dies. It's hard not to see parallels to Mary Magdalene, and since the discovery of "new" lost gospels in 1945, there may even be romantic parallels. These new papyrus texts have holes and gaps in them but some scholars maintain that these texts describe a romantic relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Unsurprisingly, this is hotly contested among Biblical scholars.
Like Mary Magdalene, who was called both prostitute and saint, Jeanie provides a symbolic bridge between sexuality and spirituality, between the pleasures of the flesh and the cultivation of the soul. (Perhaps she should be the one to sing "Sodomy.") Jeanie is promiscuous, already pregnant when the show begins (by "some speed freak"), but she is also the one who invites the audience to the Be-In, an event of spiritual exploration and awakening. She brings Claude a book on astral projection, and as mentioned earlier, she seems to have mystical powers. But even beyond all that, Mary Magdalene would have been right at home with Berger and the tribe. She grew up in Magdala, a small fishing village that was a hotbed of rebel activity against the Roman Empire. She came from a well-to-do family just as many of the hippies came from upper middle class families. And, in fact, Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute even though she was characterized as such for centuries, just as the hippies were often characterized as sexual deviants and hedonists. Some texts suggest that she did have a considerable sexual appetite and, because she was well off enough that she didn't have to work, she may have practiced what the hippies of the 1960s called "free love." And for that she was considered a sinner by her contemporaries. Like the hippies, Mary Magdalene was an independent thinker who met Jesus, a radical political activist, and joined his movement, a movement dedicated to finding enlightenment, rejecting old social norms and rules, and discovering the answers to the great existential questions; the parallels to the tribe in Hair are obvious. After Christ's crucifixion, and after Mary's subsequent preaching and evangelism, she retired to a secluded wilderness where she lived out her remaining years. Some accounts say that each day she was carried up to the heavens by angels to listen to the music of the heavens, an experience probably akin to astral projection, a practice
Jeanie is very interested in."
To read the rest of Scott Miller's analysis go here: http://www.orlok.com/hair/holding/articles/HairArticles/scottmiller.html. It's pretty long, but very interesting! After reading that analysis I am EVEN more excited to play Jeanie. I think I can put a lot into this character. :)
Anywho..the show goes up in February, so I hope everyone can make it!