Hickory – Local actor Corey Knighton has joined the Hickory Community Theatre as Claude in its upcoming production of Hair, “the American tribal rock musical, as Claude Bukowski. Performances begin on Friday, September 6 and continue through Sunday, September 22. Information and tickets are available on the theatre’s website at hickorytheatre.org.

Claude Hooper Bukowski is a hippie living with his activist Tribe in New York City and his closest friends Berger and Sheila. Claude’s parents aren’t happy with his choices and they want him to leave the Tribe to join the Vietnam war after he gets his draft notice.

Knighton is a Hickory native who has been performing in local theatre for some time, with major roles at The Green Room, including Toby in Sweeney Todd, and Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He is a student at Catawba Valley Community College. He recently took first place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing annual completion. When he’s not on stage he enjoys gaming, wrestling and basketball.

The role of Berger is played by Matthew Thomas-Reid. Berger leads the Tribe into anti-establishment pursuits such as protests and generally rebelling against the expectations of society in the late 1960’s. Thomas-Reid is a Statesville native who relocated to West Jefferson three years when he became assistant professor of Educational Foundations and affiliate faculty with Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies at Appalachian State University. He is the veteran of numerous productions at the Hickory Community Theatre, including Titanic, The Full Monty, and Rent.

Sheila, a New York University student and political activist, is played by Charlotte Dick. Sheila is in love with Berger, who does not return her feelings. Dick started acting at the Theatre at age 5, with the RugBug Theatre for children, performing in several productions. Her first mainstage role was in Titanic in 2009; other major roles include Suzy in Bunnicula and Rainbow in Winnie the Pooh Kids. She is a rising Junior at Hickory High School.

Performances of Hair are Fridays and Saturdays (Sep 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 & 21) at 8:00pm, Thursdays (Sep 12 & 19) at 7:30pm and Sundays (Sep 15 & 22) at 2:30pm. Tickets for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $10 for students and youth 18 & under. Thursday night tickets are $16 for all adults and $10 for students and youth 18 & under.

Call the box office at 828-328-2283 or visit hickorytheatre.org to purchase tickets or get more information.

The Hickory Community Theatre is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County and This production is supported by an Arts Council grant through the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, with funding from the State of North Carolina from the National Endowment for the Arts.. The 2019-2020 Season is sponsored by A Cleaner World, Paramount Automotive and Sunbelt Xpress.

PHOTO: Corey Knighton (left), Charlotte Dick and Matthew Thomas-Reid star in Hair at the Hickory Community Theatre. For tickets call 828-327-3855 or visit hickorytheatre.org. Photo by John Koval.