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While their peers at other schools are busy rehearsing Footloose and Bye Bye Birdie, the students at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts have higher aims for the spring-musical season: April 9 through 12, they will perform the 1968 anti-war rock musical Hair. This comes on the heels of February’s production of Lysistrata, Aristophanes’ anti-war comedy. Drama director Ken Johnson says that he and his colleagues chose Lysistrata last year, long before war opponents decided to stage it simultaneously around the world in protest. And when they chose Hair back in October, they were thinking of world strife in general, rather than Iraq in particular. Still, Johnson welcomes the serendipity. “Art for art’s sake is not what we want to be teaching our young people,” he says. “We want them to see themselves as artists who have a responsibility to the community.”

—Annys Shin