EMU Theatre’s production of “Spring Awakening”, opens Friday, March 31. The landmark rock musical, with music by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Steven Sater, explores the quest of teenagers in 19th Century Germany to discover more about the physical and emotional maturity they are undergoing, mostly without help and indeed with some obstruction from the adults in their lives.
“Spring Awakening” is based on the 1891 play by German playwright Frank Wedekind, which was very controversial and frequently censored. The play and musical share themes of loss of communication between adults and young people and sexual awakening, and deal with topics such as rape, suicide, abortion and more.
The musical won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, when it first opened on Broadway in 2006, and has gone on to have several successful productions including a three-time Tony nominated 2015 Broadway revival by Deaf West Theatre, which had a company of both hearing and Deaf/Hard of Hearing actors, and incorporated American Sign Language into the production.
EMU’s production is directed by EMU theatre professor Pirooz Aghssa, with musical direction by fellow theatre professor R. MacKenzie Lewis.
Tyler Calhoun, a senior double majoring in Communications and Theatre Arts, who is Associate Choreographer for the show, said, “To me, the essence of this story is in the title. The awakening of Spring brings rebirth and renewal after the tumultuous winter months are over. Like the seasons, the characters in this play go through a period of darkness and struggle, but they come out of it forever changed and stronger than they were before.”
“Spring Awakening” will be performed in the Quirk Theatre on March 31, April 1, 6, 7, 8 at 7pm and April 2 & 9 at 2pm. Recommended for mature audiences. Tickets can be purchased at emutix.com.