SPRING AWAKENING is an extra is an extraordinary musical that celebrates youth and rebellion in a daring fusion of morality, sexuality and rock & roll. Set in repressive 19th-century Germany, a group of teenagers are caught between their sexual urges and society’s contradictory teachings. Revealing their alluringly melancholy story of self-discovery and coming-of-age anxiety, they attempt to reckon with the thrilling, complicated, and confusing time of their sexual awakening.
SPRING AWAKENING is inspired by German playwright Frank Wedekind’s controversial play Spring Awakening: A Children’s Tragedy written between 1890 and 1891. The play tackles teenage sexuality and societies efforts to control it, and was so controversial it was not performed until 1906 when it premiered at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin under the direction of Max Reinhardt. The play was banned on its premiere and has often been censored or banned throughout history because of its provocative subject matter such as sexuality, rape, child abuse, abortion and suicide.
At the helm of the Department of Theatre’s production of SPRING AWAKENING is Denny Berry, an esteemed director, choreographer, educator and writer with many years of professional experience in regional and international theater and on Broadway. Most notably, she was the original Dance Captain of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Hal Prince and now the longest running show on Broadway. Over the past 25 years, Denny has been responsible for casting, coaching, and setting twelve worldwide productions of Phantom including the Las Vegas Spectacular and The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary at Royal Albert Hall.
Along with her wealth of professional experience, Ms. Berry brings a dynamic energy to the talented students of the Department’s Musical Theatre Program. She persistently challenges them to stretch and grow. Says Berry, “I think this is a perfect musical for our students. We have a cast of gifted, young, vibrant actors who, in many ways, are experiencing many of the issues explored in this musical.” In the lead roles are Jackie Jensen as Wendla, Dylan MacDonald as Moritz, and Jaron Barney as Melchior, all three of whom are juniors in the Musical Theatre Program. Berry continues, “The challenges of ‘coming of age’ are universal and timeless, but SPRING AWAKENING seamlessly merges past and present, exploring these themes with the energy and emotion of rock music. It is the perfect union of an impactful youth-driven story with an accessible medium that underscores adolescent angst and the universality of human passion.”
Theatre-goers should note that SPRING AWAKENING explores mature themes, and includes strong language and sexual references. Parental discretion is advised. If theatre-goers have questions about the content of this production, we advise them to visit our SPRING AWAKENING event page at www.theatre.utah.edu where they can find a Parent’s Guide and video testimonials by parents and teens who saw the original production on Broadway. These resources are for teachers and parents who want to use the show as a platform for discussion, as well as for those deciding whether to see the show by themselves or together with their teen(s).
SPRING AWAKENING AT A GLANCE
DATES & TIMES: April 12-28, 2013, at 7:30 PM. Matinees on Saturdays and Sundays April 20, 21, 27 and 28, at 2 PM.
LOCATION: The Babcock Theatre, located at 300 South and University Street (1400 East) in the Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, lower level. Free parking is available to the south of the theatre and at Rice Eccles Stadium.
TICKETS: Ticket prices are $15 for General Admission, $12 for University of Utah faculty and staff, Free for University of Utah Students with valid U Card, $8 for all other students with valid ID. Tickets can be obtained now by calling 801-581-7100; online at http://www.theatre.utah.edu or at the Performing Arts Box Office, located at Kingsbury Hall. Please note that Kingsbury Hall charges an additional $3 handling fee for all tickets purchased by phone or online, and a $1.50 handling fee for all tickets purchased at the box office window.
###Press Release from the University of Utah Department of Theatre.