by Jessica Price
“Nothing is okay unless it’s scripted in their Bible”, laments Melcior Gabor in one of Spring Awakening’s opening numbers. He’s referring, of course, to his teachers, his parents, and even his peers who seem to be going through the same types of situations that he is. Adolescence, self-confidence mixed with self-doubt, and the process of maturity set Duncan Sheik and Steven Slater’s hit musical Spring Awakening apart from the themes that people are more used to seeing onstage. And as a result, the show is considered a bit controversial; it blatantly addresses topics such as rape, homosexuality, teenage pregnancy and suicide. Combined with a rock-influenced soundtrack and an extremely talented cast, the show couldn’t help but to be popular with teenagers and theatre goers alike. This is something that is bound to show and will continue when Folsom Lake College debuts their production later this spring.
Spring Awakening is based on a controversial play written in 1891 by Frank Wedenkind. The play was banned in Germany for a while, and changes have been made to the musical adaptation. However, the concept for the show did its best to stick to the original script as closely as possible. When Spring Awakening opened on Broadway in 2006, it was an instant success, drawing huge nightly audiences and countless favorable reviews. The show, which is set in Germany during the late 19th century, paints a surprisingly relatable picture of teenagers who are attempting to cope with the changes within themselves and others. The girls begin to gossip at school and fantasize about the boys they want to marry, while the boys begin to fantasize of the girls they just want to take to bed. Wendla Bergmann (originally played on Broadway by Glee alum Lea Michelle) is struggling to understand the process of becoming a woman, as her mother refuses to tell her where babies come from regardless of the fact that she will soon be an aunt for the second time. Moritz Steifel, a nervous classmate of Melcior’s, begins to contemplate taking his life after displeasing his father receiving insufficient marks in school. All of the inner problems going on within the lives of these students take hold of them, and love is found and lost throughout the show. The problems of the students are also often expressed in songs, such as “The Bitch of Living”, “Totally Fucked” and “Touch me”.
Following close to 900 shows on Broadway, the musical went on to win eight Tony awards, including Best Musical. There have also been worldwide reproductions of the musical, many of which have garnered critical acclaim and awards as well. This is the first time that the show will ever be performed at Folsom Lake College, and though it may be “scripted”, I personally am extremely excited. As a huge fan of the original show, I can’t wait to see it, and it will certainly be interesting to see where things go as the production progresses.
Here you can find all of our articles up to 2018.