UW Today

May 16, 2017

Undergraduate Theater Society mounts big production of ‘Spring Awakening’ May 18-28

News and Information

The cast of the UW Undergraduate Theater Society's production of "Spring Awakening." From left, top row: Shiv Chitre, Jordan King, Michael Monicatti, Patrick McDermott, Sage Suzzeris, Jackson Ross. Second row: Ricky Spaulding, Caralee Howe, Charlene Kwon, Christine Munson, Saige Hawthorne, Alex Sturtevant, Olga Laskin and Spencer Stromberg. Not shown is cast member Candice Lundy.

The cast of the UW Undergraduate Theater Society’s production of “Spring Awakening.” From left, top row: Shiv Chitre, Jordan King, Michael Monicatti, Patrick McDermott, Sage Suzzeris, Jackson Ross. Second row: Ricky Spaulding, Caralee Howe, Charlene Kwon, Christine Munson, Saige Hawthorne, Alex Sturtevant, Olga Laskin and Spencer Stromberg. Not shown is cast member Candice Lundy.UTS

For its final and biggest show of the year the UW Undergraduate Theater Society presents “Spring Awakening,” a musical exploration of youth and blooming sexuality that’s surprisingly timely for a story set in 19th century Germany.

The show runs May 18 through 28 in the Cabaret Theater in Hutchinson Hall, home of the UW School of Drama, with a free preview on Wednesday, May 17. The book and lyrics are by Steven Sater and music by Duncan Sheik. The production is directed by Isabel Martin, a senior double-majoring in drama and history.

“Spring Awakening” is based on a German nonmusical play of the same name — written in about 1891 but not performed until 1906 — about 11 schoolchildren coming to terms with puberty, love and loss. The New York Times called the 2006 hit Broadway production “haunting and electrifying by turns” and the show won 2007 Tony awards for best musical, book and score.

“It’s a show about sex and frustrated desires and inter-generational disconnect,” said director Martin. “The source material was written over 130 years ago, but it feels immediate and reflective of today’s political climate — more immediate than I had hoped it would be when I applied to direct the show a year ago.”

The production is the group’s biggest of the year by far, with about six times the usual budget and a large cast, many of whom performed in the UW Musical Theater Program’s spring production of the musical “Pippin.” Ticket proceeds from the performance on May 25 will be donated to Planned Parenthood.

“The show is a warning, a cautionary tale about the dangers of repressing curiosity and passion in youth,” said Martin, “but also presents a deep and profound message of hope — even though all seems dark and cold and lonely in the wintertime, we must have faith that spring and summer will come in time.”

The New York Times wrote of the original production, “Flesh makes only a single, charged appearance. And for all its frankness about the quest for carnal knowledge, it is blessedly free of the sniggering vulgarity that infects too many depictions of sexuality onstage and on screen.”

Tickets to “Spring Awakening” are $10-$20, available online.

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