I will be reviewing the play titled, “Spring Awakening” by Fred Wedekind. This play was produced by The Department of Performing Arts and Humanities of the School of Liberal Arts at and directed by Robert W. Oppel. I saw the play on March 20th Q Building Theatre. The play was excellent and exceeded all expectations due to the professional way the story was presented.
“Spring Awakening” is a musical concerning teenagers who explore their individual sexuality while living in an oppressive culture.
The setting takes place in a religious, rural town in Germany during the late 19th century. It contains issues of sexuality, religion, and education, but also exposes the barriers between adults and children. Parents are supposedly religious; however, they mistreat their children. In addition, they make puberty more confusing by forbidding their children to ask questions about their sexuality or discuss sex in general. Other topics included shame, gender, and authorities. The play also shows the consequences for rebelling against what society considers moral and acceptable.
There are three main actors playing principle roles. Sinead Fahey, a newcomer to the Theatre at CCBC, played the part of Wendla. Her overall performance was terrific. She sang beautifully, moved gracefully, and gave a strong performance throughout the play. Sinead was well cast and believable in her role. James Baxter, who played the part of Melchior, is a returning performer at CCBC. James played his part well, but seemed slightly reserved in his character. It appeared he was not quite as passionate as he could have been. However, he moved and sang well and still delivered a solid performance. James was fairly well cast and somewhat believable in his role. The character Moritz was played by Christopher H. Zargarbashi. He graduated from Towson University with a degree in acting. Christopher’s performance was excellent and thoroughly entertaining to watch. Christopher was accurate in the way he conveyed Moritz’s intense and nervous personality. He was well cast and extremely believable while playing his part.
The play contains an edgy, noteworthy innovation. Mixing the late 19th century era with modern day features appears fresh and original. For instance, when the performers speak in the play, they are in character during the late 19th century, yet become modern day singers during the musical numbers. Additionally, all the characters in the play dress in the appropriate 19th century attire, whereas the ensemble dresses in modern day clothing. Furthermore, the proper diction is a contrast to the music which exhibits profanity and modern day themes. It is a unique and creative way to express the story. Robert W. Oppel, did an adequate job of directing the play.
This is evident in the way that the performers methodically, yet naturally move. For example, when the characters touch or interact physically, it is not done in an awkward style, but gradual and relaxed. Even when they remove their microphones from their clothing, it is executed in a natural manner. There are many times when the characters remain perfectly still and do not move at all during a scene. It was an amazing and genuine display of talent. Certainly, the theme of “Spring Awakening” could be relevant to anyone. Oppression and topics such as child abuse, rape, suicide, abortion, and homo-sexuality will always exist.
Hence, the play evokes the audience’s empathy by depicting these personal struggles among the youth living in the 19th century. In essence, I definitely enjoyed the play and was thrilled with the overall experience of live theater. I was skeptical at first about whether I would like the story, but was pleasantly surprised and blown away by what I saw. I would highly recommend this play to others, especially young adults and adults who are looking for a mature storyline. I would most certainly say I gained a respect for live theater. I give credit to everyone involved, especially the actors and actresses. They have only one chance to get it right and hold the courage to perform in front of a live audience.