Life, love and sex in ‘Spring Awakening’

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Kacey Minnick

It has been unseasonably cold this year, and it has affected everyone on campus. However, spring appears to be making a return just in time for the theatre department’s production of Frank Wedekind’s “Spring Awakening.”

The play’s depictions of sex, sexuality, religion and education were radical nearly 100 years ago. A highly edited version was presented in Berlin in 1906, and police closed the 1917 American premiere production after only one performance.

Yet, despite past controversy, it still relates to youth even after so much time.

“‘Spring Awakening’ is about the experiences that everyone who has been a 14-year-old can relate to, and not in a ‘girls/boys are weird’ or ‘ugh, I have a huge pimple today’ sugar-coated family channel sort of way,” says CCE sophomore Patrick Brandt, who portrays Mortiz Stiefel in the production. “It explores the physical and emotional turmoil of teens dealing with their bodies’ natural urges in a society that refuses to acknowledge the existence of such.”

The play has already begun impacting those working with it.

“It’s been really different working for this production,” said Victoria Saraldi-Gallardo, a first-year theatre major working as the publicist’s assistant for the play. “It’s a lot more communication based. I am not just talking with the director but also with a variety of campus organizations like the Buzz, WQFS, The Guilfordian, etc.”

Guilford’s theatre department is an altogether different beast that some actors have had to grapple with.

“At Guilford, it is a strict acting environment,” said sophomore theatre major Eli Moran who plays both Otto and Rupert in the production. “David directs, and you grow through each rehearsal. Then, the rehearsal eventually becomes the performance.”

With the appearance of posters and flyers for the play on campus, many future audience members have been wondering, “Is this the musical or the play?”

“The musical that people know is like one tenth of the play,” said Hammond, putting confusion to rest and confirming that the production is the play. “It’s a simplification of the play, which is much, much richer.”

Hammond said that Professor of Foreign Language David Limburg has been helping with the German pronunciation in the play, and some of Limburg’s students are studying the play in their curriculum and will be present opening night.

“I want to say, if the German pronunciation is bad, it’s not Dave Limburg’s fault, it’s ours,” Hammond said. “That ‘r’ is tough, but he’s been wonderfully helpful.”

The production opens Friday, April 12 and runs until April 20. Performances start at 8 p.m. in Sternberger Auditorium, with tickets costing $5 each performance with the exception of Thursday, April 18 when there will be a buy one get one free deal. Tickets can also be purchased online.

Hammond and the entire cast encourage students to come out and see the production.

“This is the show you should come see if you do not consider yourself a ‘theatre person’,” said Brandt. “It is captivating and super cheap. I’m sure most students can worm their way into some sort of extra credit by coming to see it anyway.”

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