Department’s Finale ‘Spring Awakening’ Opens Thursday

The Department of Theatre’s final production of the semester, “Spring Awakening” opens Thursday at 7:30 p.m. -Brittny Roberts

The Department of Theatre’s anticipated final production of the semester opens on Thursday.

“Spring Awakening” is a 2007 Tony award-winning rock musical adapted by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater from a German play of the same name written in 1891 by Frank Wedekind. Sheik decided to adapt the play in the ‘90s after realizing some of the themes were still relevant in present day.

It’s set in late 19th-century Germany in a very repressed society,” said Kristopher Kuss, a Southern Miss alumnus and cast member. “The play follows these young teenagers growing up and their desire to break free of the repression.”

These children, these teenagers, are just trying to find a way to be heard,” said Mollie Betsch, a senior BFA student. “My character, Wendala, is brought up in a regiment society but is starting to explore ideas of freedom and actually being close to people.”

The parents, the teachers, pretty much all authority figures look at the kids like they are nothing but materiel for an obedient society,” said Drew Davidson, a second year MFA student. “My character, Melchior, is not afraid to rock the boat and to make the change for the better.”

The characters just don’t understand why it was fine to play together as little children, but now that they are growing older, they are being separated based on sex,” said Emily Classen, a senior BFA student.

While the setting may be from over a century ago, the songs still allow the messages of the play to relate to a modern audience.

The music and style of it all bridges the gap. They are like inner monologues, and in the context, it works,” Classen, who plays Isle, said.

Even today, we still pass over issues like teen suicide and certain sexual orientations but this play shows that in the end we will persevere and live on,” Davidson said.

Though the production has some heavy themes, the cast still wanted to stress it is a very fun musical. The cast and crew have been working hard to promote the musical by organizing flash mobs across campus and events in Hattiesburg to give the public a taste of the music they would be in store for.

The original Broadway production won eight Tony awards, including one for Best Musical, so this production is sure to please audiences with all of the hard work put into it.

The musical has mature themes and is intended for older audiences, so please leave the kids at home for this one.

The play opens on April 16 at 7:30 p.m. and continues its run April 17, 18, 22-26.

The April 26 show is a matinee that begins at 2 p.m.

All other shows begin at 7:30 p.m. with a pre-show talk beginning before the April 23 show.