Junior musical theater major Alexandra Mendes plays Wendla and sophomore psychology/math major Luke Martin plays Melchior in the SUNY Geneseo production of “Spring Awakening” Jan. 19-21 on the Geneseo campus.
GENESEO, N.Y. - SUNY Geneseo's Vocal Miscellany is presenting the first local production of the 2006 Broadway rock musical hit Spring Awakening Jan. 19-21 at 8 p.m. in Wadsworth Auditorium. English Professor Melanie Blood is directing the production with musical direction by Geneseo vocal coach and accompanist Alan Case.
Sexuality, suicide, abuse, and abortion may not seem like the stuff of musicals but Spring Awakening has been wildly popular with young theatergoers. With rock music and lyrics provided by Duncan Sheik and Stephen Sater, the musical has been nearly as controversial as the original Frank Wedekind play of 1891.
"So many college students feel a connection to this musical, which demands that the problems of youth are real and that they be taken seriously," says Blood. "I can't remember the last time I saw so many students audition for a show, and they all knew the music before we started."
Spring Awakening swept the 2007 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical, Best Director, and Best Choreography, and many other awards.
Vocal Miscellany is a campus organization that provides expanded performance opportunities for singers at Geneseo. The cast features junior musical theater major Alexandra Mendes in the role of Wendla (originally created by Glee star Lea Michele), whose ignorance of her own sexuality leads to her pregnancy, and sophomore musical theater major Elyssa Ramirez as Ilse, a girl who runs away from an abusive family situation.
Sophomore psychology and mathematics major Luke Martin portrays Melchior, a teenager rebelling against the educational and religious restrictions of his 1890s provincial German town, and junior history major Josh Horowitz portrays Moritz, whose failure at school and unsupportive family lead him to suicide.
In spite of the darkly emotional subject matter, the musical provides many fun and uplifting moments as cast members break into songs about handling their emerging sexuality, idolizing their crushes, or rebelling against their restrictive schoolmaster.
Tickets for the production are $10 and are available online or by phoning (585) 245-5877. Language and subject matter are for mature audiences only.
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