Spring has sprung: Spring Awakening musical promises to captivate audience this weekend

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Charles Beers, Senior Writer

The University’s Department of Theatre & Dance is ready to dazzle the student body with its latest musical, “Spring Awakening.” There will be four showings of the musical in the Harvey M. Powers Theatre on April 15, 16, and 18 at 7:30 p.m. and April 17 at 2 p.m. The show features Professor of Theatre Gary Grant as director, Associate Professor of Theatre & Dance Dustyn Martincich as choreographer, and Paul Helm as music director.

“Spring Awakening” is a critically-acclaimed Broadway musical that tells a heartfelt story about teenage sexuality using a mixture of alternative rock and folk music. The Department of Theatre & Dance was eager to tackle this challenging material.

“I thought that it was very important subject matter,” Zoe Davidson ’18 said. “We were all very supportive of each other, which made everyone feel safe in our rehearsal space.”

“I think that ‘Spring Awakening’ speaks to the students,” Grant said. “The main reason for picking it is because the group saw this musical as very relevant to today’s situation. Our students seem to feel very strongly about the issues of sexual confusion, confined gender roles, and adults’ failure to address them.”

“The heroes of the show are the youth. It should get people to think. A lot of the content is mature and we’re unafraid of addressing these issues,” Martincich said.

“Spring Awakening” will be one of the University’s more intricate productions.

“The process is expanded because we now also have the element of music and voice,” Martincich said. “So you know you’re bringing in an orchestra as well as preparing the actors to sing. And we have acting, movement, and dance. We’re trying to layer those things together little bit by little bit.”

The cast was also energetic about their upcoming performance and witnessing the payoff of months of hard work.

“It’s mentally exhausting, emotionally exhausting, physically exhausting,” Casey Venema ’18 said. “It’s a little heavy, but the cast is so good and everybody’s so supportive, and that’s what makes it work. We keep each other going.”

The senior performers also shared their enthusiasm for “Spring Awakening” as their final show as University students.

“The dark aspect of the show has been challenging in a great way,” Emily Mack ’16 said. “It has pushed us as actors and as people. Being able to close with this musical has been really special.”

Others commented on how their time on stage seemed to fly by.

“It really is a whirlwind,” Estie Pyper ’16 said. “These past six weeks have gone by so fast. It’s a good show that speaks to a lot of people and it’s been a privilege to be a part of it as my last one.”

Even for the most seasoned veterans in the ensemble, “Spring Awakening” was an exciting new challenge.

“It definitely pushes you out of your comfort zone,” Gabe Calleja ’16 said. “We have to play a lot of characters with a wide spectrum of ages, backgrounds, and sentiments. As an actor, it’s pushed me as I try to craft unique experiences for each one.”

“Spring Awakening” is ready to take the University by storm this weekend. From its increasingly relevant subject matter to its challenging character studies that promise to bring out the best in the entire cast, the musical will undoubtedly be the talk of the campus long after the final curtain.

“I think it’s amazing, innovative, and thought-provoking,” Midge Zuk ’19 said. “It’s an awesome choice for Bucknell because it deals with a lot of important issues that resonate today. I really hope that when people come to see it they learn something about themselves.”

As for the Department of Theatre & Dance, it will be a fitting swan song for a talented class of performers.

“We’re a family and I think that’s one of the things I’m going to miss most about my Bucknell theater experience,” Mack said. “We have a bond that we’ll share for the rest of our lives.”

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