Thursday, November 10, 2011

Randolph College presents hit rock 'n roll musical, Spring Awakening

Spring Awakening

A Rock n Roll Musical
Directed by Mace Archer

Shows: Nov. 17 – 21

Time: 7:30 p.m., except 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20

Tickets: $13 General Admission, $10 Randolph College Faculty/Staff/Alumni,
$10 Adults over 60, $5 all students
A musical that rocked Broadway is now coming to the Randolph College stage.

Spring Awakening, which opens in one week, features a rock ‘n roll sound track. It also touches on material that will help people ponder difficult issues, said Mace Archer, a theatre professor and the director.

“Spring Awakening is a contemporary rock musical that deals with young people, high school students, coming to terms with their blossoming sexuality,” he said. “I think those issues are ever present for this age group.

“But in this show, it takes place in an environment where adults are not willing to talk about it.”

The play follows the story of several teens in 19th Century Germany, and it shows how a lack of information regarding sexuality causes confusion. It includes themes such as sexual abuse, teen pregnancy, homosexuality, and suicide.

“That play resonates in a place like Lynchburg, where people do have a wide range of views on these matters,” Archer said.

The musical is based on a play written by Franz Wedekind in 1891 that was banned in Germany due to its controversial themes. It was adapted into a rock ‘n roll musical by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater. It received acclaim on Broadway and was popular with high school theatre students, Archer said.

In Thoresen Theatre, the cast and technical crew are building a set to create a rock concert feel, including a large guitar that looms at the back of the stage and lights that will change more than 160 times during the show. The actors and musicians also are working to perfect their performance.

“From a performance standpoint, this play asks the actors to take risks. It demands that these young actors be mature and responsible,” Archer said. “It's nothing to take lightly. We want the young people who see this play to really think deeply about these issues.”

Amber Keesee ’14, the stage manager for the show, has seen it come together as actors, choreographers, and the technical crew have brought the story to life.

“This play was a craze when it was on Broadway. It’s not been off Broadway all that long,” she said. “It’s awesome to be a part of that.”