Theatre UCF Welcomes Spring with 'Spring Awakening'
Theatre UCF’s spring musical is the aptly titled Spring Awakening. The musical will play on UCF’s Main Stage from March 21 to 30.
Spring Awakening was written as a collaboration between American singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik and writer Steven Sater. The story is based on the 1891 play of the same name by Frank Wedekind and revolves around late 20th century German teens who are discovering their sexuality.
The play was controversial when it was written and the musical maintains the tale’s edge today. With songs like “My Junk” and “Touch Me,” the musical was not written for the easily offended.
Director Joshua Chase Gold was not intimidated by the show. A 2006 graduate of the UCF Theatre program, Gold has been living in New York City, where he, along with a handful of other UCF graduates, used the knowledge he gained at UCF to start a theatre company.
“We had the basic skills to know a little about a lot…Something about being fresh out of college allowed me to be bold and not scared to be adventurous,” Gold said.
Gold brings that same boldness to Spring Awakening. The musical was a smashing success on Broadway in 2006—the same year Gold left UCF—winning eight Tony Awards. Gold didn’t want the UCF production to be an exact replica of the Broadway production, however.
“Spring Awakening was my first introduction to European theatre in high school. I studied the play again in college before the musical existed. It’s one of my favorite plays, and I was so excited to see it on Broadway,” Gold said. “But the microphones and stage seating they used in the original production was another director’s story. I wanted us to have our own version of Spring Awakening.
“When a director tries to recreate a show he saw, it’s never as good as the original, because it isn’t his story. He doesn’t own it. Communication—or the lack thereof—is the focus of my story. UCF’s Spring Awakening is about what happens when we can’t communicate and when we talk at each other rather than to each other.”
Central characters Moritz, Wendla, and Melchior are childhood friends who have been raised by harsh and distant adults who have kept the teens in the dark about sexuality. Senior BFA Musical Theatre student John DeLisa plays the role of Moritz.
“I see Spring Awakening as story of children who aren’t allowed to question,” says DeLisa. “If we can’t question, how can we learn and grow? We see the tragic results of this question in the events of the show and it teaches a real and relevant lesson of free speech, education, and personal freedoms.”
Production at a glance:
Book and lyrics by Steven Sater
Music by Duncan Sheik
Directed by Joshua Chase Gold
8 p.m.: March 21, 22, 23, 23, 29, 30
2 p.m.: March 23, 30 (Note: There will not be a matinee on Sunday, March 31, due to the Easter holiday.)
Theatre UCF Main Stage
Price: Standard $20, Senior $18, Student $10; Group discounts available
Address: 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando FL 32816
Box Office Phone: 407-823-1500
Box Office Hours: Monday through Friday: noon to 6 p.m. and two hours before performances
For more information about Theatre UCF, visit http://theatre.ucf.edu.