Aberdeen American News
1:21 AM EDT, March 31, 2013
Opening April 10 at Northern State University is the Tony Award-winning musical, “Spring Awakening,” which is described by NSU Theater as exciting, provocative and powerful.
The play, written by Steven Slater and Duncan Sheik, runs April 10-13 in the black box stage of the Johnson Fine Arts Center.
“Spring Awakening” swept all the major awards in the 2006 Broadway theatre season, including eight Tony Awards, among them Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score), according to a news release.
The New York Times called the play “truly groundbreaking” and said Broadway may never be the same. The Times called it a “brave new musical, haunting and electrifying by turns.” The New York Post said the play was “an unexpected jolt of sudden genius! (It is a) groundbreaking must-see musical to wake up Broadway.”
John Heilpern of the New York Observer wrote that “once in a generation, an unexpected musical comes along and changes everything. That is the thrilling achievement of ‘Spring Awakening.’ ”
The pop-rock musical adaptation of Frank Wedekind's 1891 expressionist play explores the “unforgettable excitement, desolation and perplexity of adolescence,” said a Northern press release.
“Spring Awakening” is set in a small provincial German town, where young Wendla is about to become an aunt for the second time and still doesn’t know where babies come from. Elsewhere, the brilliant young Melchior defends his fellow student and friend Moritz — a boy so confused and traumatized by puberty he cannot function. One afternoon in a hayloft, Wendla and Melchior discover a desire unlike anything they’ve ever felt.
According to Northern, “Spring Awakening” explores the confusion and desperation “that ensue when the onrushing tide of hormones meets the ignorance of these three children and celebrates the unforgettable journey from youth to adulthood with power, poignancy and passion. These teenagers are caught between their sexual urges and society’s contradictory teachings resulting in a melancholy story of self-discovery and coming-of-age anxiety. Wendla, Melchior and Moritz take a journey to reckon with the complicated and confusing time of their own sexual awakening.”
The NSU Theater production features Katie Wegleitner of Lake City as Wendla, Paul Hoselton of Fargo, N.D., as Melchior and Eli Corbett of Deadwood as Moritz.
The other young males in the show are Ben Villa of Rapid City, who plays George; Brandon Sieck of Onida, who plays Hanschen; Max Chamberlain of Huron, who plays Ernst; and Nathaniel Bruce Wilson of Kimball, who plays Otto.
The other young women in the cast are Emily Davis of Aberdeen as Martha, Larissa Buchholz of Tripp as Ilse, Kaitlin Buchholz of Tripp as Thea and Natalia Allcock of Britton as Anna.
All the adult men and women are played by two actors — Heather Kelsey of South St. Paul, Minn., and Kevin Nilson of Webster.
The production is directed and staged by NSU Director of Theatre Daniel Yurgaitis, with vocal and music direction provided by Mary Marion and assisted by NSU music faculty members Michael Skyles and Robert Vodnoy. Graduate student Kate Jedeluk of Chicago is the orchestra personnel manager. NSU student and assistant director Seth M. Honerman of Sioux Falls is assisting NSU scenic design professor Joshua John Frachiseur in the creation of the set. NSU technical director Tina Hanagan is designing the lighting and sound and NSU adjunct faculty member Nicole Frachiseur, who created the wardrobe for “Phantom of the Opera,” “Xanadu” and “Legally Blonde — The Musical,” is once again designing the costumes.
Student Kirk Bender of Aberdeen is the stage manager, assisted by student Kate Jarland of Jamestown, N.D.
The production contains adult content including language and sexual situations and is not recommended for those younger than 16.
Tickets for “Spring Awakening” go on sale for the general public on Monday in the NSU Wolf Shoppe Bookstore. Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for senior citizens and non-NSU students, and cash and checks are only accepted. No exchanges or refunds are available for this production. Group rates are available. Tickets will increase by $2 at the door. The bookstore is open from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday for ticket sales. For additional information, call 605-626-2563.