UNM’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents Spring Awakening, Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik’s rock musical adaptation of Frank Wedekind's controversial play, in Rodey Theatre, Friday, Nov. 1 through Sunday, Nov. 17.

Set against the backdrop of a repressive and provincial late-19th century Germany, Spring Awakening tells the timeless story of the trials, tribulations and exhilaration of self-discovery and budding sexuality as seen through the eyes of a group of teenagers. Haunting and provocative, Spring Awakening celebrates an unforgettable journey from youth to adulthood with power, poignancy and passion.

The contemporary rock musical, with book and lyrics by Sater and music by Sheik, is an adaptation of Wedekind's 1891 play. Wedekind’s work generated considerable scandal in his time (as well as jail time for the writer,) yet laid the foundation for the artistic movement that would be known as German Expressionism.

The story of Spring Awakening revolves around a group of adolescents in 19th century Germany. Beaten down by their teachers, kept in a state of ignorance by their parents, exploding with hormones, desire, shame and an almost total lack of understanding of sex and love, they are lost and at risk.

This emotionally stirring story features an exuberant rock score, with songs that are often haunting and filled with lush lyricism,  as well as brash rock songs that are bound to stir up conversation (including such provocative titles as “The B**ch of Living,” “My Junk,” “Touch Me,” and the cathartic, “Totally F**ked.”) In 2007 the original Broadway production won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Kathleen Clawson, UNM director of musical theatre, said, Spring Awakening is the defining musical for this generation of students, as RENT was ten years ago, and HAIR was for my generation. It is a great vehicle for our students and we are thrilled to offer to our local community, a musical that celebrates youth and the power of knowledge and friendship. It addresses issues of suicide, teen pregnancy, sexual abuse and rebellion in a thought provoking way, and it is my hope that it will stimulate open conversations between parents and children as well as students and their peers.”

Eighteen of UNM’s finest theatre and dance students comprise the cast, with Stafford Douglas as Melchior, Andee Schray as Wendla, Corey Meehan as Moritz, Tami Leah Lacy as Ilse, Alexandra Uranga as Martha, Harrison Sim as Hanschen, Grey Blanco as Ernst, Andrew Melendez as Georg, Ty Shoemake as Otto, Rhiannon Frazier as Thea, and Jasmine Bernard as Anna. 

Rikki Carroll, Joey Geddings, Jenny Hoffman, Josh Jones, Julianna Myers, Sydney Tellez and Xavier Winslow play multiple roles and complete the ensemble. Kathleen Clawson directs, Paul Roth is music director and UNM dance major Esteban Eduardo Garza choreographs the production. The scenic design is by UNM Design for Performance major Sydnie Ponic, with lighting design by Nathan Capriglione, and costume design by UNM Design for Performance major Erik Flores.

Spring Awakening performances are in Rodey Theatre, located in the Center for the Arts on UNM’s Main Campus (Central and Cornell) November 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on Sundays, Nov. 3, 10 and 17. Spring Awakening contains sexually explicit language, lyrics and situations.

Due to the subject matter, parental discretion is strongly advised. Ticket prices are $20 general, $15 seniors and faculty, $12 students and staff, and are available at the UNM Ticket Offices located at the UNM Bookstore, Central and Cornell, or the Arena (The Pit), University and Avenida Caesar Chavez, by calling (505) 925-5858. Tickets may also be purchased online