Inspired by Frank Wedekind’s controversial 1891 play, Spring Awakening tells the tale of a group of 19th century German students on their voyage through self-discovery and society’s efforts to either control it or just ignore the situation completely. Book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Duncan Sheik, the play is presented by Theatre 360 at The Hudson Theatre located on Theatre Row.
The play begins at the home of Wendla (Sarah Colt). Much to her mother's dismay, she begins to question the rationality of the stork bringing loving, married couples a baby and that she hasn't taught her the lessons that she needs to learn. Instead of giving her an honest answer, she continues to evade the questions. Once she meets up with the other girls it is clear that they are just as in the dark as she is leaving them all frustrated with their lack of knowledge.
At the all boys school, the boys are studying Latin in class. When Moritz (Andrew Moorhead), a nervous and slightly intense young man, misquotes a line, the teacher chastises him harshly. Moritz’s classmate, the rebellious Melchior (Cristian Guerrero), tries to defend him, which leads to Melchior taking punishment for speaking out. Melchior reflects on the narrow-mindedness of school and society and voices his desire to make a change.
After class, Moritz describes a dream to Melchior that has been keeping him up at night, and Melchior realizes that Moritz has been having erotic dreams. To comfort his dear friend, Melchior, who has learned sexual information from books, tells Moritz that all of the boys at their age get the dreams. The other boys in the class begin to tell/sing about their own frustrating thoughts and desires. Moritz would rather not discuss the subject with Melchior, and asked if he can give him the information in the form of an essay with illustrations.
At this point the scene cuts through a few of the students: the girls are teasing each other as they fantasize about marrying the boys in the town until the situation turns serious and the girls find out that Martha (Ally Merrill) is being abused by her father. Georg(Sam Forrest) enjoys a few fantasies while practicing with his piano teacher, Hanschen (Alex Hurren) masturbating as he looks at a picture, and Moritz juggling his frustrations with trying to understand his new found feelings and keeping up his grades.
Later that day, Wendla finds Melchior in his usual spot in the woods and she tells him about Martha's abuse. Upset by the thought that she can't understand her friend's pain, she persuades Melchior to hit her with a stick. Though at first he's reluctant, he ends up taking out his own frustrations out on her, knocking her to the ground. Mortified by his actions, he takes off, leaving his journal. Meanwhile, Moritz is told that he has failed his final exam meaning he will not progress with the rest of the student. His father doesn't react well to the news, caring only about how this makes the rest of the family look. Lost and distraught, he runs away from home.
Wanting to return Melchior's journal and apologize for the incident out in the fields, Wendla finds him in the hayloft, disheartened. But whats starts off as just an apology quickly turns heated. Wendla doesn't exactly know what is going on and tries to resist him at first but gives in as Melchior overpowers her objections.
With this kind of set up from the first act, you can imagine the outcome that's approaching. The tale is a wonderful coming of age story reminding parents of the consequences of choosing to leave your children uneducated because certain conversations may be slightly uncomfortable.
Theatre 360 is a nationally recognized children's theatre group, producing thousands of talented individuals and it clearly shows. I will admit that at first I was a little hesitant when I realized that teenagers were going to be the entire cast but I was clearly worrying for no reason. All of the students performed beautifully.
Fri, Nov 30 – Sun, Dec 02
Fri, Sat 8 pm
Sat, 2 pm
Sun, 3 pm
$30.00 General Admission - Adults
$40.00 VIP Stage Seating - Limited
6539 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90038
For future productions from Theatre 360
75 N. Marengo Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101