Question One In your opinion, why did the theatre department at UIUC choose to produce the rock musical, “Spring Awakening? ” Response I think the Theatre Department chose to produce Spring Awakening for several reasons. First of all, it is a very creative and influential work in the history of musical theatre and theatre, which also won tons of significant awards in the realm of theatre (like Tony Award) and music (like Grammy Award). In my opinion, the Theatre Department produce Spring Awakening to emphasize its artistic value and influence, and to show respect to this great piece of art at the same time.Order now
Secondly, I think Theatre Department produces Spring Awakening to present the audience (mostly students at UIUC) the charm of musicals, which is considered to be the most popular type of theatre in Broadway and even across the nation. Since many of us may not have a chance to go to Broadway, producing Spring Awakening here offers us a chance to appreciate a great musical more conveniently. Last but not least, the conceptual meaning of this play is still worthwhile for adolescents and their parents today to learn about.
Although the historical background for this play is late 19th century in Germany, many of the conceptions that the playwright wanted to convey, for example, sexuality, violence, domestic abuse, abortion, homosexuality and suicide are still essential issues for adolescents and young adults today. A majority of the obstacles, ambiguities and pursuits of the characters in the performance are still major problems of many youngsters nowadays, which lack of good solutions.
As for a specific example, when Moritz was told that he failed the final exam, his after reacted him with disdain, blame and contempt rather can care and inspiration, which is part of the reason of Moritz’s suicide. Today, there are still many adolescents who commit a suicide because they are not able to cope with the stress from failure at school and blames from their parents/teachers. I went to see the performance on Mom’s weekend and I noticed that there was many parents watching attended this production.
Producing Spring Awakening offers a chance for parents to know more about their children, and for adolescents/youngsters in the university to know more about themselves and how to deal with major problems in their lives. Question Two What do you feel this production of Spring Awakening communicated to the audience? Support your conclusions with specific examples. Response First of all, it showed the audience the power and charm of musicals. The live singing performance and live orchestra have produced amazing effects.
By letting the characters sing out their internal thoughts, all the audience get to understand the nature of the characters better. The audience can feel the characters’ conflicts, pains, desires, desperations and confusions more deeply. This production has presented the audience about how overwhelming and impressive a musical can be. Last but not least, it communicated to the audience with the need for concentrations on, but not limited to the problems of sex educations among adolescents.
In this production, the school emphasized a lot on Latin proficiency but not sex educations, although the latter one is the real concerns of the students and much more important for the adolescents, which partly resulted in the death of Wendla. It is worthwhile because we still have the same problems today. Many adolescents are told by their parents not to attempt to have sex with their romantic partners, but what they are untold is “why”? and “how?. ” However marking sex as a taboo can’t stop adolescents’ curiosity.
Many of them try without knowing “how ?, which can lead to serious problems like teenage pregnancy. If we can provide adequate sex educations at home and at schools for teenagers, they will be better at coping their confusions and less likely to engage in dangerous behaviors. Moreover, when I say “not limited to ?, I mean that simply concluding this production as a “call for sex education ? is not adequate. In fact, the production should be expected to be much higher in richness and complexity.
Besides the need for sex education, it also conveyed other controversial and sensitive problems like homosexuality, suicide, violence and so on, and it went much further than simply presenting these problems. It showed how adolescents think about these problems deep in their heart (by singing), and contrasted/compared the internal thoughts with external behaviors (like the girls teasing each other about marrying the boys in town, and how they present in front of their parents).
It reprimanded the school and parents for the lack of adequate care/instructions, ignorance and stupid behaviors, like Wendla’s mother sent Wendla to abortion surgery, which resulted in Wendla’s death. It also presented the adolescents’ (attempted) rebellions, bravery explorations, and free spirit, though some explorations, like unprotected sex and suicide, are wrong. In short, it conveyed further more than sex education. It reveals the nature of multiple issues and somewhat complimented some explorations of the adolescents, which stands for the desire for free spirit. Question Three
What appealed to you about the production and why? Response I like the production mostly because it is a musical. I never attended a music performance and I never knew how much I might love a musical until I attended this production. The songs in the production are mainly for presenting internal psychological activities of the characters and I really like this form of presentation. I think by singing all the psychological activities out, the willingness, desires, pains, and confusions of all the characters are presented much more strongly and impressively than simply by using languages and body movements.
When I heard all the internal thoughts of the characters from the lyrics, I felt great empathy and resonance with them since I also met the same problems and confusions as I grew up. What’s more, I personally think all the actors sung really great, and even much better than many popular singers nowadays. The whole production is also a wonderful live concert. All the songs have beautiful tones and thoughtful lyrics. I particularly like the main character Wendla and the song “Mama Who Bore Me ? since her voice is so beautiful.
Another factor that appealed to me is the bold and inviting nature of this production. I like this production because it has presented all the conflicts in such a direct, bold, and sensitive way. I like all the bold depictions of a series of adolescence problems ”sex, abortion, homosexuality, suicide, and so on, of the accusing of parents’ and schools’ ignorance, and of the children’s brave rebellions and free spirit. I really respect the original author of this production, Frank Wedekind, for bringing about so many controversial problems in his time that are even still difficult to address nowadays.
I respect Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik for making Wedekind’s original work into such an influential musical in Broadway, nationally and bringing all the controversial issues to Broadway, to the nation and even to the world. All these creators have kept the bold and inviting nature of this production. They are trying to describe every problem as directly and deeply as they can and I think that’s what the society really needs. Spring Awakening has offered a chance for all the people (especially adolescents and their parents) to see all the problems and the consequences of these problems in a very direct way.
For example, we may never know how regretful a suicide can be until we see the character Moritz did that on stage. All these bold and direct depictions, in my opinion, should have greater impacts on the audience and the society as a whole than other indirect ones, since these depictions somewhat “push ? the society to face the problems and their consequences and natures (i. e. where do they come from and how teenagers think about these). And only when the society can face the existence of the problems and know the nature of these problems, we can start generating adequate solutions.