'Spring Awakening' Hits the Stage at University of Arkansas Theatre

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas Theatre will kick off the 2014 season with a production of Spring Awakening, winner of eight Tony Awards and written by Steven Sater.

The production will open Friday, Feb. 21, and run through Sunday, March 2, at the University Theatre in the Fine Arts Center. Shows will be held at 8 p.m. Feb. 21, 22, 26, 27, 28 and March 1. Shows will also be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 23 and March 2.

Set in late 19th century Germany, the musical tells the story of a group of teenagers learning about sexuality and experiencing sexual issues for the first time. The show contains adult language and sexual content and is recommended only for mature audiences.

With music by Duncan Sheik, Sater’s rock musical is based on German dramatist Frank Wedekind’s 1891 play by the same name. The original production was banned in Germany shortly after its original release because of its explicit sexual content.

The musical was developed by Sater and Sheik in the late 1990s and opened on Broadway in 2006. It went on to win eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score.

The University of Arkansas Theatre’s production of Spring Awakening is directed by guest artist Shana Gold, whose directing credits include productions at the Kennedy Center, New York Theatre Workshop, Urban Stages and Northwest Arkansas' own TheatreSquared. Other production credits include musical direction by Jeannie Lee, choreography by Gail Leftwich, scenic design by Michael J. Riha, costume design by Patricia J. Martin, lighting design by Shawn Irish and sound design by Jesus Rivera.

The cast includes Chris Hecke as Melchior, Mason Azbill as Moritz, James Odom as Hanschen, Derek Nichols as Ernst, Spencer Beck as Georg, Keefer Roach as Otto, Jason Shipman as Adult Men, Rebecca Francis as Wendla, Debbie Banos as Anna, Michelle A. Benton as Thea, Emily Ryan Breakell as Ilse and Laura Shatkus as Adult Women.

The crew includes Harrison Williams, stage manager; Whitney Wasson, makeup designer; Margaret Harrington, Celeste Richard, Starlite Blakely Stromer, assistant stage managers; Justin Spaethe, sound engineer; Cassie Corlett, light board operator; Grant Hockenbrough, spotlight operator; Mranda Lamb, sound crew; Jackie Stroud, Beth Stanley, Maggie Harris and Ali Guthrie, run crew; Jacob Hofer, master electrician; Jacquelyn Cox, lighting crew; Maegen Hickerson, construction crew; Cayla Greer, Nicole Thompson and Tiffany Bounkhong, cutter/drapers; Whitney Masters and Robin Okimoto, first hands; Madison Cantwell, wardrobe head and stitcher; Kyle Smiley, Rebecca Locklin, Ashley Davis, Christine Hines and Ferdinand Garcia, stitchers; Nelli Zaifi, Cori Fougerousse, Megan McAllister, Kelsey Cain and Hannah Latham, wardrobe and makeup crew.

Wednesday and Thursday performances may be seen at no charge to University of Arkansas students with a valid university identification. Individual tickets, which range from $7 to $16, are on sale to the general public. Call the ticket office to reserve seats at 479-575-4752 or visit the department of drama website to purchase tickets online.

The University of Arkansas department of drama has been providing exciting and affordable live theatre for more than 60 years. The department combines a first rate theatrical education full of hands-on experience with a wide selection of titles to challenge students and delight the community. The department produces eight shows a year: four large-scale productions at the University Theatre and four smaller shows in the Studio Series. Shows range from new works to classic favorites, from period pieces and Shakespeare plays to Broadway musicals.

Contacts:

Ashley Cohea, University Theatre business manager
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences

479-575-3645, acohea@uark.edu

Darinda Sharp, director of communications
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-3712, dsharp@uark.edu

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