By Jenna Salisbury
Union’s Mountebanks Theater Club is in the midst of rehearsing their spring production of Tony Award winning rock musical “Spring Awakening.”
The show has had an incredibly successful run on Broadway and depicts a group of teenagers struggling with puberty and self-expression in 1890s Germany.
The director of the show, Elizabeth Magas ’15, sat down with the Concordy to brief us on the show’s progress.
JS: Where is the cast in terms of production? How far are you in the show’s development?
EM: So far we have finished the blocking for the entire show, and right now we are cleaning things up and continuing to work on music and vocals.
There are also some complicated transitions between scenes that we are developing.
The cast has been so cooperative, and amazing to work with. I’m working with some incredibly talented people.
JS: What direction are you heading for this play? Are there any specific challenges you’ve faced production/direction-wise?
EM: This piece is one of the more serious and artistic shows that Mountebanks has produced. the past, we have put on more comedic shows, like “Urinetown” and “Drowsy Chaperone.”
However, unlike either of those productions, in Spring Awakening there is the risk of losing the plot to the songs. It’s more metaphorical.
The show’s musical numbers are performed like a rock concert while the scenes are sprinkled in between each songs — they seem kind of out of place.
In this particular musical, the scenes are showing the character’s reality while the songs are supposed to be conveying their inner thoughts that they can’t express otherwise. This can be very confusing to convey to an audience. So, I want to keep things simple.
There are no sets and I want to make sure the transitions are very fluid.
Basically, my goal is to clearly communicate the story. And the cast has been great with taking direction. I have no doubt that they can pull it off.
JS: So you’re a senior, meaning this is the last Mountebanks show that you will be working on. Why did you choose this musical as your final Mountebanks production?
EM: I chose this show because I’ve loved this piece for a very long time. We’ve proven to the campus that we can pull off musical theater, but I wanted to do more serious, artistic piece.
JS: Why should students come see this musical?
EM: It is a critically acclaimed and well-known show, and although it has a reputation as being being pretty racy.
It’s a story about the struggle of adolescents living in a world that’s not always on their side. And that’s something that we, even as college students, can still relate to. Plus, again we have a wonderfully talented cast.
The musical will premiere April 9 and will run through April 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Old Chapel. Admission is free for all current Union students.