Far be it for Eagle Rock School’s Music and Performance Department to turn and walk away from the edgier side of musical theater. In fact, if you take a look at past performances, the department has produced and presented such controversial programs as Urinetown and Rent.
So it’s no surprise at all that Meghan Tokunaga-Scanlon — our Music & Performance Instructional Specialist — has chosen to push the boundaries even further this year, offering up a presentation of Spring Awakening.
The production will be staged at the Rialto Theatre in Loveland (Colo.) beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, with two more showings in the days that follow — Thursday, April 2 at 7 p.m., and Friday, April 3, also at 7 p.m. The cost of admission is at the discretion of the audience member, but keep in mind that proceeds benefit the Eagle Rock Graduate Fund — a cause that’s near and dear to all Eagle Rock students. The theater is located at 228 East 4th Street in Loveland.
And while this performance is definitely not suitable for children, there won’t be any body exposure and the overt sexuality is somewhat toned down. However, the show still contains plenty of adult content.
Here at Eagle Rock, we’re fortunate to have such a supportive administration. Spring Awakening tackles some really weighty issues that are very relatable to a lot of our students.
With book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Duncan Sheik, Spring Awakening is by turns irreverent, poignant, boisterous and thoughtful. The authors made the unlikely decision to convey the internal struggles of 19th century German adolescents through breakout performance numbers of 21st century angst-driven rock, and the result is both surprising and effective.
The show takes an unblinking look at the consequences of society’s taboos surrounding sex, and touches on related themes of violence, homosexuality, abortion and child abuse.
The musical, which premiered on Broadway in December of 2006, went on to win eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 2007. It was based on “Spring Awakening: A Children’s Tragedy,” an 1891 play by Frank Wedekind, who has been described as among the greatest turn-of-the-century American playwrights. His work was the basis for the Lulu plays and Alban Berg’s famed opera.
Eagle Rock students in the principal roles include:
- Mikaela Bowman as Wendla
- Saben Hinckley as Melchior
- Hunter Gantz as Moritz
The supporting cast includes:
- Martin Araiza as Otto
- Javonnie Campbell as Anna
- Emelia Eller as Martha
- Ziyad Johnstone as Adult Male
- Ember Jones as Ernst
- June Jones-Knight as Ilse
- Chemi Lewis as Hanschen
- Brighid Scanlon as Adult Female
- Nigel Taylor as Georg
- Cassandra Zambrana as Thea
Tokunaga-Scanlon directs, with Andrew Walker and Brighid Scanlon as co-directors and music direction by pianist Anneke Toomey. Other members of the pit orchestra are: Jean Denney, violin; Sarah Avery, viola; Elizabeth LaManna, cello; Tyler Honsel, bass; Tim Wendel, guitar; and Juan Torres, percussion.
Since 2011, the Eagle Rock Music and Performance Department has been part of the Berklee City Music Network — a consortium of 48 community organizations across the United States and Canada committed to delivering high-quality contemporary music instruction to youth from underserved communities. Check out this short video to learn more about our involvement with Berklee:
Finally, if you’re intrigued and want to know more about Spring Awakening and how it can be used in the classroom, be sure to check out GradeSaver.com’s free Spring Awakening Study Guide. And if you’re in the local area between April 1-3, be sure to include our performance of Spring Awakening in your evening plans!