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YSU Theater presents ‘Spring Awakening’

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Published: Thu, November 9, 2017 @ 12:05 a.m.

Staff report


Youngstown State University Theater will present “Spring Awakening,” the winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, for six performances over two consecutive weekends, beginning Friday.

The rock musical will be performed in Ford Theater, inside Bliss Hall.

C. Austin Hill, assistant professor in the YSU theater and dance department, is directing the show, which was written by Steven Sater, with music by Duncan Sheik.

“Spring Awakening” opened on Broadway in 2006 but is based on a play, by the same name, written by Frank Wedekind in 1891.

“The story – both that of the musical and that of Wedekind’s play – is a tale of two generations,” said Hill. “The older sees the younger as unmotivated, selfish, entitled, emotional, immature, sensitive, self-centered, naive and morally corruptible. This, the older generation thinks, means that they need protection – even from themselves.”

Touted as one of “the most gorgeous Broadway scores this decade” by Entertainment Weekly, “Spring Awakening” explores the journey from adolescence to adulthood with poignancy and passion.

The landmark musical is an exhilarating fusion of morality, sexuality and rock ’n’ roll.

“One of the reasons I wanted so badly to direct this musical is that it gives me a chance to shape the future – to cause an audience full of millennials to shake off their fantastical versions of their world and to see things as they are,” said Hill. “And what better way to do that than to put them on stage. By seeing things as they are, perhaps they will work to change the ways that we talk to young people – about sex, about their bodies, about depression, about pregnancy, about abortion, about suicide, about pleasure, about queerness and about ‘reality.’”

The cast includes Leah Tekac, Pulaski, Pa.; Mason Edmunds, Poland; Daniel Navabi, Columbus; Jessica Hirsh, Pepper Pike; Emily Begala, Poland; Ben Mowrer, Independence; Mac Callahan, Stoutsville; Wesley Miller, Alliance; Stefon Funderburke, Farrell, Pa.; Angelique Tanner, Waverly; AnnMarie Lowerre, Butler, Pa.; Nathan Wagner, Ambridge, Pa.; Ciara Rosario, Youngstown; Mia Colon, Youngstown; Rosie Bresson, Canfield; DJ Davis, Reynoldsburg; and Tristan Kile, Ashtabula.

Todd Dicken is scenic designer and lighting designer; Chuck Kettering is production manager; Katherine N. Garlick is costume designer; Wendy Akens is costume shop supervisor; and Ian Leroy is musical director.

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