“Spring Awakening,” a controversial musical based on an even more controversial play written in provincial Germany, is one of the best plays to come out of Bellevue College’s Drama Department to date.
Following youth in a German school as they go through sexuality, answers their parents won’t give them and hormonal mania, this play brings to light heavy subject matter societies all around the world typically strive to avoid.
I was expecting the strong topics and deep, marring messages.
What I wasn’t expecting was how modern and audience-friendly the play was, despite it’s mature rating.
Right when I sat down I noticed two particular things. The first was how open and moldable director Tammis Doyle had been to really creating a unique set to pull in their audience.
A warm wood platform with a small riser in back, plus diagonal lines of wood making a single, see-through back wall – the set was creative beyond anything I have seen from the theater department so far. The second thing I noticed was the live musicians BEHIND said translucent wall, right where the audience could see them.
Musical director Sara Hanson lead the way with other pianists, guitarists, drummers – and a subtle lighting lifted their instrumentals, bleeding through onto the stage to form the alluring effect of bringing viewers into not just the story and the plot, but the world of “Spring Awakening” itself.
The blue, purple and tan lights seemed to push the world of the play out, past the stage and directly into the audience’s seats. Five minutes in and I was convinced this show was worth the entrance ticket.
The songs were so modernly rock, the choreography so modernly done, I almost thought I was seeing a live episode of Glee.
This play had numerous dark concepts as well – suicide, forced abortion, death, oppression – most of all, it brought to the forefront passions from the youth, and told me personally that you can’t force ignorance as to who you are or keep people in the dark.
Things will only get worse if you reject yourself. You will hurt yourself, and if you are lucky you won’t injure someone you care about in the process. “Spring Awakening” was a play about the stinging truth. And it delivers its message.