ISU will begin its theatre season with a surefire hit: the immensely popular rock musical “Spring Awakening.” Winner of numerous Tony Awards and a legion of devotees after exploding on Broadway in 2006, ISU’s production of “Spring Awakening” will shepherd in a whole new flock of fans.
The show opens Friday and runs through Oct. 5 in the Center for Performing Arts (CPA). Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for students and seniors.
“Spring Awakening” is based on German dramatist Frank Wedekind’s controversial 1891 play dealing with teenage sexuality.
“This show has everything. Everything that you’ve ever struggled with as a teenager is in there,” Carlos Kmet, cast member and senior acting major, said. “There are so many characters going through so many different things — things that have happened to every single one of us.”
And yes, just like its source material, “Spring Awakening” does not shy away from frank explorations of sex.
“There’s a lot of sex in the show,” Kmet said. “It is handled very tastefully. But it’s still very, very sexual. It’s going to be very visceral for anyone who hasn’t seen it before.”
The music of “Spring Awakening,” written by 90s alt-rocker Duncan Sheik, is a perfect extension of the tale’s rambunctious teen spirit.
“The music is very similar to the type of grungy music we used to listen to when we were all moody and hormonal teenagers,” Kmet said. “But the show has a lot of really beautiful songs too.”
The show’s unconventionally rocking sound is sure to resonate with audience members young and old alike.
“I’m so excited for anyone that has never seen the show before to come in and be able to hear these songs for the first time,” Kmet said. “They’re going to go out and go on YouTube and listen to them over and over again because they are so awesome.”
“It’s like this generation’s ‘Rent’ in terms of the music matching what we respond to,” Abby Vombrack, cast member and senior theatre education and acting double major, said. “It’s a contemporary sound. You can connect with the sound of ‘Spring Awakening’ without any of the story. The music is really strong.”
ISU’s production of “Spring Awakening” will not be just an auditory delight, but a visual feast as well. The show will feature an eclectic and lively mixture of rocker and 19th-century German stylings.
“Our designs are sick. We have a lot of cool hair and costumes created by some really exceptional designers. It’s beautiful and intriguing,” Vombrack said. “Everyone is working hand-in-hand to create a really nifty, cool world.”
With superb music, design and performances, the anticipation surrounding ISU’s production of “Spring Awakening” is certainly palpable.
“I think I speak for the whole cast when I say this: it is truly a dream to be part of this show,” Vombrack said. “I feel so lucky, so honored and so excited.”
Tickets for “Spring Awakening” can be purchased at the ticket office in the lobby of the CPA or by calling (309) 438-2535.