Manchester University
Oak Leaves

April 13, 2018

Spring_Awakening_Tiffany_Byers (4)

Emily Lynn, Addison Neher, Tiffany Phinezy and Kenzie Hare rehearse for their upcoming musical.

Photo by Tiffany Byers 

Spring Musical 'Breaks Stereotypes,' Presents Serious Topics

Kaity Collins

Manchester University is ready to welcome spring with the Broadway musical “Spring Awakening.” The story takes place in 1890’s Germany during the Repressive Era, and describes the lives of several 14 and 15-year-olds. Following the story of several couples, “Spring Awakening” is a musical that covers some serious topics such as suicide, homosexuality and premarital sex.

The theatre program has made sure to put a warning on the musical about the themes that will be portrayed in the show. “It’s a heavy show,” said senior Clay Marcum, who plays Melchior Gabor. “It’s a coming-of-age story.”

Director Kira Lace Hawkins said: “It’s a hard one to describe. But it’s kind of like the difference of growing up in an oppressive bourgeoisie society.” The musical will also feature a contemporary rock sound.

Performing the musical are 16 cast members, consisting of 13 Manchester students, two community members and one faculty member of Grace College. Each actor will be playing roles consisting of six male characters and six female characters, including various teenage couples and several adults. “I am happy to see that community members and students alike are coming together to put on the show,” said sophomore James Cash.

“It’s very episodic,” Hawkins said. “And I am thrilled with the kids’ work.”

Currently, the cast are preparing themselves for the upcoming premiere. Marcum added: “Things are really beginning to fall into place. We’re starting to see things really click.”

The theatre program’s intent with this musical is to shed light on some of the issues presented. “The plot includes sexuality, youth revolt and the pressure for success,” Marcum said. “The issues it deals with are pretty serious.”

Hawkins said: “I hope it doesn’t offend anyone. My biggest hope is to make people think.”

The “Spring Awakening” musical will be taking place tonight and tomorrow night, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Cordier Auditorium, as well as a final performance April 15 at 2 p.m. “I’m a little nervous to share it,” Hawkins said. “This really breaks all the stereotypes of usual musical theatre.”

Cash added: “I feel it’s a good experience for those who can relate.”

Marcum had nothing but praise for the show. “This is the most groundbreaking show the town has ever seen,” he said. “The Theatre program really brings people together.”

Admission is $12 for the general public, $8 for high school students and senior citizens, and free for Manchester students, faculty and staff.

“I am really thankful for the group of students and community members,” Hawkins said.