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Posted August 01, 2018 in Articles
Author: Cory Markowitz
When Bob and Kelcie decided to bring this show to the Near West stage, they knew it would be a challenge in more ways than one. In Kelcie’s words, “Spring Awakening focuses on some topics that are hard to discuss, and can make people uncomfortable. I hope audiences will take a moment to consider why the subjects of puberty, sex, suicide, teen pregnancy, unwed mothers, and abortion are such hard topics to talk about. At NWT, we have engaged the theatre arts as a platform for real discussion and healing.”
So, what effect did Spring Awakening have on our first week’s audience? See for yourself in these remarkable survey responses from opening weekend!
"I was so impressed by the performance of the lead actors and actresses, but was particularly moved (as I always am) by the performances of the members of the ensemble. Seeing their own personal journeys spill out in such a vulnerable way made me cry. It helped me to remember that these issues are not unique to one age group or another - but impact us all. We all must pay attention because we are all impacted. Thank you all for your work and love and continued vulnerability." - Rachel Drotar
"What a wonderful show to be doing at this time. This message needs to be heard and it makes me proud to be a Near West friend. I appreciate that Near West is standing up for messages like this one. The truth in these performances was wonderful. Bravo. I will be back!" – Devin Pfeiffer
"An intense story line. Beautifully performed, disturbing to know that this continues to occur even after 150 years when this was to have taken place. Can’t wait to see it again!" – Debbie Farris
"I love the message of bringing awareness to the audience on these difficult issues. It’s hard to bring awareness in other forums so I love theater for this reason. The cast is very talented!" – Audience member
"This was by far the best production of Spring Awakening I have ever seen. The director's vision was incredible and amazing. The cast was talented and fantastic." – David Lantz
"The story is still true today. Gender issues, sexuality, suicide... all are still so vital in today's discussions. The political climate right now suggests that we need more discussion with our kids all of the time." – Audience member
NWT alum and accomplished theater artist Trinidad Snider also weighed in on Facebook with her response to the show:
"I had the opportunity to see Spring Awakening last night at Near West Theatre and folks, it is breathtaking! There are so many elements that make it absolutely fabulous, starting off with this amazingly brilliant cast! And when I say cast I mean the entire group. There was not one moment that someone on that stage was not completely invested, telling a story and opening their hearts out to the entire audience.
My friend Robert... along with Sarah Farris, Zack Palumbo, Zoe Douglas, Antonio [DeJesus] and the rest of the group give such honest, beautiful performances. This is the type of show that in my opinion all teenagers doing theater right now should witness and experience. It’s not just about getting up there and belting your face off and imitating the most current popular recording. It is about living and being in the moment and being so vulnerable that you almost forget that you’re watching a show.
Everything on the production side was on point as well. Kelcie, this is your calling. Scott, Jen, Josh - fantastic. The choreography. And Perren - wow. Speechless. And a big hell yes to both Amanda [Bender] and Michael Obertacz for stepping into these adult roles THIS WEEK! So good.
I love this theater. I grew up here. It has helped me to become the person and the performer that I strive to be every day. This is by far one of the best things I have seen in a really, really long time! Congrats to you all. Go see this show. Please!"
Photos courtesy of Mark Horning
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