UMD Theatre's Spring Awakening opens this week

BY LAURA GRUHLKE | The Statesman Spring Awakening is the newest musical to hit the Marshall Performing Arts Center. This rated “R” show is different than anything that has been done at UMD before. The themes of this show are mature and range from abuse, sex and suicide to the overall aspect of growing up.

“It’s about these teenagers in a repressive society of people who don’t want to tell them the truth about what it means to grow up,” director and choreographer Rebecca Katz Harwood said.

The show follows a young woman named Wendla, who is curious where babies come from because she’s about to be an aunt for the second time. However, her mother won’t have anything to do with it. Next, the show highlights a rebellious young man in town named Melchior who questions everything that the town has been brought up on.

This show has only been around for 10 years, but has already left an impact on audiences everywhere.

“It’s already become really iconic, especially for the current generation,” Katz Harwood said.

One of the reasons the production is so successful is because it tackles issues that a lot of people experience growing up.

“It’s super relevant for the audience,” cast member Erica Vonbank said.

“Everyone has something to relate to,” Luke Harger said.

Cast member Kayla Peters says that in a time where technology is the main way of communication, we need to remember to keep talking and that communication is key.

This show isn’t all depressing and dark.

“We want to give you hope that we can make a change,” Peters said.

“Hard stuff happens in life, but even with the hard stuff there is still beauty and joy to claim,” Katz Harwood said.

Even though the show is based in the 1800’s, the music is very contemporary. Some of the cast members described it as “folky rock,” making the show feel more modern and relatable.

“Spring Awakening” opens on April 14 and runs through the 17, and will run again from April 20 through the 23. All performances are on campus at the Marshall Performing Arts Center.

Tickets are available for purchase in person at the box office on campus or online at

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