Students give voice to ‘Spring Awakening’

April 11, 2013 11:00 AM

Fran Simon

Students in the Tulane Musical Theatre Workshop class taught by B. Michael Howard will take their chops from the classroom to the stage to present a contemporary rock musical with strong adult themes, including sexuality, abuse and suicide. Spring Awakening will be on the Dixon Hall stage for two performances on Friday (April 12) and Saturday (April 13) at 8 p.m.

Scene from 'Spring Awakening'

Tulane students rehearsing a scene from the folk-rock musical Spring Awakening are, from left, Brian Silver as Melchior, Mackenzie Norris as Wendla and Gregg Gorenc as Moritz. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

The folk-rock musical was “the darling of the Tony Awards in 2007 when it won eight awards including best musical and best original score,” says Ken Goode, director of the show who was a musical theater major at Tulane. Goode, who returned to direct the production, has directed Tulane Little Lyric Theatre for five seasons and has performed for nine seasons with Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane.

Spring Awakening explores the journey from adolescence to adulthood, so it’s a story that the university students can relate to, Goode says. Based on a late 19th-century play, German students navigate coming-of-age anxiety and self-discovery in a celebration of youth and rebellion.

“What has been most fulfilling for me is watching these students grow as they navigate this very difficult subject matter. They are really a very talented group of young artists,” Goode says.

Musicians from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, including the Broadway show’s violinist, will provide music for the production.

“You learn by doing a full show,” says Goode, who has been living for three years in New York pursuing his acting career. For the Spring Awakening cast, students experienced auditions and call-backs.

Not all of the performers in the show are musical theater majors, Goode says, but the communication skills they’ve learned will be valuable in any field they pursue.  

Tickets are $10 for students with identification and $15 for the general public. Call the Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre box office at 504-865-5269 to reserve tickets.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu