A withered flower won’t bloom in the Spring

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Spring Awakening
Joshua Unruh and Jessica Dommer Photo by Dominika Cudzich

On the night of storms and rain, the first performance of Spring Awakening took place. It was accurate weather for the story about to unfold before the audience.

Spring Awakening or “The Awakening of Spring” translated from its original German title “Fruhlings Erwachen” was originally written by Frank Wedekind. Later revised by Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik in 2006.

Preformed at the John and Angeline Oremus Theater, on Feb. 23rd the musical came to life engulfing the audience in a tale of tragedy and despair. Proud coordinator of the Moraine Valley Academic Theater Department since 2002, the director Dr. Craig Rosen stretched the limits of performance theater. This play tells several stories in one, all having to do with roles among family and places within life.

The possibility of happiness between two young lovers was seized from them as the influence of parental figures interfered with the couple. The figures whose lack of pity and refusal to teach their children the ways of the world had a devastating consequence; depriving two lives and one who never had a chance to breathe it’s first breath of life.

The deflowering of a fourteen year-old girl, Wendla Bergmann (Amanda Teplitz), by the horrendous act of rape was less than scandalously mimicked from the original screen play. Sater and Duncan’s version censored the violent act of rape, instead placing the tainted lovers at the bar of their own temptations. By coincidentally allowing the lovers to meet one another in times of emotional distress, it paved the road for the tragedy to unfold between them.

Martha Bessel (Amy Meyer), is said to be domestically abused by her father, due to her daringness to disobey her father and mother’s wishes. Perking Wendla’s curiosity she asks her mate to do the same to her, for her to feel the same feeling. “I’ve beaten myself, to feel it inside” Wendla tells Melchoir (Joshua Unruh).

Another discouraged character, Mortitz Steifel (Mickey Carioto), is also domestically abused by his father; as he questions his father’s expectation of his son’s success. His father cries out “How do we go to Church”? Shaming his son and pulling on Molrtitz’s final strings of hope, pushing him to seek the final answer.

Later in the play, Wendla is brought back into spotlight, with a conversation between her mother and her mother’s reputation being placed on the line. Convincing Wendla to get rid of the plague assumed to taint the family’s name, her mother loses two children in the process.

A dark screen play adapted to a more censored audience still gives the chills of despair among the amusement. Roles in family and in life are questioned and viewed, leaving the audience to decipher the tales before them and leave a lasting impression of the people who told them