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book and lyrics by STEVEN SATER

music by DUNCAN SHEIK

based on the play by  FRANK WEDEKIND

directed by JP THIBODEAU

performed by emerging artists from SBT's

STUDENT SUMMER INTENSIVE PROGRAM >

SPRING AWAKENING is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are supplied by MTI. www.mtishows.com

The videotaping or making of electronic or other audio and/or visual recordings of this production or distributing recordings on any medium, including the Internet, is strictly prohibited, a violation of the author’s rights and actionable under copyright law. 

sept 4 to 30, 2020

Filmed LIVE onstage

Streamed online

rated PG | 12+

ONLINE PROGRAM SPRING AWAKENING
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ABOUT THE SHOW

CONTENT WARNING: Spring Awakening contains coarse language and material pertaining to sexual awakening, physical violence, sexual assault, domestic abuse, suicide, abortion, and depression.

 

Based on Frank Wedekind’s groundbreaking and controversial play (once banned in Germany), Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik’s brilliant rock score and searingly emotional book take the story of sexual awakening, youth revolt, and self-discovery into a new century. It’s 1891, and grown-ups hold all the cards. Headstrong Melchior and naive Wendla stumble into each others’ arms, passionate and curious, while anxious Moritz struggles to live up to the stringent expectations of society. With only each other for guidance, this group of young men and women travel the fraught and rocky path of adolescence, discovering their bodies, their minds, and themselves along the way. An electric, vibrant celebration of youth and rebellion, Spring Awakening fuses issues of morality, sexuality, and rock and roll into a story that packs a powerful emotional punch. READ MORE >

RATING: PG | 12+ with explicit language
Read more about show ratings and recommendations >

 
FROM THE DIRECTOR  JP THIBODEAU

Where do I even begin?  Here we are 6 months into a global pandemic and you are reading my notes in a digital program for a show you are either about to see or have already seen....online.  I can safely say I never saw this as part of my five-year planning for our theatre when we sat down to discuss our future in January this year.  Around that same time, I was prepping the audition process for our Student Summer Intensive Program.

We announced last September what our show would be and I was excited and scared to bring Spring Awakening to the StoryBook stage.  Some people questioned this choice, something that has never dictated my planning, but it pushed my thinking for what we do here at StoryBook.

Traditionally we are known as a company that produces shows for children.  That, however, is only part of the programming we do.  Families have children of all ages and with my own 13-year-old and 10-year-old at home, I want theatre that speaks to them too, stories that will teach them and encourage conversation.  

Theatre is the perfect bridge for conversation and in many ways, it is our duty as there artists to present stories at all levels to encourage healthy and strong family discussions through the safe space of our theatre world.

Ironically, moving to an online world really pushes that thinking in a whole new way.  Families can connect in the comfort of their own home,  Suddenly the living room or office or where ever you and your family are able to watch our production becomes that place to experience theatre and engage in our storytelling.

Bringing theatre to your home or personal device has been no easy feat.  Add to that COVID19, masks, face shields, plexiglass barriers, hand sanitizer, 6 ft, no touching, now singing and you have the truest test of the human spirit.    I believe so passionately in the power of theatre for not only families to converse, but the emerging artists whom I have the honour of meeting show after show.  I just could not imagine my summer without the students and this program and when I made the choice to keep moving forward in March I honestly had no idea what this all would mean for them, but I knew we had to carry on.

Throughout the summer they all rose to the occasion, pivoting and shifting as required and all with keeping the end goal in focus.  Each summer the students of this program teach me so much about myself and about the kind of theatre I want to create.  Ultimately they rejuvenate my soul, they put me in check and inevitably remind me of why I made this choice in the first place. This year, that reminder meant a lot because this is not the theatre I dreamed of, instead I was reminded of the friendships this world creates and the power that one show has to bring complete strangers together to share a story and the impact that creation has on those in the process.

 

That is the power of theatre.  That is why telling stories for everyone to enjoy and participate in is at the heart of what I do and want to do, even if for a short while it means we do it in some unconventional way.  

I am so proud of what we have created for you regardless of the struggles to get here.  I am proud of this story and all the stories we will bring to you in one way or another, that's all part of being pushed to our growing edge.

Please share our posts and spread the word about this incredible group of young people and the team who bravely pushed to bring you this story.  Perhaps this is our purple summer.

Thank you for your support. 

JP Thibodeau

Artistic Producer

 
Production Inclusion Statics

54 % FEMALE/NON-BINARY
REPRESENTATION

53% ON STAGE
55% OFSTAGE

27 % BIPOC
REPRESENTATION

31% ON STAGE
20% OFSTAGE

16 % LGBTQIA2S+
REPRESENTATION

14% ON STAGE
20% OFSTAGE

 
WHY DID WE CHOOSE SPRING AWAKENING?

When the creative team and I sit down to decide which production to produce each year we focus on the program mission "to provide young performers with the opportunity to encounter pivotal works in the musical theatre canon. We facilitate this encounter through intensive skill-building in voice, dance and acting, through the full-scale performance of these works, and engagement in the issues and questions raised by the content and performance of each work."

Having done some of the fun musicals like Grease and Bring it On we thought it was time again to tackle a more serious production that would have a lasting impact on not only our participants but on our audience as well.  In doing my research for this note I came across this great article which perfectly explains the importance of sharing this work and why producing it with teenagers is so important to its telling.

StoryBook is a family theatre company and teenagers are just as much a part of the family unit as the little ones are.  In choosing to do this show we know we are pushing the boundaries of our storytelling but we also know that musicals provide a space for families to encounter new content and subject matter in a safe way.  it allows the doors to conversations to open and in some cases may have the impact it needs to save lives.

Please have a read of this poignant article.

WHY SPRING AWAKENING?

Written by Josh Turner, OnStage Blog >
***SPOILER ALERT***

Spring Awakening is a show that holds no punches. The musical (based on the play by Frank Wedekind) centers around a group of misguided and angsty 19th century German teenagers who struggle through abortion, suicide, and exploring their sexuality.

One of the greatest obstacles they face, though, is their ignorant (and sometimes abusive) parents and teachers. In the song "The Dark I Know Well" two girls sing about the physical and sexual abuse they've faced at the hands of their parents, and how they feel they have no voice to speak out against them. That happens to be a recurring theme in Spring Awakening. The character's struggles, both internal and external, stem from their inability to find a voice.

This is why Spring Awakening is so important. The same way the angry guitar-driven rock jams of the show give a voice to the characters, the show itself gives a voice to teenagers who face the same hardships as the characters they are portraying.

The two main characters of the show are a young man and woman who are exploring a physical relationship together, without any knowledge of the consequences. Their parents refuse to tell them anything about their changing bodies, and their school system has no place for sex education. While the story of these children being betrayed by their role models and caregivers seems just tragic enough for a staged production, this story is one that often plays out in the real world.

The show's biting commentary of sex education in public schools is just as relevant as the other issues in the show, including the epidemic of teenage suicides.

Through the songs "B**** of Living" and "Don't Do Sadness," the character Moritz expresses and stresses the struggles he faces every day. He even writes a letter to an adult in his life, pleading for help, but the dangerous signs of depression go unnoticed and he eventually takes his own life. All of these problems faced by the characters are extremely relevant to teenagers today. So why aren't more high schools performing it?

Most public schools shy away from musicals like Spring Awakening. The strong language alone is enough to keep it out of the hands of most high school theatre departments. Even for the high schools that are allowed to perform shows like American Idiot and Rent, which have strong language and edgy subject material, Spring Awakening still seems out of grasp. The subject matter of sex and sexuality is off-limits.

But teenagers grapple with these issues every day of their lives. The characters Ernst and Hanschen represent teenage youths exploring their sexuality together. Gay characters do not often appear in musicals performed by high schools, and when they do, they are frequently portrayed as a punchline and not as real people with real emotions and motivations. What message does this send to the hundreds of thousands of students who not only view but perform this material?

The message that Spring Awakening sends is that whatever you're going through, whoever you are, whomever you love, it's okay. It's all part of growing up. And that message is so crucial to developing teenagers.

Many students who perform Spring Awakening are extremely passionate about what they're creating. Not only is it a beautiful work of art, with a precise, emotional score and a compelling script, but students are also more likely to be invested in what they perform when they can connect directly to what they create.

Students, and the community they belong to, deserve an artistic outlet that leaves a lasting, positive effect. A dialogue needs to be started somewhere, and many theatre students are devoted enough to be the ones to do it.

We perform Spring Awakening because our youth needs a voice. We perform Spring Awakening because sexual abuse and suicide should not be swept under the rug. We perform Spring Awakening because it is important.

 
 
 
ABOUT THE CREATORS STEVEN SATER & DUNCAN SHEIK

Bio source: WebCo;  Steven Sater photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images Entertainment; Duncan Sheik photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

 

Song List

ACT ONE

Mama Who Bore Me – Wendla

Mama Who Bore Me (Reprise) – Wendla and Girls

All That's Known – Melchior

The Bitch of Living – Moritz, Melchior, and Boys

My Junk – Girls and Boys

Touch Me – Boys and Girls

The Word of Your Body – Wendla and Melchior

The Dark I Know Well – Martha, Ilse, and Boys

The Word of Your Body (Reprise 1) - Otto and Georg

And Then There Were None – Moritz and Boys

The Mirror-Blue Night – Melchior and Boys

I Believe – Boys and Girls

ACT TWO

The Guilty Ones– Wendla, Melchior, Boys, and Girls

Don't Do Sadness – Moritz

Blue Wind – Ilse

Don't Do Sadness/Blue Wind (Reprise) – Moritz and Ilse

Left Behind – Melchior, Boys, and Girls

Totally F*cked – Melchior and Full Company (except Moritz)

The Word of Your Body (Reprise 2) – Hanschen, Ernst, Boys, and Girls

Whispering – Wendla

Those You've Known – Moritz, Wendla, and Melchior

The Song of Purple Summer – Ilse and Full Company

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MEET THE CAST
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As part of our ongoing mission to encourage as many young artists as we can the choice was made to double cast the 4 principal woman roles.  Those casts are defined as follows:

WEDEKIND Cast
Maddie Arnason as Wendla

Natalie Evans as Martha

Kalia Kryvenchuk as Ilse

Gabriella Remillard as Anna

Elizabeth Zabala as Thea

performing on

September 4

SATER Cast
Jeannette Van Nieuwstadt as Wendla

Maddie McKee as Martha

Layne Labbe as Ilse

Daniella Snyders-Blok as Anna

Kenzie Bye as Thea

performing on

September 5

 
MEET THE STAGE TEAM
 
 
STAGE & FILM TEAM CREDITS

PROGRAM FACULTY

Acting Coach | CASSIE DOANE

Dance Coach | JOCELYN HOOVER LEIVER

Vocal Coach | DALLAS HAYES SPARKS

Vocal Coach | SUSAN LEONTARIDIS

Vocal Coach | KATHLEEN MORRISON

Program Director | JP THIBODEAU

THEATRICAL TEAM

Stage Director | JP THIBODEAU

Musical Director | JOE SLABE

Choreographer | JOCELYN HOOVER LEIVER

Stage Manager | JOY HODGSON

Assistant Stage Manager | CALE THOMPSON

Costume Designer | DARCIE HOWE

Costume Design Assistant | JESSICA RONEY

Lighting Designer | JP THIBODEAU
Set Designer | JP THIBODEAU

Set Painting | LORIE MASUR

Lighting Crew | MICHAEL LUONG

Lighting Crew | SKYLAR DESJARDINS

Lighting Crew | JOHN FOURNIER

Graphic Design | JENNIFER MERIO

Public Relations | ALDONA BARUTOWICZ

STORYBOOK THEATRE
Artistic Director | JP THIBODEAU

Office Administrator | EVA STIEBER

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Visit our Board website

FILM TEAM

Film Director | JP THIBODEAU

Director of Photography | KRIS MISH

1st Assistant Director | KRIS MISH

2nd Assistant Director | JOY HODGSON

2nd Assistant Director | CALE THOMPSON

3rd Assistant Director | CASSIE DOANE

3rd Assistant Director | CONSTANTINE X. ANASTASAKIS

Wardrobe Head | DARCIE HOWE

Wardrobe Assistant | JOLENE ANDERSON

Wardrobe Assistant | JESSICA RONEY

Hair Support | CAT BENTLEY

Lighting Programmer | IAN McCLELLAN
Script Supervisor | JOY HODGSON
Location Sound | CALE THOMPSON

Camera Assistant | MICHAEL LUONG
Production Assistant 
| GINA BENNETT

Production Assistant | KRISTI McQUADE

Production Assistant  | MICHAEL LUONG

Archival Photography | BRYAN SMITH
Music Editor & Supervisor | JOE SLABE

Filming Produced by | PINK+WHITE

Edited by | KRIS MISH

Producers | JP THIBODEAU & KRIS MISH

Executive Producer | STORYBOOK THEATRE

 
SUPPORTERS, DONORS & CONTRIBUTORS 

GOVERNMENT SUPPORTERS

PRIVATE SECTOR SUPPORTERS

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MEDIA SUPPORTERS

DONORS, SUPPORTERS & CONTRIBUTORS

Calgary Foundation
Rozsa Foundation
Patrice Barnes
Jennifer Gerritsen
Lori Goods
Janet Gourlay Vallance
Valerie How
Jody Hubler
Preston Lee
Kevin Leiver
Maureen Moran
Hesson Persaud
Melissa Smith
Steve Thannhauser
Babs
Tricia Whenham

 
THANK YOU TO...

My Florist Gifts & Flowers for all Occasions

Isaac Thibodeau
University of Calgary Theatre Department

Thomas Geddes

Kathrin Snyders-Blok
Jody Low

SHOW GALLERY
 
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Beddington Theatre Arts Centre
375 Bermuda Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta  T3K 2J5

|    ©2020 by StoryBook Theatre