Spring Awakening (musical)
Spring Awakening is a rock musical with music by Duncan Sheik and a book and lyrics by Steven Sater. It is based on the 1891 German play Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind. Set in late 19th-century Germany, the musical tells the story of teenagers discovering the inner and outer tumult of teenage sexuality. In the musical, alternative rock is employed as part of the folk-infused rock score.
Original Broadway recording
by Frank Wedekind
|Productions||2006 Off-Broadway |
2008 First US Tour
2009 West End
2010 Second US Tour
2015 Broadway revival
|Awards||Tony Award for Best Musical |
Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical
Tony Award for Best Original Score
Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical
Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album
Following its conception in the late 1990s and various workshops, concerts, rewrites and its Off-Broadway debut, the original Broadway production of Spring Awakening opened at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on December 10, 2006. Its cast included Jonathan Groff, Lea Michele, Skylar Astin and John Gallagher Jr. while its creative team comprised director Michael Mayer and choreographer Bill T. Jones. The original Broadway production won eight Tony Awards, including Tonys for Best Musical, Direction, Book, Score and Featured Actor. The production also garnered four Drama Desk Awards, while its original cast album received a Grammy Award. In addition, the show was revived in 2015 on Broadway and garnered three Tony Award nominations, among other honors.
The success of the Broadway production has spawned several other productions worldwide, including various US productions, a short West End production that won four Laurence Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, and a series of international productions.
Wendla Bergmann, an adolescent in late 19th-century Germany, laments that her mother gave her "no way to handle things" and has not taught her the lessons she is meant to know as a young woman ("Mama Who Bore Me"). She tells her mother that it is time she learned where babies come from, considering that she is about to be an aunt for the second time. Her mother cannot bring herself to explain the facts about conception clearly to Wendla, despite knowing her daughter is reaching puberty. Instead, she simply tells Wendla that to conceive a child a woman must love her husband with all of her heart. The other young girls in town – Martha, Thea, Anna and Ilse – appear to be similarly naïve and are upset about the lack of knowledge presented to them ("Mama Who Bore Me" (Reprise)).
At school, some teenage boys are studying Virgil in Latin class. When Moritz Stiefel, a very nervous and anxious young man, sleepily misquotes a line, the teacher chastises him harshly. Moritz’s classmate, the rebellious and highly intelligent Melchior Gabor, tries to defend him, but the teacher will have none of it, and hits Melchior with a stick. Melchior reflects on the shallow narrow-mindedness of school and society and expresses his intent to change things ("All That's Known").
Moritz describes a dream that has been keeping him up at night, and Melchior realizes that Moritz has been having erotic dreams which Moritz believes are signs of insanity. To comfort the panicked Moritz, Melchior, who has learned sexual information from books, tells Moritz that all of the boys at their age get these dreams. Moritz, Melchior and the other boys – Ernst, Hänschen, Otto and Georg – share their own sexually frustrated thoughts and desires ("The Bitch of Living"). Moritz, who is not comfortable talking about the subject with Melchior, requests that he give him the information in the form of an essay, complete with illustrations.
All the girls, save Ilse, are gathered together after school and tease each other as they fantasize about marrying the boys in the town. Martha admits that she has a crush on Moritz, but is made fun of by the other girls. At the top of the list is the radical, intelligent, and good-looking Melchior ("My Junk"). Moritz has eagerly digested the essay that Melchior prepared for him, but complains that his new knowledge has only made his dreams even more vivid and torturous. Melchior tries to calm and comfort his friend, but Moritz runs off in frustration. All of the boys and girls express their desires for physical intimacy ("Touch Me").
Searching for flowers for her mother, Wendla stumbles upon Melchior. The two reminisce on the friendship they once shared as children and share a moment while sitting together in front of a tree. Each of them considers what it would be like to give in to their physical desires for one another ("The Word of Your Body"), but they do not do so. Meanwhile, at school, Moritz sneaks a look at his test results and is thrilled to learn that he has passed his midterm examinations, and tells the other boys. They are ecstatic, save the skeptical Hänschen. However, the teacher and schoolmaster, who claim they cannot pass everyone, decide to fail Moritz anyway, deeming his passing grade still not up to the school's lofty standards.
Martha accidentally admits to her friends that her father abuses her physically and sexually and that her mother is either oblivious or uncaring. The other girls are horrified to hear this, but Martha makes them promise not to tell anyone, lest she end up like Ilse, a friend from childhood who now wanders homeless and aimless after her similarly abusive parents kicked her out of the house ("The Dark I Know Well"). Later, Wendla finds Melchior again at his spot in the woods and tells him about Martha's abuse. Melchior is appalled to hear this, but Wendla convinces him to hit her with a switch, so that she can try to understand Martha’s pain. At first Melchior is determined to do nothing of the sort, but reluctantly complies. He gets carried away in the beating, taking his own frustrations out on Wendla and throws her to the ground. Disgusted with himself, Melchior runs off as Wendla is left lying on the ground, weeping. Alone, Wendla finds that Melchior has left his journal on the ground. She picks it up and takes it with her.
Moritz is told he has failed his final examination, and his father reacts with disdain and contempt when Moritz tells him that he will not progress in school. Rather than attempting to understand his son's pain, Moritz's father is only concerned with how the others in town will react when they see "the man with the son who failed." Moritz writes to Melchior’s mother, his only adult friend, asking for money to help him flee to America; she tenderly but firmly denies his request and promises to write his parents to discourage them from being too hard on him ("And Then There Were None"). Devastated by her refusal, and feeling he has few choices left, Moritz contemplates suicide.
In a stuffy hayloft during a storm, Melchior expresses his frustration about being caught between childhood and adulthood ("The Mirror-Blue Night"). Wendla finds him once again, telling him she wants to return his journal, and each apologizes for what happened in the forest. Melchior, disappointed in himself from the night before, urges her to leave. Wendla ignores this, instead suggesting they run in the rain until they "get soaked to the skin". Before long, they begin to kiss. Both of them nervous, they continue to entangle themselves and then hesitate – sensing that what they are doing is something very powerful. Wendla is not entirely sure of what they are about to do but is certain that it is unlike anything that she has known before. They continue and then have sex in the hayloft ("I Believe"). All at once, the song comes to a crescendo, Melchior penetrates her, Wendla cries out and darkness falls. (Note: This scene was slightly softened from the show's Off-Broadway run, where consent from Wendla was a bit more ambiguous. Later, as staged by the Broadway show, Wendla gives explicit consent to Melchior, but does so without full understanding of what they are going to do.)
Wendla and Melchior are finishing their moment of confused intimacy in the hayloft; they reflect on and discuss what has just happened ("The Guilty Ones". In the Off-Broadway production, Act II began with "There Once Was a Pirate".)
Moritz, having been thrown out of his home, wanders the town at dusk, carrying a pistol when he comes across Ilse, a childhood friend of his. Ilse, who it is implied has feelings for Moritz, tells him she has found refuge at an artists' colony, and they reminisce in some childhood memories and "remarkable times". She invites him to come home with her and join her in sharing some more childhood memories, and maybe something more. Moritz refuses and Ilse does everything she can to change his mind ("Don't Do Sadness/Blue Wind"). After affirming to Ilse that he truly wished he could go with her, Moritz refuses and Ilse leaves – distraught and upset. Realizing that Ilse was his last chance to escape the fate he's set out for himself, Moritz quickly changes his mind and calls after her, but it is too late – she is gone. Alone and believing that he has nowhere to turn, Moritz shoots himself.
At Moritz's funeral, each of the children drops a flower into his grave as Melchior laments the passing of his friend while touching on the factors that led to his death, including the way his parents treated him ("Left Behind").
Back at school, the schoolmaster and teacher feel the need to call attention away from Moritz, whose death was a direct result of their actions. They search through Moritz's belongings and find the essay on sex which Melchior wrote for him. They seize the opportunity to lay the blame of Moritz's death on Melchior, and although Melchior knows that he is not to blame, he knows there is nothing he can do to fight them and is expelled as a result ("Totally Fucked").
Elsewhere that night, Hänschen meets up with his shy and delicate classmate Ernst. Ernst tells Hänschen about his plans to become a pastor after school, and Hänschen shares his pragmatic outlook on life. He is amazed with how Ernst has remained so innocent despite the horrible things happening around them. They kiss and Ernst reveals that he loves Hänschen. ("The Word of Your Body (Reprise)").
Wendla has become ill, and her mother takes her to visit a doctor. He gives her some medication and assures them both that Wendla is suffering from anemia and will be fine, but takes Wendla's mother aside and tells her that Wendla is pregnant. When her mother confronts her with this information, Wendla is completely shocked, not understanding how it could have happened. She realizes that her mother lied to her about how babies are made. Although she berates her mother for leaving her ignorant, her mother rejects the guilt and insists Wendla tell her who the child's father is. Wendla reluctantly surrenders a passionate note Melchior sent her after they consummated their relationship. She reflects somberly on her current condition and the circumstances that precipitated it, but resolves with optimism about her future child ("Whispering").
Meanwhile, Melchior's parents argue about their son's fate; his mother does not believe that the essay he wrote for Moritz is sufficient reason to send him away to reform school. When Melchior's father (Callum) tells his wife about Wendla's pregnancy, she finally agrees that they must send Melchior away, which they do without telling him that Wendla is pregnant.
During this time, Melchior and Wendla keep contact through letters, delivered by Ilse. At the reform school, Melchior gets into a fight with some boys who grab a letter he has just received from Wendla and use it in a masturbation game. As one of the boys reads from the letter, Melchior finally learns about Wendla and their child, and he escapes from the institution to find her. Meanwhile, a very terrified and clueless Wendla is taken to a back-alley abortionist by her mother.
When Melchior reaches town after a few days, he sends a message to Ilse, asking her to have Wendla meet him at the cemetery at midnight. Ilse, however, can take no action, as Melchior "hasn't heard" about Wendla. She shows Anna, Martha, and Thea the letter. They are equally horrified, and decide not to tell Melchior what has happened. At the cemetery, Melchior stumbles across Moritz's grave and swears to himself that he and Wendla will raise their child in a compassionate and open environment. When Wendla is late to the meeting, Melchior begins to feel a little uneasy. Looking around, Melchior sees a fresh grave he had not noticed before. He reads the name on the stone – Wendla's – and realizes that Wendla has died after a botched abortion. Overwhelmed by shock and grief, he takes out a razor with intent to kill himself. Moritz's and Wendla's spirits rise from their graves to offer him strength. They persuade him to journey on, and he resolves to live and to carry their memories with him forever ("Those You've Known").
Led by Ilse, everyone assembles onstage now (in some stagings, wearing modern clothes) to sing about how although the adults may still call the shots with their uptight and conservative views, they will not last forever, and the seeds are already being planted for a new, liberal minded, progressive generation ("The Song of Purple Summer").
- Melchior Gabor: Headstrong, handsome, and charismatic. He knows much more than the others because of what he reads in books and is able to see the corruption in society. He very well could have risen to the top of his class, but instead rejects his school's hard regime and rebels against it.
- Wendla Bergmann: A naive young girl who has limited knowledge about adult issues, causing her to have trouble understanding things such as sexual attraction, her friend Martha's abuse, and pregnancy. She tends to learn these things by experiencing them. She is a childhood friend of the boys and is the best friend of Thea. She has a sexual relationship with Melchior.b
- Moritz Stiefel: Intense and nervous. Melchior's best friend. He feels intense pressure from his parents and his peers to succeed, and he frequently struggles in school.b
- Ilse Neumann: Another childhood friend who runs away from an abusive home to live in an artists' colony. She is somewhat less connected to the main story than the other children, as she doesn't appear in multiple group numbers. Ilse is used almost symbolically in many scenes. To Martha, she is a warning of what may happen if she speaks out. To Moritz, she is hope, and the last chance for him.a
- Hänschen Rilow: A humorous, intelligent and cynical classmate of Melchior. Comfortable with his sexuality, he is Ernst's love interest.
- Martha Bessell: A friend of Wendla's who is abused by her father, the worst evidence of which she hides from others. She has a crush on Moritz and is chastised by the other girls for it. It is also implied that Ilse was like Martha, prior her escape to the artists' colony.ab
- Ernst Röbel: A sweet classmate who is uncomfortable with his sexuality. He is Hänschen's love interest.b
- Georg Zirschnitz: Another classmate who lusts after his older, busty piano teacher.
- Otto Lämmermeier: Another classmate who has a dream about his mother.b
- Thea: A confrontational school girl and Wendla's best friend. She has a crush on Melchior.bc
- Anna: An innocent schoolgirl and Martha's best friend.
- Greta Brandenburg: A girl who is engaged to a forest inspector. She has no lines but the other girls discuss her upcoming wedding and whether it is proper. She only appears in the 2015 Broadway revival.
- Bobby Maler: A schoolboy who is admired by Hänschen in the showers at school. His only physical appearance is in the Deaf West production.
- Melitta: A schoolgirl and one of Wendla's friends. She is Thea's twin sister and she only appears in the 2015 Broadway revival.c
Boys in the reformatory
- Dieter: Usually played by the same actor as Georg.
- Rupert: Usually played by the same actor as Hanschen.
- Reinhold: Usually played by the same actor as Ernst.
- Ulbrecht: Usually played by the same actor as Otto.
Traditionally, the roles of all the adults are performed by one man and one woman. However, in the 2015 Broadway revival, there were two pairs of adults: one hearing pair, and one deaf/HoH pair.
- Frau Bergmann: Wendla's mother.
- Fanny Gabor: Melchior's mother.
- Frau Bessell: Martha's mother.
- Fräulein Großebüstenhalter: Georg's piano teacher.
- Fräulein Knuppeldick: an associate of Headmaster Knochenbruch.
- Headmaster Knochenbruch: the boys' school headmaster.
- Herr Sonnenstich: a schoolteacher.
- Herr Gabor: Melchior's father.
- Herr Stiefel: Moritz's father.
- Herr Rilow: Hanschen's father
- Herr Neumann: Ilse's Father.
- Father Kaulbach: a priest.
- Doctor von Brausepulver: Visits Wendla during her pregnancy.
- Schmidt: the abortionist.
Note: "The Guilty Ones" replaced off-Broadway version's Act II opening, "There Once Was a Pirate"; the latter is available as a bonus track sung by composer Duncan Sheik on the iTunes version of the original Broadway cast recording. A reprise of "Touch Me," sung by Melchior, appeared in "Whispering" during the Chicago, Vienna, London runs, was added to the tour, and is part of the amateur rental materials. On the original Broadway cast recording CD, the order of "The Guilty Ones" and "Don't Do Sadness/Blue Wind" is switched.
The original casts of the major productions of Spring Awakening.
|Character||Original Broadway cast||Original National Tour cast||Original London cast||Broadway revival cast|
|Melchior||Jonathan Groff||Kyle Riabko||Aneurin Barnard||Austin P. McKenzie|
|Wendla||Lea Michele||Christy Altomare||Charlotte Wakefield||Sandra Mae Frank|
Katie Boeck (voice/guitar)a
|Moritz||John Gallagher, Jr.||Blake Bashoff||Iwan Rheon||Daniel N. Durant|
Alex Boniello (voice/guitar)a
|Ilse||Lauren Pritchard||Steffi DiDomenicantonio||Lucy May Barker||Krysta Rodriguez|
|Hänschen||Jonathan B. Wright||Andy Mientus||Jamie Blackley||Andy Mientus|
|Martha||Lilli Cooper||Sarah Hunt||Hayley Gallivan||Treshelle Edmond|
Kathryn Gallagher (voice/guitar)a
|Ernst||Gideon Glick||Ben Moss||Harry McEntire||Joshua Castille|
Daniel David Stewart (voice/piano)a
|Adult Men||Stephen Spinella||Henry Stram||Richard Cordery||Russell Harvard |
|Adult Women||Christine Estabrook||Angela Reed||Sian Thomas||Marlee Matlin |
|Georg||Skylar Astin||Matt Shingledecker||Jos Slovick||Alex Wyse|
|Otto||Brian Charles Johnson||Anthony Lee Medina||Edd Judge||Miles Barbee|
Sean Grandillo (voice/bass)a
|Anna||Phoebe Strole||Gabrielle Garza||Natasha Barnes||Ali Stroker|
|Thea||Remy Zaken||Kimiko Glenn||Evelyn Hoskins||Amelia Hensleya|
- ^ This person voiced the lines of a character played by a deaf or hard-of-hearing actor. A new character, Melitta, voiced the character of Thea.
- Notable Broadway replacements
- Melchior – Kyle Riabko and Hunter Parrish
- Wendla – Alexandra Socha
- Moritz – Blake Bashoff and Gerard Canonico
- Adult Women – Kate Burton
- Hanschen – Drew Tyler Bell and Matt Doyle
- Anna – Emily Kinney
- Ensemble – Jenna Ushkowitz
- Notable Broadway swings
- Jennifer Damiano – Anna, Thea, Martha and Ilse
- Krysta Rodriguez – Anna, Thea, Martha, Ilse and Wendla
- Matt Doyle – Hanschen, Ernst, Otto, Georg and Melchior
- Notable tour replacements
Before opening the show off-Broadway, Duncan Sheik had composed an arrangement of song demos for the original concept of Spring Awakening. Back then the musical's plot adhered more closely to the original play's plot. Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik had originally intended for Melchior actually to rape Wendla at the end of "I Believe," but decided to change that plot because he wanted the scene to be more loving between the two characters. In workshops, "I Believe" ended with Wendla's scream while being raped. "All That's Known" replaced a song titled "All Numb". Both songs had the same theme, but because the directors had to reduce time for the show, "All Numb" was cut and replaced with "All That's Known".
A song called "A Comet on Its Way" was replaced by "The Bitch of Living". Although both songs followed the same basic theme, Sheik thought that "The Bitch of Living", being more upbeat, fit the show better. "Those You've Known" replaced a song called "The Clouds Will Drift Away", which was cut because Sheik wanted the song between the three main characters to stay close to the "All That's Known" theme. "Mama Who Bore Me (Reprise)" was originally intended to be performed after "Touch Me". Another song, entitled "Great Sex" (which was intended to be performed after "Mama Who Bore Me (Reprise)"), was also cut from the show because the directors thought the song pointed out the theme of the show too specifically. It was intended to be performed during Hanschen's masturbation scene, but the song was removed and the scene moved into the middle of "My Junk".
Also, in an early workshop version of the show, the song "The Dark I Know Well" was intended to be sung by Thea for currently unknown reasons. It was then changed to be a duet between Martha and Ilse. Finally, songs such as "Touch Me" and "The Mirror-Blue Night" each had a reprise, and "Mama Who Bore Me" had a second reprise. Even "There Once Was a Pirate", which was cut, also had a reprise that was sung by the girls other than Wendla.
Spring Awakening had a number of workshops, concerts and rewrites over a seven-year period, including workshops at La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego, California, and the Roundabout Theatre Company, and a concert at Lincoln Center in February 2005, under the auspices of actor/producer Tom Hulce. It premiered Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company on May 19, 2006 and ran through August 5, 2006.
The musical opened on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on December 10, 2006 and closed on January 18, 2009, after 859 performances and 29 previews. It was directed by Michael Mayer with choreography by Bill T. Jones, costume designs by Susan Hilferty, set designs by Christine Jones and lighting by Kevin Adams. It received nearly unanimous favorable reviews, and easily recouped its initial $6 million capitalization, breaking even on August 27, 2007.
Decca Broadway released the original cast recording on December 12, 2006, which won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album in 2008. The guitar on which Sheik composed songs for Spring Awakening was included in the 2008 exhibition "Writing to Character: Songwriters & the Tony Awards" at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
United States tours
A U.S. national tour (with one stop in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) opened on August 15, 2008 at The Balboa Theatre in San Diego, California. The national tour ended on May 23, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. A non-equity US tour began at Shryock Auditorium on October 14, 2010 in Carbondale, Illinois. The non-equity US tour ended its run on May 15, 2011 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada at the Centrepointe Theatre.
Original London production
The first London production began January 23, 2009 at the Lyric Hammersmith, transferred to the Novello Theatre on March 21, 2009, and closed on May 30, 2009. It won four Laurence Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical.
2015 Broadway revival
Deaf West Theatre mounted a production directed by Michael Arden based on a concept of Arden's fiancé, first National Tour cast-member Andy Mientus. The cast, made up of both deaf and hearing actors, performed the show in American Sign Language and English simultaneously. The deaf and hard-of-hearing actors in certain roles were paired with a hearing actor who voiced the roles. The majority of the hearing actors were also part of the live onstage band. The production incorporated 19th-century-appropriate aspects of oralism in deaf education to complement the themes of miscommunication, lack of proper sex education, and denial of voice. The production opened in Los Angeles in the fall of 2014 at the Rosenthal Theater. When it transferred to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills from May to June 2015, Mentius and original Broadway cast swing Krysta Rodriguez played Hanschen and Ilse. The production transferred to Broadway, with the same cast, except the addition of Marlee Matlin, Camryn Manheim, Patrick Page, and Russell Harvard in the adult roles. It was produced by Ken Davenport and Cody Lassen. The revival began previews on September 8, 2015 and opened on September 27, 2015. It closed on January 24, 2016.
The production was nominated for the 2016 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical and received unanimously positive reviews. In his review for The New York Times, Charles Isherwood called it "a first-rate production of a transporting musical." The Associated Press called it "a sheer triumph," and New York Magazine called it "brilliant and beautiful." The revival focused on making theater and Broadway accessible to people with disabilities. In addition to having deaf cast members, it featured the first Broadway performer to use a wheelchair, Ali Stroker. Spring Awakening was also the first Broadway production to provide interpretation for deaf-blind theatergoers. On January 15, 2016, the producers of Spring Awakening, in association with The Broadway League, presented a symposium titled "How to Make Broadway More Accessible," featuring members of the disability community and a keynote address from Timothy Shriver, chairman of Special Olympics.
The first European production began on August 30, 2008, at Värmlandsoperan in Karlstad, Sweden, closing in March 2009. A second Swedish language production opened in Helsingborg on March 20, 2009. A Finnish production opened in Helsinki on 5 February 2009 and closed in November 2009. A Hungarian-language (first non-replica) production premiered on February 7, 2009 in Budapest at the Nyugati Teátrum, with the title Tavaszébredés. This production ran until May 26, 2009. A German-language staging opened in Vienna, Austria on March 21, 2009, and closed on May 30, 2009. A live cast recording was released. There was also Slovenian production in the Ljubljana City Theatre in 2009.
An English-language production opened in Valletta, Malta at the St. James Cavalier Theatre on April 17, 2009, directed by Wesley Ellul, choreographed by Fiona Barthet and featured Davide Tucci as Georg and Daniel Casingena as Otto. This was produced by the MADC. The run was extended after it sold out.
A Japanese-language production opened in Tokyo at the Shiki Theatre Jiyu May 2, 2009. A Brazilian production in Rio de Janeiro ran with the title O Despertar da Primavera from August 21, 2009 to January 31, 2010. It then transferred to São Paulo. A cast recording was released in January. A Philippine production opened in Manila in the Carlos P. Roumolo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, on September 25 and ran until the October 17, 2009. It was performed in English and was directed by Chari Arespachochaga. A Czech-language production opened in Brno, Czech Republic at the City Theatre Brno on November 21, 2009.
Sydney Theatre Company staged an Australian non-replica production that opened on 4 February 2010 at the Sydney Theatre and closed on 7 March. An Argentine production with the Spanish title Despertar de Primavera – Un Musical Diferente opened in Buenos Aires on March 19, 2010. A production played at the Griffin Theatre, Chicago, running from December 4 to January 8, 2011. A Welsh language production toured Wales from the beginning of March 2011 visiting 8 different locations, with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru (Welsh-language national theatre). The first UK national tour took place in May and June 2011, produced by Sell A Door Theatre Company.
In other media
In the television series 90210, the first few episodes contain the school and some of the characters as they prepare, and eventually perform in Spring Awakening, though in reality the amateur production rights were not available at the time. Parts of some songs and scenes are performed through the episodes, such as "Mama Who Bore Me" and "The Bitch of Living". Annie and Ty played the principal roles.
In 2008 episodes of the Australian Soap Opera Home and Away, the play is on the syllabus at Summer Bay High for Year 12 students and causes some controversy.
Apple's Keynote presentation application (version 4 in 2007) uses the lyrics of "The Bitch of Living" on its icon.
Rise, a television show that premiered March 13, 2018 on NBC, focuses on a high school English teacher turned theater director attempting to put on a high school production of Spring Awakening, while facing intense resistance from members of the community – including parents of cast members – who consider the material inappropriate for teenagers.
Major awards and nominations
Original Broadway production
|2007||Tony Award||Best Musical||Won|
|Best Book of a Musical||Steven Sater||Won|
|Best Original Score||Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater||Won|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical||Jonathan Groff||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical||John Gallagher, Jr.||Won|
|Best Direction of a Musical||Michael Mayer||Won|
|Best Choreography||Bill T. Jones||Won|
|Best Orchestrations||Duncan Sheik||Won|
|Best Scenic Design||Christine Jones||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design||Susan Hilferty||Nominated|
|Best Lighting Design||Kevin Adams||Won|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Musical||Won|
|Outstanding Book of a Musical||Steven Sater||Nominated|
|Outstanding Actor in a Musical||John Gallagher, Jr.||Nominated|
|Outstanding Actress in a Musical||Lea Michele||Nominated|
|Outstanding Director of a Musical||Michael Mayer||Won|
|Outstanding Choreography||Bill T. Jones||Nominated|
|Outstanding Orchestrations||Duncan Sheik||Nominated|
|Outstanding Music||Duncan Sheik||Won|
|Outstanding Lyrics||Steven Sater||Won|
|Lucille Lortel Award||Outstanding Musical (tie with In the Heights)||Won|
|Outstanding Director||Michael Mayer||Nominated|
|Outstanding Choreographer||Bill T. Jones||Nominated|
|Outstanding Costume Design||Susan Hilferty||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lighting Design||Kevin Adams||Won|
|Outstanding Sound Design||Brian Ronan||Nominated|
|Drama League Award||Distinguished Production of a Musical||Won|
|The Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing||Michael Mayer||Won|
|Distinguished Performance||John Gallagher, Jr.||Nominated|
|Theatre World Award||Jonathan Groff||Won|
|New York Drama Critics' Circle||Best Musical||Won|
|Outer Critics Circle Award||Outstanding New Broadway Musical||Won|
|Outstanding New Score||Won|
|Outstanding Director of a Musical||Michael Mayer||Won|
|Obie Award||Music and Choreography||Bill T. Jones||Won|
|2008||Grammy Award||Best Musical Show Album||Won|
Original London production
|2010||Laurence Olivier Award||Best New Musical||Won|
|Best Actor in a Musical||Aneurin Barnard||Won|
|Best Actress in a Musical||Charlotte Wakefield||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical||Iwan Rheon||Won|
|Best Theatre Choreographer||Bill T. Jones||Nominated|
|Best Lighting Design||Kevin Adams||Nominated|
|Best Sound Design||Brian Ronan||Won|
2015 Broadway revival
For the Los Angeles engagements
|Best Production of a Musical (Intimate Theatre)||Deaf West Theatre||Won|
|Best Production of a Musical (Large Theatre)||Wallis Annenberg Center||Won|
|Best Acting Ensemble of a Musical||Won|
|Best Choreography||Spencer Liff||Won|
|Best Music Direction||Jared Stein||Nominated|
|Best Direction of a Musical||Michael Arden||Won|
|Best Lead Actor in a Musical||Austin P. McKenzie||Nominated|
|Best Lead Actress in a Musical||Sandra Mae Frank||Nominated|
|Best Featured Actor in a Musical||Andy Mientus||Nominated|
|Best Featured Actress in a Musical||Krysta Rodriguez||Nominated|
|Best Lighting Design (Intimate Theatre)||Travis Hagenbuch||Nominated|
|Best Lighting Design (Large Theatre)||Ben Stanton||Won|
|Best Scenic Design (Large Theatre)||Dane Laffrey||Nominated|
|Best Sound Design (Intimate Theatre)||Philip Allen||Nominated|
|Best Video/Production Design||Lucy Mackinnon||Nominated|
|2016||Tony Awards||Best Revival of a Musical||Nominated|
|Best Director of a Musical||Michael Arden||Nominated|
|Best Lighting Design of a Musical||Ben Stanton||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Awards||Outstanding Revival of a Musical||Nominated|
|Outstanding Director of a Musical||Michael Arden||Nominated|
|Outstanding Choreography||Spencer Liff||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lighting Design||Ben Stanton||Nominated|
|Drama League Award||Outstanding Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical||Nominated|
|Unique Contribution to the Theatre Award||Deaf West Theatre||Won|
|Theatre World Awards||Daniel Durant||Won|
|Austin P. McKenzie||Won|
|Outer Critics Circle Award||Outstanding Revival of a Musical (Broadway or off-Broadway)||Nominated|
|Outstanding Director of a Musical||Michael Arden||Won|
|Outstanding Choreography||Spencer Liff||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lighting Design (Play or Musical)||Ben Stanton||Nominated|
|Outstanding Projection Design (Play or Musical)||Lucy Mackinnon||Nominated|
|Fred and Adele Astaire Awards||Best Female Dancer||Sandra Mae Frank||Nominated|
|Best Choreographer||Spencer Liff||Nominated|
Proposed film adaptation
In April 2009, McG was announced as the director for the film adaptation. In 2010, lyricist-librettist Steven Sater told Playbill that a film version of Spring Awakening could begin production in Europe in the spring of 2013. In 2012, Duncan Sheik told Broadwayworld.com that the movie was in development, but not everything was in place yet. In March 2014, Sheik revealed to U-T San Diego that the movie would include a new song.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Spring Awakening (musical).|
- Official website
- Spring Awakening on Tour's official website
- Spring Awakening at the Internet Broadway Database
- Review, The New York Times, June 16, 2006
- Spring Awakening at the Music Theatre International website
- Spring Awakening official Italian website
- The 2015 Deaf West revival on the American Theatre Wing's "Working in the Theatre" series.