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Rock musical tackles issues of sexuality and ignorance

by Tina Ross
Reporter

“Spring Awakening” is a dramatic musical filled with issues teens deal with on a daily basis.

Performed by students in the UCM theatre department, the Tony Award-winning musical will be hosted at 7:30 p.m. April 22- 25 and at 2 p.m. April 26 in the Highlander Theatre.

This rock musical is based on a German play by Frank Wedekind with music by Duncan Sheik and lyrics by Steven Sater. The play is set in 1891 Germany. “Spring Awakening” addresses how teens in a sexually oppressive society act on and attempt to understand their own lives.

In the musical, adolescents try to discover who they are and what they truly value in life.

“The teens struggle with sexuality, abortion, reproductive ignorance and their intelligence is challenged,” said Julie Rae Mollenkamp, the musical director of “Spring Awakening.”

Mollenkamp helped select the musical to come to the University of Central Missouri. This is UCM’s second year putting on a musical.

“This is a historic moment for us,” Mollenkamp said.

The cast members have advertised the musical by creating a Facebook page, and sending out tweets and will have some advertising on the social media application Snapchat.

PHOTO BY PAUL JOYNER / PHOTO EDITOR Daniel Parman and Kelsey Reinsfelder rehearse a love scene for "Spring Awakening" Tuesday at the Highlander Theatre. The musical deals with adult issues and requires many of the performers to get up close and personal.

PHOTO BY PAUL JOYNER / PHOTO EDITOR Daniel Parman and Kelsey Reinsfelder rehearse a love scene for “Spring Awakening” Tuesday at the Highlander Theatre. The musical deals with adult issues and requires many of the performers to get up close and personal.

There are two main characters who struggle the most throughout the musical. The main characters are Melchior and Wendla, the protagonists of the story. These characters struggle because they have become sexually involved with one another. Another character is Mortiz, who ends up getting upset with one of the main characters because of the ongoing relationship between the two.

“I feel as though I can relate more to Mortiz out of everyone in the story,” said Elizabeth Pecher, sophomore scenic designer assistant, when asked which character the audience will relate to more. The assistant stage manager, Justin Couch, helps communicate with the rest of the production about what is happening and what needs to be done. “There is no specific character I connect with the most,” Couch said. “I think every character brings a unique part to the show that helps complete the story we are trying to tell.”

The “Spring Awakening” is a drama musical that is filled with issues that teens are dealing with today. UCM staff and students can buy the tickets at box office near the Highlander Theater. Tickets are $7 for students, $12 for faculty, staff and senior citizens, and $15 for the general public.

PHOTO BY PAUL JOYNER / PHOTO EDITOR: The cast of “Spring Awakening” performs the song “Totally F***ed” during rehearsal. An alternative rock score was employed when the musical was adapted in the early 2000s.

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