Spring Awakening: Eine Kindertragödie

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Spring Awakening: Eine Kindertragödie
SpringAwakening teaser1.jpg
Directed by Ray Rehberg
Produced by Jessica Prescott-Smith
Sponsored by Lovers & Madmen
Show Dates November 10-12, 2011
Venue [The Belltower at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary]

The Project

Through an independent study in German during Summer quarter 2011, Ray Rehberg translated the classic play Frühlings Erwachen: Eine Kindertragödie into English and then, during the course of Fall quarter, adapted it to take place in an abandoned room at a boarding school in Evanston, IL. A fully site-specific performance of the adaptation, directed by Rehberg, was sponsored by Lovers & Madmen and the German Undergraduate Advisory Board.

The Story

Frühlings Erwachen: Eine Kindertragödie (English: 'Spring Awakening: A Tragedy for Children') is the German dramatist Frank Wedekind's first major play and a seminal work in the modern history of theatre. It was written sometime between autumn 1890 and spring 1891, but did not receive its first performance until 20 November 1906, when it premiered at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin under the direction of Max Reinhardt. The play criticizes the sexually-oppressive culture of fin de siècle Germany and offers a vivid dramatization of the erotic fantasies that it breeds. Due to the nature of its content, the play has often been banned.

It was first staged in English in 1917 in New York City. This performance was threatened with closure when the city's Commissioner of Licenses claimed that the play was pornographic, but a New York trial court issued an injunction to allow the production to proceed. One matinee performance was allowed for a limited audience.

Spring Awakening is laid in three acts and fourteen scenes, consisting almost entirely of dialogues among the children. So close is Wedekind to the soul of the child that he succeeds in unveiling before our eyes, with a most gripping touch, its joys and sorrows, its hopes and despair, its struggles and tragedies.

Never was a more powerful indictment hurled against a society, which out of sheer hypocrisy and cowardice persists that boys and girls must grow up in ignorance of their sex functions, that they must be sacrificed on the altar of stupidity and convention which taboo the enlightenment of the child in questions of such elemental importance to health and well-being.

The most criminal phase of the indictment, however, is that it is generally the most promising children who are sacrificed to sex ignorance and to the total lack of appreciation on the part of teachers of the latent qualities and tendencies in the child: the one slaying the body and soul, the other paralyzing the function of the brain; and both conspiring to give to the world mental and physical mediocrities.


Spring Awakening was performed in front of five sold out crowds and was a massive financial success for L&M.


  • Melchior Gabor - Alex Tey
  • Maurice Shoemaker - Justin Leider
  • Gwen Bergmann - Emily Marso
  • Martha/Dr. Seltzer - Meghan Stanton
  • Thea/Frances Gabor - Ani Poladian
  • Lisa - Caitlin Oates
  • Johnny Rilow - Logan Daum
  • Ernest Robinson/Damastes - Wilson Shirley
  • Mrs. Bergmann - Grace Wright
  • Mr. Gabor/Boys - Garrett Horelka
  • Dean Hart-Payne/Shepard - Brendan Yukins
  • Masked Man/Robert - Robin Christiansen
  • Buck Shoemaker/Otto - Colton Dillion
  • Professor Stutterman/Raymond/Provost/George Carver - Josh Gordon
  • Professor Brokeback/Hawke/Ferdinand/Cowher/Boys - Ethan Levine-Weinberg
  • Professor Fastings/Butterworth/Rupert/Pastor Bare/Boys - Kyle Sherman
  • Professor Stickweight/Alexander/Christie/Boys - Meghan “McToasty” McCarter
  • Fetch/Gaston/Locksmith/Boys - Matt Ervin

Production Team

  • Producer: Jessica Prescott-Smith
    • Assistant Producer: Anna Nowinski
  • Director: Ray Rehberg
    • Assistant Director: Jake Degler
  • Stage Manager: Kaitlyn Nibbelin
    • Assistant Stage Manager: Aissa Guerra
  • Set Designer: Ady Dunk
    • Assistant Set Designer: Drew Thibado
  • Lighting Designer: Bridgette Hammond
    • Assistant Lighting Designer: Daniel Chenard
  • Sound Designer: Ray Rehberg
    • Assistant Sound Designer: James Clemer
  • Costume Designer: Jessica Stahmer
    • Assistant Costume Designer: André Sguerra
    • Assistant Costume Designer: Katie Gresham
  • Makeup Designer: Meghan McCarter
    • Assistant Makeup Designer: Caitlin Oates
  • Props Designer: Olivia Probetts
  • Technical Director: Daniel Learner
  • Fundraising Director: Lacey Weeks
  • Co-Publicity Director: Jeremy Gaines
  • Co-Publicity Director: Ashley Thompson
  • Graphic Designer: Ashley Thompson
  • Dramaturg: Xander Tapling
  • Social Chair: Ned Baker
  • Snuggle Buddy: JJ Marquis
    • Assistant Snuggle Buddy: Meghan McCarter