The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Saturday February 4th

TCNJ Musical Theatre presents ‘Spring Awakening’

<p>(Photo courtesy of Kylie Countryman)</p>

(Photo courtesy of Kylie Countryman)

By Samantha Schepelenko

The College’s student-run TCNJ Musical Theatre (TMT) program presented  “Spring Awakening,” a coming-of-age musical based on Frank Wedekind’s 1891 German play, to five sold-out crowds at the Don Evans Black Box Theater on campus from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3.  

The show takes the audience on a journey along with a group of young German teens figuring out rebellion, heartbreak and self-discovery, all within the show's two hour run time. The play follows two main characters, Wendla and Melchior, as prime examples of young love, sexual awakening and teen rebellion. Their performance takes the audience on a memorable journey and their emotion could be seen through their acting. 

“Spring Awakening” covers many controversial topics, such as sexual assault, abuse, suicide and abortion. This play was once considered so controversial in Germany that it was banned from being performed until 1906. Since 1906 there have been many different adaptations of the show, including a Broadway production starring Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff, which ran for two years. 

“I know that Lea Michele starred in the Broadway version, so I’m looking forward to seeing what this show is really all about,” said senior criminology major Gianna Maldonado.  

The College’s performance included original orchestration by Duncan Sheik, vocal arrangements by AnnMarie Milazzo and string orchestrations by Simon Hale. 

Kylie Countryman, a sophomore biology major, was the assistant stage manager for this production. 

“We’ve been working on this for a while, since late September,” Countryman said. “We would rehearse four to five days a week with almost 17 hours of rehearsal weekly.”

The cast put a great amount of effort into the development of their characters to get them to be performance ready. 

(Photo courtesy of Kylie Countryman)

“During rehearsals the actors and actresses would take different types of personality tests as if they were taking them as their character to get to know deeper traits about their characters,” Countryman said. “They even took a test to see what Taylor Swift song they were.”  

The cast’s hard work at rehearsal paid off as they received a standing ovation during the finale of the performance from the audience.

“It was really amazing,” said Maldonado, who attended the Dec. 1 showing. “I can’t believe that’s all student-run.”

The finale song entitled “The Song of Purple Summer” was a favorite for Maldonado.

“Honestly, the last song was my favorite part because all the characters got to come together and it made a beautiful end to such a sad story,” she said.

Countryman had so much pride for the cast of the show and was pleased with how everything came together.  

“Seeing everything come together and how everyone developed their characters into what they are now and becoming so much more comfortable with each other has been great,” Countryman said.

TMT’s spring 2023 production is set to be “Legally Blonde” with shows already lined up for March 1, 2 and 4.


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