Photo by Robert Day.

Spring Awakening

Written by Frank Wedekind. Directed by Justine Themen.

The Belgrade Young Company presented its second production, Spring Awakening, in B2 from 4 to 12 November 2011.

“Here I am with a sister who’s been married two years, I’ve become an auntie for the third time and I still have no idea how it all happens … I’m fourteen now. You can’t seriously expect me to believe in the stork.”

Spring Awakening dives headfirst into the confused and tangled mess that can be teenage life. Tackling tough subjects such as homosexuality, abortion, suicide and rape, this classic tale of teenage angst is as explosive now as when it was first written in the 19th Century.

With no one offering answers in a world of repressed and scared adults, how do you find out the facts? For these twelve teenagers, curiosity might just prove fatal.

Spring Awakening was the second production from the Belgrade’s Young Company, which features some of the city’s most promising young amateur actors.

Commenting on Spring Awakening at the time, Young Company member Kaz Sangha, said:

“The Young Company’s Spring Awakening is not simply a production, it’s a valuable experience providing an insight into all the trials and tribulations professional actors may experience and more. I can think of no other platform from which young actors have an opportunity like this to put together a production and work so closely with dirctors, co-directors and stage managers.

“There is a general feeling of appreciation to the theatre for putting together a project such as this as participants are not required to pay any fees or material costs or even tuition costs throughout the duration… I feel I can approach future productions with a lot more confidence.”

Justine Themen, Associate Director of the Community & Education Company, explained the decision behind Spring Awakening:

“We chose this play because it is rare in being a classic drama that also clearly gives a voice to young people and young performers – a drive that is at the heart of all of our Youth Theatre work. And at the same time that the play provides the Young Company with the challenge of exploring a classic piece of drama, it resonates with an issue that is at the heart of contemporary Coventry, namely sexual health.”

Designer Janet Vaughan also talked about the set and costumes for the show in this podcast.

The Big Conversation was an opportunity for young people, parents and carers to debate the issues of teenage pregnancy and STDs with sexual health experts and members of Coventry City Council. This free event directly followed the matinee on Saturday 12 November 2011.

Spring Awakening contained scenes of a sexual nature and so was recommended for ages 12+.

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