SU Drama - Spring Awakening


By Craig Thornton


Winner of eight Tony Awards, Spring Awakening is a hard-hitting rock musical adaptation of Frank Wedekind’s expressionist play. Set in late-nineteenth century Germany, the story follows Wendla Bergmann, Moritz Stiefel, Melchior Gabor and their peers as they struggle to understand the meaning of sexuality and violence in an oppressive, repressed society where adults refuse to answer any hard questions.

 Spring Awakening will run April 25-May 10, 2014 in the Storch Theater at the Syracuse Stage/Drama Complex. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 315-443-3275, and in person at the SU Drama Box Office, 820 East Genesee Street. Spring Awakening is recommended for mature audiences 16 years of age and older due to adult language and themes including sexual content.

 "Beautiful, messy, exhilarating…[Duncan Sheik] manages to deliver lovely, graceful pop melodies that work in a theatrical context — that is, to propel a story and elucidate its characters," said USA Today. With Spring Awakening, Steven Sater (Book & Lyrics) and Duncan Sheik (Music) have adapted Wedekind’s ideas of teenage rebellion and sexual discovery to the stage, using an alternative rock score as the background.

 Spring Awakening opened on Broadway at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre in 2006 and received favorable reviews. It received eleven Tony Award nominations in 2007, winning eight including Tonys for Best Musical, Book, and Score. The show also won four Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical.


Wedekind’s first play, Spring Awakening, was originally written and performed in German. He published it at his own expense in 1891, but it was not performed until he started his own repertory company in 1906. Wedekind’s work was rarely produced during the Nazi era because he did not advocate the views of the political party. After his death and the end of World War II, Wedekind’s Spring Awakening was frequently produced in Germany. The play finally returned to America in 1958, where a new translation was performed by the University of Chicago.



Michael Barakiva is a director and writer based in New York City. At Syracuse Stage, he has directed Blithe Spirit, Turn of the Screw, and The Clean House. Other credits include The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ensemble Studio Theater and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. He proudly serves as the artistic director of The Upstart Creatures ( He is a two-time recipient of the David Merrick Prize in Drama, a Phil Killian Fellowship, and a Drama League Summer Fellowship at the Hangar Theater.



SU Drama offers conservatory-style training in a university setting shared with a resident, professional theater (Syracuse Stage), presenting an unparalleled combination of teaching professionals and diverse performance and production opportunities. SU Drama offers four conservatory-style bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) degree programs in acting, musical theater, stage management, and theater design and technology, as well as a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree program in drama that features a Theater Management track. Undergraduates put classroom theory into practice through productions and various special opportunities, including Wednesday Lab, study abroad, the NYC-based Tepper Semester, the Sorkin in L.A. Learning Practicum, numerous community engagement initiatives, and the opportunity to participate in workshops or discussions with such visiting artists as Taye Diggs ’93, Aaron Sorkin ’83, Vanessa Williams '85, Frank Langella ’59, David Henry Hwang, Tim Miller, Tony Kushner and more.



The SU Department of Drama is housed within the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA).  VPA is committed to the education of cultural leaders who will engage and inspire audiences through performance, visual art, design, scholarship and commentary. It provides the tools for self-discovery and risk-taking in an environment that thrives on critical thought and action.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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