Taylor Bates

Taylor Bates

Spring Awakening explores essence of youth

NANAIMO - Schmooze Productions' Spring Awakening: A New Musical premieres Thursday (April 11) at 8 p.m.

Spring Awakening captures the essence of youth.

The play follows teenagers who are awakening to their sexuality, but who are also dealing with some dark issues in their lives including child abuse and suicide.

Even though the original play was written in the early 1890s, the subject matter is still relevant today, said Dean Chadwick, artistic producer for Schmooze Productions. The play was later turned into a rock musical.

Chadwick said it’s interesting that in today’s world with access to different forms of media that there are still some subjects that are taboo. However, Spring Awakening isn’t as grim as the issues may make it appear, said Chadwick, adding there are some bright spots and poignant moments along the way.

The play is made more accessible through its music, said Chadwick.

“I think this show will knock people’s socks off,” said Gary Alfred, who plays the teenager Hanschen in the production.

Schmooze Productions is bringing the play to Nanaimo Centre Stage from Thursday (April 11) to May 4. The actors will perform in the round.  The configuration means there are only three rows of seating around the actors, which adds intimacy and excitement to the performance, said Chadwick.

“It brings a nice intensity to everyone’s performance,” added Alfred.

Alfred said his character goes through the basic struggles every teenager deals with when they hit adolescence.

“The big thing he is exploring is his sexuality,” he said.

The role of Hanschen is the first Alfred has played since he was in elementary school.

“I’ve always wanted to act and took an improvisational course with Dean (Chadwick),” he said.

Chadwick was impressed with Alfred’s abilities and asked him to try out for the production.

Spring Awakening runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Tickets are $25 plus tax and are available online at www.schmoozeproductions.com or at Rich One Beauty Salon, located at #1-2145 Bowen Rd.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com