THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO - June 17, 2019 (LSN) This summer Applauze Productions is returning to their roots and staging a dramatic, controversial and moving new production of Spring Awakening based on the nearly 130 year old play by Frank Wedekind. Spring Awakening was controversial when it premiered over 100 years ago due to its frank depictions of sexuality, mental illness, suicide, abuse, LGBTQ+ characters, and abortion. Many of the issues arising in politics and the media now ensure the play remains as relevant now as it ever has been. The musical follows the coming of age tale of a variety of youth in a rural village in Germany before the start of the 20th century, but their inner monologues, thoughts and feelings are expressed in a contemporary rock score.
“Spring Awakening is powerful.” Said Denise Krawczuk, Owner/Executive Producer of Applauze Productions, “And though in recent years we have produced lighter more comedic shows, we are returning to a musical with deeper meaning like our earlier shows Rent, and Cabaret. We have approached this breathtaking production from a truly unique artistic standpoint. We have assembled the best possible team onstage and on our Production Team to ensure the show is bold, edgy and challenging. It is a true masterpiece.”
Taking on one of those challenging characters is Mickey Nagy, who plays the troubled Moritz Stiefel, whose manic path through the story leads him to suicide. “Moritz is unlike any character I've ever played in a theater, but also the character I've related most to. His struggles with mental health, bullying and rejection are things I've personally struggled with, and this adds a unique aspect to the character that I can bring my personal experience to.” said Nagy, who at 18 is already an experienced performer “It is important that Moritz is represented because his struggles, especially in this current time where teenage depression and anxiety are common place, it is reassuring to see how far we have come with accepting people with mental illnesses, and representing them. We want to reinforce the message that reaching out and talking can make all the difference in saving a life.”
Applauze Productions is proudly presenting this 2007 Tony Award winning Best Musicalon July 10th to 13th at the Finlandia Hall Theatre. Featuring music by Duncan Sheik and a book and lyrics by Steven Sater, based on the original 1891 play by Frank Wedekind.
“Many of the scenes in rehearsals have evoked such strong emotions for me. It’s hard not to let the emotion of the words and performances overwhelm you,” said Jennifer Peloquin a relative new-comer who plays the permissive mother Fanny Gabor, and other adult women in the show. “The issues and situations depicted in Spring Awakening are just as relevant now as they were in the 19th century when the story takes place. As a parent myself I have personal experience with my own children and children of friends who have experienced the same issues the young characters in the story are confronted with. This show is like nothing I have been part of in the past, it is a challenging and exciting experience for us as actors and for the audience.”
Applauze is challenging their actors and audience not just with the subject matter, but with a unique “in the round” staging, where audiences will sit on all four sides of the action, in essence inviting them to witness each other experiencing the show. “This brings a high level of intimacy to the production, and makes the audience very present in the show.” Said veteran director Thomas McDonald, “this performance style allows our cast to be natural and honest in their performances, and they are truly stunning.”
Staged & directed by Thomas McDonald; Assistant Directed/Produced by Denise Krawczuk, the show features a band led by Thunder Bay Music Legend Danny Johnson, Lighting and Sound Design by Russell Krawczuk, costumes by Julie MacCoy and Robyn Dias, Production Design by Mary Davis & Thomas McDonald, Set Construction by Gerald Weiskopf.
Tickets are $20 each and are available at the Hoito and at www.applauzeproductions.com. Doors open at 7pm and the show begins at 7:30pm. Please Note: The show contains mature subject matter, and frank depictions of sexuality and violence. Mature Audiences Only.
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