Local Spotlight

Mar 13, 2014 2:04 PM by Dan Shadwell

PCPA's "Spring Awakening" wrestles with questions of young love and sex

As the official start of Spring approaches, the trees are beginning to leaf-out and flowers starting to bloom--a perfect time for the PCPA's production of the rock musical, "Spring Awakening," winner of eight Tony Awards.

The story is set in late 19th Century Germany and a group of students is wrestling with the anxiety of puberty and budding romantic desires.

It's like a kettle, kind of boiling over," explains Casey Canino, PCPA acting intern. "Then the kettle finally pops, they break into song and we bring out hand-held microphones and the music is this fun, rock 'n roll and the lights go crazy, it's like you're in a rock and roll show."

Canino plays Wendla, a 14-year-old girl who falls deeply in love, though she's unprepared for the way it progresses...

"She doesn't have the knowledge to know that being close with somebody and being intimate with somebody needs to happen in a healthy way," says Canino.

The show is an adaptation of Frank Wedekind's play written in 1891. It was immediately banned because of its racy storyline and unapologetic depiction of sexuality. Even today, those themes can make an audience squirm.

"Do you feel people in the audience.. a little uncomfortable?" I asked Canino. She nods.

"Yes!"

"What's that like?"

"It's interesting," she says. "People don't talk about these shocking parts and what we're trying to do is bring it out in the open. But hopefully we have done this in a tasteful enough manner that they see the story and they see the message that we're trying to get to them. This is something that we need to talk about because it's important and people can get hurt and because it is good,... and it's natural and it's human to have all these feelings."

"Spring Awakening" is most appropriate for audiences 17-years-old and older, due to adult language and mature themes, including sexual content.

The shows run Wednesday through Sunday for two more weeks.

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