By Rachel Morse, Staff Writer
Students may see some familiar faces in a local theater’s production about teenage sexuality.
Seven university students have been cast in Lyric Theatre’s production of Spring Awakening, a rock musical adaptation of the controversial 1892 German play with the same title, said Michael Baron, artistic director of Lyric Theater. The production opened at 7:30 p.m. March 28 and will run Tuesday through Sunday until April 14.
It will be Oklahoma’s debut of the Tony-Award winning musical, Baron said.
“It’s a little strange but not surprising that this is the Oklahoma premier,” he said. “For a show that got this much acclaim, I think people are unnecessarily nervous.”
The show is rated R, but Baron said the rating describes only 40 seconds of the production’s content. He considers the remainder of the show to be PG-13, keeping with the initial vision of an honest, less “sensationalized” production, Baron said.
“I am trying to avoid that so that people talk about the moments that are important and what they say about the state of our world and our youth,” he said. “It’s a very moral play.”
The production is unique because the cast consists of young people, Baron said. The two adult roles in the show are played by professional actors from Oklahoma City.
“It’s rare that a professional theater in town does a show so youth oriented it,” he said. “It’s going to be great.”
The OCU cast members are: Alex Enterline, acting sophomore; Grayson Heyl, music theater/vocal production senior; Simone Laday, acting sophomore; Renee Lawrence, vocal production sophomore; Sheridan McMichael, music theater junior; Kate Moore, music theater junior, and Nicholas Oliveri, music theater sophomore.
Casting the seven OCU students just “worked out,” Baron said.
“It just so happened that a big group from OCU were able to get in and rock out,” he said.
Enterline, who plays the role of “Georg,” said the energy of the cast is part of what makes the show so “dynamic.”
“The cast is just astounding,” he said. “I feel like it will be an amazing show.”
Enterline enjoyed exploring his character and discovering how he ties into the overall story.
“That’s what’s so fun about the show,” he said. “Each character has a secret and a way they deal with it.”
Heyl, who plays the role of “Martha,” said each character seems to experience some form of tragedy. Her own character is the victim of physical and sexual abuse.
“It will be a tough show for people to see,” she said. “It throws the door open to a lot of issues that are normally taboo.”
While the show is serious, it also has elements of fun and plenty of humor, Heyl said.
“I think people should be aware that you will laugh but you will also need to stop and think,” she said.
The “hot topics” introduced in the story are what keep it relevant 100 years after its creation, Baron said.
“It’s not just a play that’s stuck in the 1890s,” he said.
There also will be a big gesture at the end of the production, giving a modern perspective of the show’s themes, but that part is a secret, Baron said.
“You have to come to see it,” he said.
Single tickets are $40 and stage seating is $20 for all the performances, Baron said. Baron encourages students to take advantage of these prices.
“It would be a shame for students to miss,” he said.
For more information about dates or tickets call (405) 524-9312 or visit lyrictheatreokc.com.