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Student Spotlight : Spring Awakening

The College of Arts and Humanities is looking forward to the Drama Department’s Spring Awakening production, a musical that has won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical and explores “the journey from adolescence to adulthood with a poignancy and passion that is illuminating and unforgettable.” Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the public are invited to watch the performance at Stone Center. Tickets cost $15 plus fees. The production will debut on Friday, February 24th at 7:30pm and will be performed again on Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2:30pm, and Monday at 7:30pm. 

Junior Theatre Production and Film major Grayson Singleton serves as stage manager in which she schedules and runs rehearsals, runs production meetings and takes notes for the group, facilitates communication for all departments, calls technical cues during the performances, and tries to keep the production moving as smoothly and efficiently as possible. So far, Singleton has most enjoyed rehearsals where they end each night with a dance party after working on harder material. “I am most looking forward to seeing the show come together”, Singleton said. “One of my favorite parts about being the stage manager is getting to see the Director’s concept come to life.”

Senior Computer Science major Elijah Parker is playing the role of Melchior Gabor. For Parker, playing Melchior has required a lot of self-introspection on his journey through young adulthood in order to create a realistic portrayal of a character going through this phase of life and the challenges that come with it. “My favorite part of preparing for the production so far has been the music and choreography”, Parker said. “There is something so special about song and dance in theatre. It is a powerful tool to share things that dialog never can.” Parker is most looking forward to sharing this powerful story with audiences. 

Stanton Yarboro, a sophomore majoring in Theatre with a concentration in Performance and minoring in Communications, is playing the role of Wendla. Yarboro says that the two most important responsibilities are the time commitment and forming a strong bond with the rest of the cast. So far, Yarboro has most enjoyed the choreography because it is the time when she feels everything coming together. Yarboro is most looking forward to being an advocate through the arts. “Spring Awakening releases several important messages that hold true today, and I am so lucky that I get to tell them.”

Sophomore Theatre Performance major Semajè Newton is playing the role of Ilse in the production. Newton’s responsibilities include supporting every role in the show and making sure everyone in the cast feels included. “My favorite part has been watching my friends make amazing choices and learning the choreography and music for the show”, Newton said. “It is amazing!” Newton is most looking forward to seeing everything come together for the show – the set, costumes, blocking, acting, dancing, and singing.  

Addie Zaner, a senior majoring in Theatre with a concentration in Production and minoring in History, is serving as the Assistant Scenic Designer and Props Designer for the production. Some of her responsibilities include prop paperwork and working with the Props Master, Erin Rose Pempel, to arrange the ordering, building, and creating of various props for the show as well as consulting with the Scenic Designer and Technical Director to make design decisions for the set. One of Zaner’s favorite parts of the production so far has been the opportunity to work with Scenic Designer Jason St. John who Zaner credits for teaching her about the leadership side of being a designer in the theatre industry. Zaner is looking forward to seeing the public’s viewpoint of the production. “This story is so important, especially in today’s world”, Zaner said. It portrays “just how important it is to guide and teach today’s youth to make way for a better and safer future.”

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