Thursday, April 12 – OxBroadway held a preview of their spring musical, Spring Awakening, in Tarbutton Theatre around 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11.
Spring Awakening follows the lives of teenage students in 1900’s Germany, who battle conservative parenting and teaching, while also discovering more about their sexualities.
Every aspect of the play was adapted and set up by Oxford students, from the pit and their conductor – the stage they stood on – to every tune and line sung and pronounced.
Since the prospects of the play ride solely on the back of the students, every actor, musician, and stage director have something to prove come Thursday Night.
“I think that there has been a stigma in the past that student theatre isn’t necessarily as good as main stage theatre here at Oxford,” said Oxbroadway Director Franny Parent. “I’m really excited to see what Student Theatre, what students are capable of.”
Though the handling of an entire play is a daunting task, the scenes seemed to flow seamlessly. The actors articulated themselves well and were able to keep both tune and rhythm during songs that required vigorous movement and physical coordination. The play lends itself to a punk rock-like sound track that is accompanied with fun curse words and sexual references – this mixed with light chairs and wheeled furniture lead to beautiful visuals, which allow a similarly aged audience to be sucked in fall in love with the musical.
There are some scenes that can be deemed controversial: Abortion, rape, and suicide finding themselves center stage. For instance, the play ties childhood beating with domestic violence in a very real depiction of how authoritative parenting negatively effects the experience of the child it is force upon.
The poignance of the subject matter showed as some the preview’s attendees directed themselves to conversation at many times throughout the show.
Though hopefully not during the actual showing, Parent anticipates conversation to come in the wake of the showing.
“Suicide from academic pressure, abortion and pro choice, sexual assault, are issues that are all prevalent today,” Parent said. “Especially how sexual assault awareness around Oxford’s campus has met a crescendo – it makes the show crucial to the conversation.”
OxSAPA has also partnered with OxBroadway to hold a talk back after opening night, with hopes to future facilitate narratives brought about by the play.