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Content Any Way U Want It!

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September 21, 2023

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Play highlights struggles with sexual assault, puberty among others

Spring Awakening

While most students went through puberty one time, Greg Grimes gets to experience it over and over again on the stage.

Grimes plays the role of Moritz in this year’s musical, “Spring Awakening,” which is hosted by the department of theater and film that started Thursday and will go through Sunday.

“I’ve always dreamt of playing this role,” Grimes said. “When I saw the musical during the National Tour, I felt like I really connected with this character on a personal level.”

“Spring Awakening” is a Broadway musical set in Germany during the 1900s that tells the story of teenagers discovering what are considered taboo subjects such as sexuality, masturbation, sexual assault and incest.

Grimes’ character is a troubled and shy boy who stresses out about school, while trying to understand puberty.

“There are so many pressures from his friends and family,” he said. “He is the type of kid to stay up all night and study but draws a blank on the test.”

For every shy and troubled character, there is a smart and confident one.

Chad Campbell plays the role of Melchior Gabor, which he said he was more than thrilled to play.

“Melchior is a role that many guys in musical theatre dream of getting to portray because he’s a strong, confident, and intelligent guy,” Campbell said. “This role is challenging because Melchior’s persona is different from mine, so it is interesting to step into it.”

The musical shows how teenagers go through the same thing teenagers did in the 1900s.

“We all experience puberty and this musical showcases how each individual teenager deals with that,” Campbell said.

The play was originally a Broadway production in NYC, which won eight Tony awards in 2007 that alum Chris Recker was the assistant company manager for.

Recker was the manager on the National Tour of the Broadway production, which traveled across the states and Canada.

“I’m so glad BG is putting on this play because it has great meaning and is a great opportunity for BG students to act in,” Recker said. “Unfortunately I have to work and won’t be able to make it, but I am sure a great performance will be put on.”

Director Michael Ellison said the cast has been rehearsing since early February memorizing 18 songs before spring break.

“All of the hard work and long hours has definitely paid off,” Ellison said. “We have had a lot of help from the Counseling and Wellness Centers since the play deals with [emotional subjects].”

Ellison said the show is recommended for adult viewers only due to the heavy material presented in the musical. He described the show to have suggestive topics that can be difficult to talk about, even in today’s society.

“The counseling center was nice enough to provide the cast with information on each topic presented in the play to have a better understanding of what they are acting [out on the stage],” Ellison said.

A table will be present outside of the theater for anyone who wants to talk or learn more about the topics.

“It’s important for audience to know it’s a fun show but subject matter is still quite challenging,” Ellison said.

Even though it is sexual assault awareness month, Ellison said that had nothing to do with the department’s decision to do this musical this year.

“It was just by coincidence that it fell within that time, but I am certainly glad it did,” Ellison said.

The last performance on Sunday will involve a suicide panel discussion at the end of the show engaging the audience.

“I believe the show will put all of the subjects in a broader context and stir discussion about them,” Ellison said.

The show is open to the public and if students wear their T-shirt from the 5k Dog Walk on Saturday, they will receive $2 off their ticket price.

“The show highlights important issues that are still relevant today, which is why I encourage people to come,” Grimes said.

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