Linfield College Theatre debuts spring musical

Intimate fliers for Linfield College Theatre’s musical “Spring Awakening” have caught the eye of many Wildcats. But the actual performance captured the audiences’ full attention during its opening weekend May 2 through May 5 in the Marshall Theatre.

“Spring Awakening” is set in late 19th century Germany. It accounts the lives of a group of 15-year-olds, who are forced to uphold the harsh moral and religious standards of the time period.

The play focuses on the relationship between two main characters. The characters are Wendla, portrayed by sophomore Mackensie Semper. And Melchoir, played by senior Collin Morris.

Sophomore Nicholas Granato as “Mortiz,” freshman Lukasz Augustine as “Georg,” senior Chris Forrer as “Otto,” sophomore Logan Mays as “Ernst” and sophomore Jeremy Odden as “Hanschen” comprise the leading roles of school boys.

Sophomore Delaney Bullinger as “Thea,” Gabrielle Leif as “Ilse” and senior Jenaveve Linabary as “Martha” are the group of leading young ladies.

Throughout the play, these characters grapple with balancing sexual curiosity and society’s expectations of purity.

Talk of sexual content in “Spring Awakening” has circulated throughout campus. The scenes with kissing and other sexual content invoked animated responses from the audience. But the scenes contributed to the production’s messages.

“It brings up ideas about sexual abuse, homosexuality, suicide and teenage sex,” Morris said. “A lot of these ideas are still taboo today.”

The play’s heavy moments were lightened by exciting songs and synchronized dance routines. The music department joined the Linfield College Theatre to create a musical, which is a type of play not as commonly performed.

“It definitely took a lot of coordination to make this production happen,” Morris said. The band was always visible in the set’s background, which added to the concert-feel of the performance. The cast began musical rehearsals a few weeks into the spring semester. Full rehearsals commenced after spring break. The cast dedicated a great deal of time learning and practicing the dance choreography.

“I think the dance routines added another level of angst and emotions that the numbers already achieved,” said sophomore Alli Halley, the production’s choreographer. “The routines were the cherries on top of incredible songs, which couldn’t have been done without the extremely talented cast members.”

The musical will continue to run May 9 through May 12.

“I would encourage people to see it,” Morris said. “Because even though it does take place in a different time period, it brings up a lot of important issues that are still relevant today.”

Every character sang the last passionate number. Linfield College Theatre Director Janet Gupton’s two young daughters appeared on stage in the final minutes. The end will not be spoiled, but the two girls’ participation tied off the closing scene with a charming bow.

Carrie Skuzeski

Culture editor

Carrie Skuzeski can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.