East West Players (EWP), one of the nation’s oldest theaters of color and the largest producer of Asian American theatrical works announces the extension of the Tony Award winning best musical Spring Awakening. Based on the play by Frank Wedekind, Spring Awakening features book & lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Duncan Sheik. Directed by EWP Artistic Director Emeritus Tim Dang, this currently running production originally set to close November 19 will now perform through December 3, 2023.
Spring Awakening is the revolutionary Tony Award winning best musical that took the world by storm. In 1891 Germany, repressed, adolescent students stumble into adulthood as clumsily as they do into each other’s arms. With obstinate parents unwilling to guide them, young Melchior and Wendla explore their desires for each other, while Melchior’s dear friend Moritz fumbles dangerously through his own coming-of-age. This generation-defining musical is a rock anthem to all the “guilty ones,” poignantly exploring the dark, passionate, and twisting journey from adolescence to adulthood.
Of this production, director Tim Dang shares “Our casting is more intentional than colorblind. This production emphasizes the intersectionality of our youth today. Our casting is race conscious and race specific. By 2042, America is projected to be majority POC (people of color). It is with intention that many of our performers are of mixed heritage, mixed-race, bi-racial, hapa, or bi-cultural. These performers represent the youth of a generation that is already majority POC. The balance of power shifting to the new majority makes EWP’s production of Spring Awakening that much more different from other productions that have come before us.”
East West Players production is timely and provocative with a youthful, diverse, Gen Z cast that is electrifying. Standout performances come from Mia Sempertegui as Wendla Bergmann with a beautiful, crystal clear voice and an utterly charismatic Thomas Winter as Melchior Gabor. Marcus Phillips as Moritz Stiefel is a young actor to watch and his rendition of “Don’t Do Sadness” breaks your heart.
In addition to the previously scheduled performances of Spring Awakening, East West Players adds the following performances to the production’s run:
Monday, November 20 at 8pm
Friday, November 24 at 8pm
Saturday, November 25 at 2pm
Saturday, November 25 at 8pm
Sunday, November 26 at 5pm
Thursday, November 30 at 8pm
Friday, December 1 at 8pm
Saturday, December 2 at 2pm
Saturday, December 2 at 8pm
Sunday, December 3 at 5pm
Tickets may be purchased online at eastwestplayers.org or by calling (213) 625-7000.
During Spring Awakening’s extension from Monday, November 20 through Sunday December 3, Jaylen Baham* will assume the leading role of Moritz Stiefel. Baham currently performs the role of Georg Zirschnitz in the ensemble in addition to understudying the role of Moritz Stiefel, which will be performed by Marcus Phillips* through November 19. CJ Cruz, an understudy for the production, will perform the role of Georg Zirschnitz during the production’s extension.