24 hours. That’s how much time 35 students from various majors at SMU had to rehearse, put together and perform their production of Frank Wedekind’s musical Spring Awakening.
On Saturday, April 2, SMU’s Student Theatre and Program Council hosted its first annual 24 Hour Musical in the Greer Garson Theatre. Despite it being Easter weekend on the Hilltop, the theatre’s seats were almost entirely filled. I even overheard one student saying that he’d never seen the theatre so full.
Now, I’m not the most artsy or theatrical person in the world, and neither is my boyfriend, who I dragged along with me, yet we both thoroughly enjoyed the production.
Spring Awakening tells the story of teenage self-discovery, curiosity and budding sexuality in late-19th century Germany.
The best part of the production was that it was all put together in 24 hours, and you would have never have guessed it. Everyone knew their lines, no one missed a cue, and the vocal performances were incredible.
While the show was very sexual, it was also humorous. Throughout the production, actors on stage groped and grabbed themselves, and there was even a masturbation scene that had the crowd howling with laughter.
The story begins with Wendla, played by Hope Endrenyi, asking her mother where babies come from. Trying to protect her daughter’s innocence, Wendla’s mother leaves her with no answers. As the musical progresses, we find school boys and girls yearning to discover the truth about human sexuality. Before the end of the first act, Wendla and Melchior, played by Charlie Weber, engage in an on-stage sex scene (don’t worry, they were fully clothed.) The rest of the production follows Wendla and Melchior in the aftermath of their confused intimacy. Wendla is shocked when she becomes pregnant, and she eventually dies from a botched abortion.
At the end, everyone assembles onstage to sing “The Song of Purple Summer,” an anthem to the adult conservative views that have failed to properly educate children, which ultimately led to Wendla’s demise. The seeds are planted for a new, open-minded and progressive generation.
All in all, I was very impressed with the whole performance. If any musical can get my boyfriend laughing and talking to others about it, then it must’ve been great.