Spring Awakening is the play of the season


Mahi Kandage

Spring Awakening arrives at WA

Mahi Kandage, Author

Opening at 7 o’clock on April 28th in the Performing Arts Center is Westford Academy Theater Arts’ latest production: Spring Awakening. Based on a play by Frank Wedekind, the deep and thought-provoking play demands conversation.

Set in late nineteenth century Germany, the play follows adolescents Wendla and Melchior on their journey to discover who they truly are. It is a story brings to light prevalent issues such as sexuality, and it is one that does not support, condone, or apologize for its content. The director of the production, Michael Towers, selected the piece because of the major impact it will have on its audience.

“Great works of theater ought to save lives,” said Towers, elaborating on his reason for choosing Spring Awakening. He believes that its messages will raise awareness for the importance of conversation about the struggles of teenagers as they undergo mental and physical changes.

According to Towers, everyone is in pain. The pain does not stop after graduation from high school, but is present throughout one’s life. The tale to be presented onstage is meant to gift to the audience the ability to combat the darkness and pain.

“You can look at the darkness, or you can look at the light; this play is the light,” said Towers.

As a result of its mature, powerful messages, fully comprehending and executing the play has been a challenge for the cast and crew. As director, Towers believes the play is worth all the emotional and physical effort needed to execute it. His goal is for the show to dispel the dark cloud of shame that surrounds sexuality and the maturing process for teenagers and to help them make healthy choices.

“This is a beautiful show, said Towers. “It’s hard, really hard, but it’s beautiful.”

The cast and crew of the show works diligently to show that the issues addressed in the play are nothing to be ashamed of, highlighting the dangerous consequences of the mistakes that can be made out of silence and fear. Junior Medha Palnati, a member of the crew, emphasizes the need for communication about feelings and emotions and the dangers of uncertainty.

“The characters go through so much because they’re unaware of what it is,” she said. “Talking about it will make it better.”

Michael Tricca, a junior who plays the lead role of Melchior describes the story as one of the suffering of a group of teenagers. Melchior is no different, as shown throughout the story. His pain is reflected in some of his violent and anger-driven actions. Senior William Redman, who plays Ernst, a classmate of Melchior’s, speaks of Melchior’s decisions.

“It shows that the person doing the hurting is hurting,” said Redman.

Senior Helen Copp plays the role of Marta, a friend of Wendla who is abused physically and sexually by her father. Marta shares her story with her friends, who are shocked. Upon hearing Marta’s words, Wendla wishes to inflict pain on herself to better understand her friend.

“There is a lot of unhealthiness in this show,” said Copp. She then went on to explain, “Listen! This happens, and it’s bad, but we do end with a lot of hope.”

Playing opposite Michael Tricca is junior Devon Whitney and senior Madeline Corvino in the role of Wendla. Wendla is depicted as a naive young girl, who wants more than anything to be an adult. Her actions throughout the play show her misunderstanding of what it truly means to be an adult. She believes that acts such as self harm will, in her mind, help her in the process.

“There’s so much that she doesn’t know,” said Whitney, regarding her character Wendla.

The naivete of Wendla is a common trait in many teenagers in the play, who are afraid of the changes in their lives, but are not equipped with the knowledge that is needed to embrace those changes.  

The story will be performed onstage from April 28th to May 12th. Student night is May 11th, and tickets will be available for purchase both online, and in the box office. The office will be open from 5:00 to 7:00 on April 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27, and May 2, 4, and 9.

Spring Awakening is set to be one of WATA’s most influential plays yet. Towers and the cast and crew hope to make a difference in the community with the hard-hitting exposé.

“Spring is the season of growth, and with that growth comes pain,” said Towers.