All About Richland

Coming Of Age Musical Spring Awakening Opens At The Renaissance Theatre

12 Jan , 2022  

Special to 1812Blockhouse

The Renaissance presents the Broadway hit musical “Spring Awakening”. Winner of 8 Tony Awards, the musical is based on a 1891 play by Frank Wedekind with a rock score by Duncan Sheik and Book & Lyrics by Steven Slater.

The musical tells the story of teenagers dealing with emerging sexuality under the harsh rule of their parents and teachers. “It’s a story that explores the trauma and wounds of childhood, intentional or not,” says Director Ryan Shealy. “It’s a very honest show about sexuality and how when someone is shamed for those feelings; it can have tragic consequences. It’s a message that unfortunately remains very timely and why we felt it was important to present.”

Caroline Grace Williams, who stars as Wendla says “This isn’t a show you will always agree with or watch to feel happy; but, theatre is supposed to be challenging.”

“Spring Awakening” marks the return of the popular “Stage-on-Stage” format for the Renaissance Mainstage. The very limited audience is seated on stage with the performers creating an incredibly intimate experience. “While the audience remains separate, it all feels very immersive which lends itself so perfectly to the contrasting tones of the musical” Shealy says. “You are watching this high energy rock musical with the background of an ornate historical auditorium, it’s quite a sight.”

This production also marks a first-time collaboration with Richland Academy choreographers Marden Ramos and Erin Wolford. “I’ve always loved Marden’s work, it’s so expressive and passionate, and Erin is a brilliant musical theatre nerd who understands this show better than most.” Shealy says. “ They’ve done such an amazing job interpreting the text and letting these characters speak with their bodies”

Incorporating rock music, modern dance, period setting, and adult themes all are challenges for this production. “It’s a difficult task. This cast is small but mighty and have put the work in. It helps that we all believe in the importance of the show; addressing issues of sex, religion, and love doesn’t have to be a scary thing. It’s universal.”

Spring Awakening opens at Renaissance Theatre Friday,  January 21, 2022 at 8:00 PM, with shows January 22-23, and closing performances January 28-30. For tickets to the in-person performances of Spring Awakening, visit for more information.

A streaming option is available for those who would prefer to enjoy the performance on-demand during the month of February. For more information about streaming Spring Awakening, visit

The Renaissance is a performing arts presenter and historic theater located at 138 Park Avenue West, Mansfield. Looking for Things to Do in Mansfield? Visit the Ren’s website at to check out their other great events or contact [email protected] for events, tours, arts, culture and more. For behind-the-scenes videos and more visit the Renaissance Theatre’s YouTube Channel.

Source, Photo: Renaissance Performing Arts Association

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