American Rose Theatre Presents Spring Awakening, Closes 11/6


American Rose Theatre (ART), an award-winning, San Diego based non-profit educational theater company, announces their fall production of Spring Awakening, a new musical from the Tony and Grammy award-winning pair, Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater, with the final performance on November 6, 2011 at The Lyceum Space in Horton Plaza, downtown San Diego.

The show is directed and choreographed by Ira Bauer-Spector, with musical direction by Patrick Marion. Bauer-Spector is the only graduate of the San Diego State University MFA program to receive a graduate degree with a special emphasis on directing. Both are experienced in working with performers of all ages and experience levels.

Ira Bauer-Spector returns to ART after directing "13" last summer. He most recently directed Zanna Don't for San Diego Junior Theater's Advanced Theatre Camp. He previously directed Zanna, Don't for its San Diego premier in 2008, as well as Seussical for ACT San Diego, Moscow for Diversionary Theatre, Into the Woods at SDSU. Bauer-Spector was also Intern Director for the premiere of The First Wives Club at The Old Globe. A bonus for the cast and the audiences is that Bauer-Spector will be joining his cast on stage for Spring Awakening, stepping into the Adult Male roles for the high school cast.

Patrick Marion has worked throughout San Diego, including Lamb's Players, Cygnet, North Coast Repertory Theatre and J*Company He is an associate artist for Lamb's Players Theatre, and a staff member of San Diego Junior Theatre, where he has worked on Into The Woods, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Richard Scarry's Busytown, and Dear Edwina. He is wrapping up a 2 month run of Little Shop of Horrors at Cygnet Theatre, where he served as a musician, and recently stepped in as Music Director to finish out the extended run.
Spring Awakening is double cast and features a high school age cast and a college age cast of over 30, comprised of experienced actors, with professional credits, and experienced young artists. The cast is led by 2 award-winning talents in the lead role of Melchior - college Junior, Kevin Koppman-Gue heads the older cast and 15 year-old Ian Brininstool heads the high school cast, and starring Dylan Hoffinger, Shaun Tuazon, Trevor Sanderson, Kyrsten Hafso, Nadia Guevera, Elizabeth Morse, Kelly Prendergast, Hanz Enyeart, Jamie Channell, Krysti Litt, Julia Vanderwiel and John Whitley

Winner of 8 TONY Awards, including BEST MUSICAL, SPRING AWAKENING celebrates the unforgettable journey from youth to adulthood with a power, poignancy, and passion that is unforgettable. Adapted from Frank Wedekind's 1891 expressionist play about the trials, tears, and exhilaration of the teen years, and how they make their way through the thrilling, complicated, confusing and mysterious time of their sexual awakening. It has been hailed as the "Best Musical of the Year" by the New York Times, New York Post, Star Ledger, Journal News, New York Observer, and USA Today.
Director Ira Bauer-Spector has wanted to direct this show since seeing it on Broadway. "The original play, The Awakening of Spring by Frank Wedekind, had a sub-title: 'A Children's Tragedy.' This story is a tragedy, but the musical adaptation provides for so many moments of inspiration and hope. Add the incredible rock score to the beautiful poetry of the script and the passionate performances of 35 of the most talented young artists in the city of San Diego, and you have an incredible theater experience."
Bauer-Spector also shares "What is so rewarding about working on this piece is how incredibly relevant it still is to teens today. Don't let the fact that it is set in Germany in 1891 fool you: Spring Awakening deals with issues that are both universal and timeless."
The ART team does not take the mature issues of the show lightly. They are bringing in a family therapist to talk to the cast about the topical issues of teen sex, suicide and peer pressure. ART also plans to offer a talk-back with the audience following at least one performance. The reality is that young people in the cast, or those seeing the show may know someone dealing with any one of these social issues. The story shows the tragedy of hiding things, and no one is protected by ignorance. Confronting the issues and providing a proper forum for discussion may help someone coping with any of these issues.
ART will be the 2nd theater company in San Diego to present Spring Awakening, and one goal was to present the show with teen actors who are the same age as the characters. The other was to ensure the audience could relate to and understand the characters and events. One of the tricks in staging the show is that the cast will be among the audience throughout. The message is that this story is set in 1891, but the events could just as easily happen in 2011.


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