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Atlantic Announces Spring Awakening World Premiere Casting

Atlantic Theater Company (Neil Pepe, Artistic Director; Andrew D. Hamingson, Managing Director) in association with Tom Hulce and Ira Pittelman, is proud to announce casting for the final production of Atlantic's 20th Anniversary season and the first musical in the company's history. The world premiere production of the new musical SPRING AWAKENING, will feature music by Grammy Award nominee Duncan Sheik ("Barely Breathing"), book and lyrics by Steven Sater (Carbondale Dreams), choreography by Bill T. Jones (The Seven) and direction by Tony Award® nominee Michael Mayer (Thoroughly Modern Millie). SPRING AWAKENING will begin previews Thursday, May 18, 2006, officially open Thursday, June 15, 2006 and play a limited engagement through Sunday, July 9, 2006.

SPRING AWAKENING will feature a cast of fourteen led by Tony Award® winner Frank Wood (Side Man, Hollywood Arms), Atlantic founding member Mary McCann (Broadway's The Old Neighborhood, ATC's The Night Heron), John Gallagher Jr. (Rabbit Hole), Jonathan Groff (In My Life), Lea Michele (Fiddler on the Roof) and Christopher Clark, Michele Cobham, Lilli Cooper, Chris Garneau, Jared Goldstein, BRian Johnson, Lauren Pritchard, Jonathan B. Wright and Remy Zaken.

Based on Frank Wedekind's masterpiece "The Awakening of Spring," SPRING AWAKENING is the contemporary musical adaptation of one of literature's most controversial plays. SPRING AWAKENING boldly depicts a dozen young people and how they make their way through the thrilling, complicated, confusing and mysterious time of their sexual awakening. Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's score feature songs that illuminate the urgency of adolescent self-discovery, the burning intensity of teen friendships and the innate suspicion of the uncomprehending adult world. The story centers around a brilliant young student named Melchior (Groff), his troubled friend Moritz (Gallagher Jr.) and Wendla (Michele), a beautiful young girl on the verge of womanhood.

The design team for SPRING AWAKENING features scenic design by Christine Jones (The Public's Much Ado About Nothing), costume design by Tony Award® winner Susan Hilferty (Wicked), lighting design by Kevin Adams (Take Me Out), sound design by Brian Ronin and musical direction by Kimberly Grigsby (Caroline, or Change).

SPRING AWAKENING continues Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's longstanding working relationship. They most recently collaborated on Nero: Another Golden Rome, Sater's play with music currently on stage at San Francisco's Magic Theatre. The team presented the New York premiere of Umbrage at HERE and are developing The Nightingale, based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, which has been work-shopped at the O'Neill and La Jolla Playhouse. Sater provided the lyrics for Sheik's acclaimed album Phantom Moon and their original songs have been featured in Michael Mayer's film A Home at the End of the World and the forthcoming independent feature Brother's Shadow.

German playwright Frank Wedekind's play The Awakening of Spring was written in 1891. Concerning the advent of puberty in children, the drama was considered highly controversial and not produced until 1906. The play was also banned in Britain until 1963. It was subsequently produced at Britain's Royal National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal Court Theatre and the Young Vic. Wedekind is best known for his equally controversial Lulu plays.

SPRING AWAKENING received an acclaimed American Songbook concert staging at Lincoln Center last season.


Christopher Clark (Georg). Spring Awakening is Chris's theatrical debut; however, he is not new to the stage and has performed with his band, Daisy Haze, in a variety of venues in the tri-state area. His most notable performances were at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, the Irving Plaza in NYC, and the Grounds for Sculpture in Trenton. Chris was invited to audition after being discovered on his band's web site.

Michele Ariele Cobham (Thea) is sixteen years old and made her acting debut at the age of ten in the David Friedman/Pat Birch King Island Christmas. Theater: The Me Nobody Knows, Appelemando's Dreams, Seussical, A Christmas Carol and The Music Man. Film: The Difference, Nickelodeon.

Lilli Cooper (Anna) was most recently seen portraying the role of Dionne in the production of Hair at LaGuardia Arts High school. Other credits include Godspell at the Professional Performing Arts School, Goodbye My Island at New Dramatists and Reel To Real at Alice Tully Hall. She has been studying dance at Steps for eight years and has performed in numerous dance showcases at John Jay College. Currently majoring in drama at LaGuardia High school for the Performing Arts, Lilli has also studied voice and piano for several years.

John Gallagher Jr. (Moritz) is currently appearing in Rabbit Hole on Broadway. Theatre credits include: Current Events at MTC, David Lindsay-Abaire's plays Kimberly Akimbo Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club and South Coast Repertory and the UK premiere of Fuddy Meers (Birmingham Repertory and London's West End Arts Theatre). Television: "The West Wing," "Law & Order," "Law & Order: CI," "NYPD Blue," "Ed," "Love Monkey" and HallMark Hall of Fame's "The Rising Flamingo." Film credits: Pieces of April, the upcoming Mr. Gibb, and Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret.

Chris Garneau (Lammemeier) has been involved with Spring Awakening since 2000 performing in numerous workshops as well as last year's performance at Lincoln Center. A singer/songwriter based in Brooklyn, NY, Chris's first record "Music For Tourists", produced by Duncan Sheik, is going to be released soon. He plays frequently at The Living Room on the Lower East side, and has played all over the country, including South by Southwest in Austin, TX, in 2005.

Jared Goldstein (Ernst). Credits include; Broadway: A Christmas Carol (Scrooge at 12). Theater: The Odd Potato (Sammy). Film: Manhattan Midnight (Danny). TV: "Saturday Night Live," "Gagsters!" (Tech).

Jonathan Groff (Melchior). Broadway: In My Life. National Tour: The Sound of Music (Rolf). Regional: Fame (North Shore), The Sound of Music (Fulton Opera House), Bat Boy (title role), Honk! and Jesus in Godspell .

BRian Johnson (Otto). Off-Broadway debut. Brian is a junior at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and is studying at the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School.

Mary McCann (Woman) is a founding member of the Atlantic Theater Company. She can be seen in the new CBS series The Unit beginning March 7th, and in the upcoming Todd Field film, Little Children starring Kate Winslet. Mary has appeared in many of ATC's productions, including: The Cherry Orchard, The Night Heron, The Hiding Place, This Thing of Darkness, The Beginning of August, Wolf Lullaby, The Water Engine, Edmond, Dangerous Corner, Missing Persons and Shaker Heights. Broadway: The Old Neighborhood, Our Town and Search and Destroy. Other Off-Broadway: Oleanna (Orpheum Theater); Uncommon Women and Others (Second Stage); Boys' Life (Lincoln Center); and Hot Keys (Naked Angels). ART: Oleanna and Boston Marriage. Film & TV: "The Unit" (starring Scott Foley),"Law & Order," "Criminal Intent," "Special Victims Unit," "Sex and the City," "Sports Night," "ER," "Spin City," "It Must Be Love," "Door to Door," "The Con," "The Spanish Prisoner, " and "Shoplifiting Channel."

Lea Michele (Wendla). Broadway: Fiddler On The Roof (Shprintze, Chava), Ragtime (Little Girl), Les Miserables (Young Cosette). Regional: Anne in The Diary of Anne Frank at Round House Theater, Ragtime (Little Girl) at Toronto's Ford Center. TV: "Third Watch," "Guiding Light." Lea has appeared as Wendla in three previous Spring workshops, most recently at Lincoln Center.

Lauren Pritchard (Ilse) began her career on stage in Nashville, TN when she was 7 years old. At the age of thirteen she sang at Carnegie Hall and became a member of the National Children's Choir. Lauren appeared in the Lisa Marie Presley's video "Idiot" shortly after moving to Los Angeles to pursue her acting and music career. Currently, Lauren is in the studio recording her first album with her band "The People."

Frank Wood (Man). Broadway: Tony® and Drama League Awards for Side Man, which he also performed in London's West End and Australia, Hollywood Arms (also Goodman Theatre). Off-Broadway: Sam Shepard's The God of Hell; The Wax (Playwrights Horizons). Regional: Waiting For Godot (ACT), Edward Albee's Peter and Jerry, (Hartford Stage); Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Long Wharf Theatre); Light Up The Sky (Williamstown Theatre); Our Town (Bay Street Theatre); Hamlet (McCarter). Film: In America; People I Know; Thirteen Days; Pollock; Down To You; The Royal Tennenbaums; Flakes and Small Time Crooks. Television: "Medium"(pilot); "Line of Fire"; "Third Watch"; "Ed"; "The Sopranos", "Law and Order" and "Criminal Intent". Education: BA, Wesleyan University; MFA, New York University Graduate Acting Program. Most recently, Frank performed in The Rainmaker at Arena Stage after completing Chekhov's Three Sisters at American Repertory Theatre and Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle at South Coast Rep. He will next appear in the upcoming feature film Michael Clayton.

Jonathan B. Wright (Hanschen) began acting at the age of fourteen at the Creative and Performing Arts magnet program in Michigan. CAPA productions: Brigadoon, You Can't Take It With You, Stage Door, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Les Miserables, Dancing at Lughnasa, Li'l Abner, Into The Woods, Stanley in A Street Car Named Desire, The Crucible, and Macbeth. Jon won a scholarship to the Cranbrook Summer Theatre in his junior year where he played Romeo in Romeo & Juliet. He was cast in Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally's opera Dead Man Walking at the Michigan Opera Theatre in 2003. Jon performed at Heartlande Theatre Company at Oakland University in 2003 and Heartlande Theatre's "Play by Play" in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He also directed a student version of Sam Shepard's Buried Child. Jon is a member of the Actors' Center Conservatory program.

Remy Zaken (Martha). Off Broadway: Radiant Baby at The Public Theatre (directed by George C. Wolfe), Captain Louie (Little Shubert). Regional: A Little Princess at Theatreworks (directed by Susan Schulman), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn at Goodspeed (Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Debut), Annie Warbucks at Playhouse on the Green. National Tour: Ragtime. Recordings: A Little Princess Demo, Scarlet Street's "Jeepers Creepers, Kimbo Educational's "Circle Time Activities."

Duncan Sheik (Music). In addition to writing the music for Spring Awakening, which received a critically acclaimed Lincoln Center American Songbook Concert staging last season, Grammy award nominated singer–songwriter Duncan Sheik collaborated with Playwright Steven Sater on The Nightingale, a musical based on the Hans Christian Andersen classic which premiered during the 26th annual O'Neill Music Theater Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. Sheik has composed original music for The Public Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night and for The Golden Rooms of Nero, which recently debuted at Cornell University and will open at the Magic Theater in San Francisco next season. His self-titled debut album, which was an enormous popular and critical success, introduced the hit singles "Barely Breathing" and "She Runs Away," and spent 30 weeks on the Billboard 200. Other albums include "Humming," "Daylight," "Phantom Moon" with lyrics by Steven Sater and the upcoming "White Limousine." Film Soundtracks: Great Expectations, The Saint, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Three to Tango, What a Girl Wants, Transamerica and A Body Goes Down. Sheik recently composed and produced the original score for the feature film A Home at the End of the World, directed by Michael Mayer and starring Colin Farrell. His original music can also be heard in Through the Fire, a documentary about Sebastian Telfair that premiered at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival.

Steven Sater (Book & Lyrics). Plays include the long-running Off-Broadway hit Carbondale Dreams, Perfect for You, Doll (Rosenthal Prize, Cincinnati Playhouse), Umbrage (Steppenwolf New Play Prize), A Footnote to the Iliad (New York Stage and Film, The Miniature Theatre of Chester), Asylum (Naked Angels), Murder at the Gates (commissioned by Eye of the Storm), In Search of Lost Wings (Sanford Meisner) and a reconceived version of Shakespeare's The Tempest, with music by Laurie Anderson, which played London's Lyric Hammersmith and toured internationally. Sater has collaborated with Duncan Sheik on the NY premiere of Umbrage (HERE); Nero: Another Golden Rome (currently on stage at the Magic Theatre), Spring Awakening (work-shopped at Sundance and featured in Lincoln Center Theater's Great American Songbook Series) and The Nightingale (commissioned by Martin McCallum, work-shopped both at the O'Neill and with La Jolla Playhouse). He is the lyricist for Sheik's critically-acclaimed album Phantom Moon (Nonesuch), and together the two wrote the songs for Michael Mayer's feature film A Home at the End of the World (Warner Classics) as well as the independent feature Brother's Shadow. Steven is currently developing two projects for HBO, a pilot for Showtime (with Paul Reiser), and a feature film for New Line (with director, Jessie Nelson). He continues to work with a variety of composers in the pop world.

Michael Mayer (Director). Broadway: 'night Mother, After the Fall; Thoroughly Modern Millie; An Almost Holy Picture; Uncle Vanya; You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; The Lion in Winter; Side Man; A View From the Bridge; Triumph of Love. Off-Broadway credits include The Credeaux Canvas, Stupid Kids, Antigone in New York, Baby Anger, View of the Dome, Missing Persons, America Dreaming, Hundreds of Hats. National tour: Angels in America. West End: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Side Man. Film: A Home at the End of the World and the upcoming feature film Flicka.

Bill T. Jones (Choreographer) is the recipient of the 2005 Wexner Prize, the 2005 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement, a 2005 Harlem Renaissance Award, and the 2003 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize. Mr. Jones began his dance training at the State University of New York at Binghamton (SUNY), studying classical ballet and modern dance. Mr. Jones choreographed and performed worldwide as a soloist and duet company with his late partner, Arnie Zane before forming the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1982, which recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary season. Creating more than 100 works for his own company, Mr. Jones has also choreographed for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Boston Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, and Berlin Opera Ballet, among others. In 1994, Mr. Jones received a MacArthur "Genius" Award. Bill T. Jones has been awarded several New York Dance and Performance ("Bessie") Awards; 1986 Joyce Theater Season (along with Arnie Zane), D-Man in the Waters (1989 and 2001), The Table Project (2001) and The Breathing Show (2001). In 2000, The Dance Heritage Coalition named Mr. Jones "An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure." Mr. Jones has received honorary doctorates from the Art Institute of Chicago, Bard College, Columbia College, the Juilliard School, Swarthmore College, and the SUNY Binghamton Distinguished Alumni Award.Television credits include PBS's "Great Performances" Series (Fever Swamp and Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin/The Promised Land) and "Alive from Off Center" (Untitled). A PBS documentary on the making of Still/Here, by Bill Moyers and David Grubin, "Bill T. Jones: Still/Here with Bill Moyers", premiered in 1997. D-Man in the Waters is included in "Free to Dance", a 2001 Emmy winning documentary that chronicles modern dance's African-American roots.

Atlantic Theater Company (Neil Pepe, Artistic Director; Andrew D. Hamingson, Managing Director) is the award winning Off-Broadway theater dedicated to producing great plays simply and truthfully utilizing an artistic ensemble. Atlantic believes that the story of the play and the intent of the playwright are at the core of the creative process. Since it's inception in 1985, Atlantic has produced more than 100 plays including the Tony Award ® winning production of The Beauty Queen Of Leenane, the world premieres of Woody Allen's A Second Hand Memory and Writer's Block, last season's hit World Premiere of David Mamet's Romance, Jez Butterworth's Mojo, Tom Donaghy's Minutes From The Blue Route the American premieres of Blue/Orange, Dublin Carol and The Night Heron, the New York premieres of The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow and The Cider House Rules, the revivals of American Buffalo, Edmond, The Hothouse and Hobson's Choice. Atlantic maintains an ensemble of acclaimed actors, writers and directors including David Mamet (playwright and director) and William H. Macy (Academy Award nominee for Fargo), who founded Atlantic twenty years ago in 1985. The Company is currently presenting Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore, directed by Wilson Milam, through April 9, 2006.

SPRING AWAKENING will play Tuesday through Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. All tickets are $60.00 and are available by calling Telecharge at 212-239-6200 ( Please note: there will be no matinee performance on Saturday, May 20. There will be an added performance 7:30 pm performance on Sunday, May 21.

Atlantic Theater Company is located at 336 West 20th St (between 8th & 9th Avenues). For membership information, wheelchair seating, and/or group sales call 212-691-5919, ext. 1092.

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