SPRING AWAKENING Cast Performs 'Want The Change' Benefit 12/8

Past and present performers of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Spring Awakening come together for a one night only event MONDAY DECEMBER 8th at IRT (154 Christopher Street) with a performance (at 7pm & 10PM ) of music inspired by the Rainer Maria Rilke poem Sonnets to Orpheus, Part Two, XII. Proceeds from the show will benefit the Actors Fund and IRT Theater's Artist In Residency program.

In the spirit of the holiday season past and present, the Spring Awakening casts - both present and past - perform much of their favorite music. The theme of the show reflects the poem's tone of wanting the changes that come into our lives. The show will also feature a sneak peak into each cast member's Spring Awakening audition.

Spring Awakening performers scheduled to appear include: Blake Daniel, Eryn Murman, Emma Hunton, Jenna Ushkowitz, Lauren Pritchard, Alice Lee, Emily Kinney, Caitlin Kinnunen, Matt Doyle, Jesse Swenson, Andrew Durand, Morgan Karr, Gabe Violett, Zach Reiner-Harris, Brian CharLes Johnson, Gerard Canonico and others.

The Want the Change music event will take place at IRT, (154 Christopher Street, #3B), in the heart of the West Village. Tickets are $35 in advance (www.theatermania.com 212-352-3101, 866-811-4111 (toll-free) and $45 at the door. Admission includes one free cocktail (for those 21 and over).

The Actors Fund is a nonprofit, national human services organization that helps entertainment and performing arts professionals in theater, film, music, opera, television and dance through a broad spectrum of social, health, employment, and housing programs that address their essential and critical needs.

IRT is a home for artists working in a variety of disciplines. The theater's mission is to identify excellence and facilitate collaboration between both established and emerging artists in the creation of new works. Founded in 1986, IRT recently re-focused its mission under the leadership of Executive Director Kori Schneider and Artistic Director Andrew Horwitz. Through its residency, commissioning and presenting programs, IRT provides opportunities for artists and companies to explore and develop new ideas. All IRT projects - residencies, commissions and presentations - are developed through a three-phase ensemble process of research, rehearsal and work-in-progress performance. IRT believes that great theater is built collaboratively over time, with actors, designers, directors, dramaturgs and writers all "in the room" from the very beginning.

Its eight 2007 Tony© Awards, including Best Musical, made Spring Awakening one of the biggest Tony winners in the past decade. In addition to the Tony Award wins, Spring Awakening won four Drama Desk Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, and the NY Drama Critics Award for Best Musical, the Drama League award for Distinguished Production of a Musical, and the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, among other notable citations.

September marked another milestone for the show, as it was the first Broadway show to be invited by iTunes to record a ‘LIVE from SoHo' concert at the Apple Store/Soho, which was released exclusively on iTunes. Also in September, the Spring Awakening companion book, ‘Spring Awakening In The Flesh" was released by Simon & Schuster. Currently playing at New York's Eugene O'Neill Theatre (230 W. 49th Street), Spring Awakening will soon celebrate 2 years on Broadway, and the show's First National Tour is currently playing in Los Angeles and booked across the USA throughout 2009, in addition to productions slated for London, Vienna, Toronto, Helsinki, and Seoul.

Photo by Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.


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