Spring Awakening, a groundbreaking and multi-award winning show, is being produced all over the United States as well as in 28 countries around the world. Now, 13 years after Steven Sater first conceived the radical notion of creating a rock musical from Frank Wedekind’s notorious symbolist drama Frühlings Erwachen, Applause Theatre & Cinema Books publishes Sater’s notes on his famously evocative, poetic lyrics.
A Purple Summer: Notes on the Lyrics of Spring Awakening (March 13, $9.99) is an invaluable read for fans of the show, anyone interested in theatre and history, directors, writers, and artists. Most especially, it will become required reading for all the young performers who play the roles and sing these songs.
My director for all these years, Michael Mayer, and our musical director, Kimberly Grigsby, began urging me to expand my notes and explain myself a bit.
After working with so many young actors through auditions, rehearsals, and performances, Michael and Kim felt strongly that such notes would be invaluable for maintaining the quality of future productions of our show, when those of us who created it would no longer be near.
Frankly, I found the suggestion startling and strange. I said to Michael, “What? Notes on my own lyrics? Like Eliot’s Notes on ‘The Waste Land’?”
Michael’s eyes widened and he grinned that inimitable grin: “Exactly.”
—Steven Sater, from A Purple Summer
Steven Sater (New York City) has won two Tonys, a Grammy, and the 2010 Oliver Award for his book and lyrics of Spring Awakening. His other plays include Carbondale Dreams, Umbrage (Steppenwolf New Play Prize), The Tempest (Lyric Hammersmith), A Footnote to the Iliad (NY Stage and Film), Prometheus Bound (A.R.T.), The Nightingale (La Jolla Playhouse), Some Lovers (Old Globe), and Alice by Heart (National Theatre of London: Connections).
Publisher: Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group