Teens Take On The Coming-of-Age Musical SPRING AWAKENING At Stella Adler Theatre
A teen-helmed production of the Tony Award-winning rock musical, Spring Awakening, is set to open at the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood on May 11, 2019. Directed by 14-year-old wunderkind George Baron, (whose directorial debut for the stage was his jukebox-styled Broadway musical revue I Confess at the Whitefire Theatre), the cast also features up-and-coming young talents performing in the adolescent roles with musical direction by Estani Frizzell. The musical is based on Frank Wedekind's 1891 controversial play about teenagers trying to find their way in the world amid the angst of sexual discovery. Featuring music by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Steven Sater, the original Broadway production received eight Tony Awards including Best Musical and was hailed by the New York Drama Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle as the Best Musical of the Year.
A theatre-lover from an early age, director George Baron tackles one of the most electrifying musicals that typifies the challenges of teenage rebellion, identity and morality. His decision to stage Spring Awakening grew from his appreciation for the music, but also the message underpinning the story about young people breaking free from authority and finding their individual voice. In this vein, George has embraced the youth-driven play by mounting a professional production with a cast similar in age as their characters. For George, directing teenagers playing themselves lends the musical an unmatched authenticity that he hopes strikes a chord with audiences and sends a powerful message for young artists eager to cut their teeth and grow from the experience.
"The message [in Spring Awakening] is so important in our ever-changing world. It's also relevant as to what teenagers go through. Since 2017, I wanted to be in this as an actor, but my focus shifted. There aren't many opportunities for young people to direct or produce a musical. My goal is that I want the audiences to feel all the feels. It's interesting to see what everyone connects to."
A Tennessee native, George moved to Los Angeles and began studying acting under John D'Aquino and Eric Lingvall. Proving his talent at a young age, George got his start on CBS' "2 Broke Girls" and "Teachers" while also appearing in various web-series roles. When he was only eight-years-old he directed his original stage musical, I Confess, which premiered at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. George is best known for his role of camp announcer, Arty on Netflix's "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Summer Camp." Other credits include "poliKiDz" and "Wild Man."
Musical Director Estani Frizzell is a multi-faceted singer/songwriter known for her array of musical styles that delivers a unique vibe. Her fluidity of verse and flexibility of style makes for a smooth transition through musical boundaries, writing catchy hooks and melodies for a variety of sonic and lyrical tastes ranging from Latin soul, acoustic singer/songwriter, and jazz, to salsa, and other Latin genres. Estani also focuses on songwriting for other artists and a song she had written, "Enraptured," won a Hollywood Music and Media Award in 2017. In 2018, she garnered two nominations at the Hollywood Music and Media Awards. She has been nominated for best Adult Contemporary Song Category with her song, "Higher," and has been nominated for best Pop/ Latin/Urban for her song, "Caminos." Estani has also written for International Artists as well, having her songs recorded in countries such as Russia, Argentina, and Japan.
Upon moving to LA, Estani quickly immersed herself in the local music scene focusing on Latin Jazz/Pop. Performances as a lead vocalist and background singer include The Montreal Jazz Festival, Staples Center, Gibson Amphitheatre, "The Tonight Show," and a variety of high-profile festivals and venues outside the U.S. Many shows followed as a lead vocalist for her own group, Ascension, and as a background singer for various International Artists such as Laura Pausini and Joan Sebastian which led to a four-year tour for seven-time Grammy award winning artist, and seven-time Latin Grammy winner, Joan Sebastian. You can learn more about her at: www.estanifrizzell.com
The teen cast features Trae Adair as Ernst/Reinhold, Nolan Bartol as Melchior, Liam Dow as Georg/Dieter, Eadan Franklynn as Ilse, Aidan Gianassi as Moritz, Madeline Kimmel as Anna, Rumor Lisa as Wendla, Zoë Oskirko Eltwilzer as Martha, Wayne Remington as Hanschen/Rupert, Abigail Kate Thomas as Thea, Austin Welch as Otto/Ulbrecht with the adult actors played by Sky Nicholas as Adult Woman and TBA as Adult Man.
The Spring Awakening creative team includes Music Direction by Estani Frizzell, Set Design by Oscar Escobedo, Lighting Design by Ryan Marsh, Choreography by Eadan Franklynn, Production Consultant is Jessie Vacchiano and Stage Manager is Elena Cruz.
TRAE ADAIR (Ernst/Reinhold) is grateful to be back on stage reprising the role of Ernst. He was recently seen as Ernst in the Cupcake Theatre's production of Spring Awakening. Some of his favorite roles include Jack from Into the Woods, Flotsam in The Little Mermaid, Tiny Tom in Urinetown, the musical, and Lamar in Godspell. Trae also plays Brandon Greebs in "Mr. Student Body President," an online series. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Texas at Arlington, then moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. He is currently with Discover Management.
NOLAN BARTOL (Melchoir) is thrilled to be playing one of his dream roles with KYDDALTON Productions. Nolan has also been seen in Newsies as Jack Kelley, Into the Woods as Jack, Footloose as Coach Dunbar, and The Taming of the Shrew as Petruchio.
LIAM DOW (Georg/Dieter) is a 15-year-old actor, musician, writer, college student, and comic book company owner. Liam is best known for "Days of Our Lives," the upcoming film "Motorvation," and the Dreamworks OMG series. He is also known for "The Adventures of the Gray Hat Hacker," a web series based on the comics he created and wrote. Liam will be appearing in the upcoming film "Crooked Parallel Lines" now in production, and in the play "Come to the Light."
EADAN FRANKLYNN (Ilse) is excited to be in her first KYDDALTON production and is especially honored to be choreographing. Currently a freshman in college studying Performing Fine Arts, Eadan has performed on stage since age 4. She has also attended AMDA New York's summer musical theatre conservatory and studies tap with Susie Ewing at Billy Blanks, Jr. Studio and LA Ballet Academy. Her last productions were 42nd Street (Ensemble), The Little Mermaid (Ensemble), and Velveteen Rabbit as Jen at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. Eadan has also had the privilege of gracing the stage at Fremont Centre Theatre in Pasadena, performing in Legally Blonde as Elle Woods, Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie, Seussical as Mayzie, Jo in Little Women [the play], Music Man as Mrs. Paroo, and Into the Woods as Baker's Wife, to name a few.
AIDAN GIANASSI (Moritz) is currently a senior at Palisades Charter High School in the Pacific Palisades. Theatre credits include Kenneth in Clybourne Park, Lead Stormtrooper/Kevin in The Producers, Monsignor O'Hara in Sister Act: The Musical, Lyle and Understudy to Chuck in Footloose: The Musical, Fogarty and Understudy to Amos Hart in Chicago, Ensemble and Understudy to Brad in Rocky Horror Picture Show, Schmidt/Schoolboy and Ensemble in Spring Awakening, and Ensemble in Evita. He studies acting with Jonathan Flom, vocal instruction with Joshua Elson and Jaco Wong, and has studied guitar for eight years under Russell Mines.
MADELINE KIMMEL as (Anna) is a 15-year-old freshman at the California High School of the Arts in San Gabriel Valley. She lives with her family in Los Feliz and is incredibly proud to be a part of her long-time favorite musical, Spring Awakening. Some of her favorite past roles have included Eponine in Les Misérables, Maggie in A Chorus Line, Cinderella in Into the Woods, and Lucy in You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown.
RUMOR LISA (Wendla) is SAGAFTRA and has been since she was 9 years old, which is also when she started singing and acting professionally. Rumor loves to work with kids, sing, write songs on her guitar, and work with makeup. She currently lives in Panorama City but was born and raised in San Pedro, California. Rumor is an animated character performer at Universal Studios Hollywood and a birthday party princess for Prestige Princess.
ZOË OSKIRKO ELTWILZER (Martha) is a 15-year-old actress and singer/songwriter from Baraboo, WI. She played Young Fiona in Shrekwhen she was 10 years old and was hooked. Since moving to Los Angeles two years ago, Zoë has performed at the Assistance League Theatre for The Hollywood Fringe Fest, been a featured singer in "Gente Unidos" fundraiser for Puerto Rico at the Whiskey A GoGo, has played lead roles in seven short films and television pilots, danced in an Inanna Sarkis video on YouTube and been featured in the music video, "Scrawny," for the band, The Wallows. She was thrilled to sign with talent agency KMR in North Hollywood last July with across the board representation in theatrical, commercial and voice-over. Zoë also enjoys being a Social Media Influencer with 32K followers, where she shares her journey in the entertainment industry as well as uplifts and spreads awareness of veganism and social justice. She is a big supporter of animal rights, the environment, and LGBTQ issues. Zoë currently studies acting at Zak Barnett Studios in Mid-Wilshire. She has also studied voice with Shaun Royer and Sony-signed songwriter, Autumn Rowe.
WAYNE REMINGTON (Hanschen/Rupert) is excited to be making his debut with KYDDALTON Productions. Most recently he stepped into the roles of Oscar Delancey and Teddy Roosevelt in Newsies at Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center. Some of his favorite roles include Kurt Kelly in Heathers: The Musical (Phillips Hall Theatre), Diesel singing the solo "Somewhere" in West Side Story (Glendale Centre Theatre), Beast in Beauty and the Beast (VHHS), and Judas/John the Baptist in Godspell (FPAC). As well as performing, he is a self-taught makeup artist. www.makeitupwayne.com
ABIGAIL KATE THOMAS (Thea) is gratefully making her KYDDALTON Productions debut! Other theatre credits include Anna in Spring Awakening, Fiona in Shrek: The Musical, Marian in The Music Man, Leah in DNA, Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, the title role in Carrie: The Musical, and Val in A Chorus Line. She has been seen on the television shows "The Kids Are Alright" and "The Affair."
AUSTIN WELCH (Otto/Ulbrecht) is a singer and actor from Rossville, Indiana. He earned his BA in Film and Video from Purdue University in 2015 and his MFA in Film Production from Full Sail University in 2016. From 2011 to 2015, he was a member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club, including three years spent singing in the six-man a-cappella group 'Voiceovers.' He spent a year working in video production for BuzzFeed in New York before relocating to Los Angeles in 2018 to focus on acting full time.
Spring Awakening runs May 11 through May 18, with two performances on Saturdays (May 11, 18) at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., a matinee performance on Sunday (May 12) at 2 p.m., and Friday (May 17) at 8 p.m. Performances take place at the Stella Adler Theatre, located at 6773 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028. For reservations and information, go to www.eventbrite.com/o/kyd-dalton-18843978916