BWW Interview: Days After NBC Cancels Rise, NRACT's Artistic Director Opens Up About SPRING AWAKENING
North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre (NRACT) is closing out their 2017-2018 season with the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening. NRACT Artistic Director Tim Locklear says although the show is controversial and for mature audiences only, due to the subject matter and brief nudity, Spring Awakening is as relevant as ever.
"Our mission here is to educate, to bring forth not just entertaining shows where people feel comfortable, but also to educate people and push the boundaries," he says.
"I think it's important to hold a mirror up to the general public, to society, today and say, 'look at yourself' and I think that's where the part of being so uncomfortable with this show is because people see themselves in this show," he adds.
Spring Awakening, based on Frank Wedekind's 1906 play of the same name, is a coming-of-age story about the sexual awakening of a group of teenagers in Germany 1891. The musical, which opened in 2006, won a Grammy Award and eight Tony Awards, including the award for Best Musical. Deaf West's Broadway revival of Spring Awakening opened in 2015 and was performed simultaneously by both hearing and deaf actors.
"Spring Awakening was so groundbreaking for the time," says Locklear. "No one had ever seen a show like Spring Awakening because it was set as a classic type show that had this rock music that just transcended the time."
Spring Awakening was also the subject of this season's NBC series Rise.
"For people who watched the TV show and didn't know about the musical, it breathes new life into the show," says Locklear. "But Spring Awakening is one of those shows that has a following, along with shows like Rent and Hair."
Locklear says while he's hoping to extend the run of Spring Awakening, he is looking forward to NRACT's 2018-2019 "From Ordinary to Extraordinary" season, which includes First Date, By the Way, Vera Stark, Next to Normal, Bonnie and Clyde, Church and State and the world premiere of Gay Card.
Spring Awakening runs from June 1 - 17 and is for mature audiences only due to content and brief nudity. For more information and tickets visit: http://www.nract.org/.
Hear what NRACT's cast has to say about the upcoming production of Spring Awakening (below).