We are talking with Mike Diana Director of PCT's next production Spring Awakening:
PCT: Mike, what drew you to this particular musical?
MD: I became fascinated with how the playwright took an 1892 German morality play and, along with a non-theatrical composer, turned it into a haunting musical that is as relevant today as it was at the end of the 19th century. Once you hear the music it's hard to get it out of your head.
PCT: The play was banned in Germany until 1905 wasn't it?
MD: I believe so. During that repressive time it was rejected outright. It took years and societal changes to bring it to the stage. It took another 10 years or more before it found it's way to these shores and was performed in New York.
PCT: What can you tell us about Spring Awakening?
MD: The story involves a small group of teenagers in 1892 tyring to cope with the physical and emotional changes we have all experienced as we strive to become our own person. This is post Protestant Reformation with the teachings of Martin Luther holding sway. The parent aren't equipped to answer their child's simplest questions such as, where babies come from or how to handle failure. The device used by Steven Sater, who wrote the book and the lyrics, was to provide interior monologues for each character by taking the songs and putting a modern spin on lyric and Dunkan Sheik's music. When sung by the cast we are in modern day. The non musical moments take place in 1892. You have to see it to appreciate it. In current day vernacular the lyrics can be explicit, but nothing is gratuitous.
PCT: Is this something for the entire family?
MD: No. This is adult fare. We are allowed to have one once in a while. We are requiring that anyone 17 and under be accompanied by a parent or guardian. What takes place in the story are real world. We hear about them on the news and may even know folks who have experienced similar events. And, as a morality tale, there are always consequences.
PCT: Didn't the producers post a Parental Guide on their touring company website?
MD: Yes. As a matter of fact I believe it will be posted on the www.pctlive.org site shortly. The producers felt that parents bringing their teens and experiencing the show together might be a starting place for open conversation.
PCT: Was Spring Awakening very successful on Broadway?
MD: It won Best Musical along with 7 other Tony Awards in 2007. I believe it is still running Off Broadway where it originated in New York.
PCT: Isn't this is the Tidewater premier of Spring Awakening?
MD: Yes and we are extremely proud to have been given the opportunity to be the first to stage this award winning musical. Many cast member traveled and saw the show in New York when they were “wee” teens and it stuck with them. We have been very lucky to have such a fine, hard working, dedicated, all volunteer cast and crew and are confident we will do it proud. Come and see it.
PCT: Thank you for talking with us Mike.
MD: My pleasure.
Spring Awakening opens February 21st and runs 4 weekends. Please go to www.pctlive.org for tickets and information.