Students capture play’s essence

The mark of a great show is seen not only in the quality of performance, but in complete unapology for pushing boundaries and forcing viewers out of their comfort zone.

The UVM theatre department stunned and wooed the audience during their second performance of the cutting edge 18th century rock opera “Spring Awakening” Feb. 24.

The show deals with many taboo subjects, and yet was able to do so without appearing crass. In one of the opening scenes, a school boy masturbated on stage to music, as the audience roared with laughter.

Kristin Brown, who plays female lead “Wendla”, kicked off the show with “Mama Who Bore Me.”, a haunting entry into Brown’s developing questions about sex and sexuality. It was only the lightest of tastes of what was to come.

Brown unabashedly, and with subtle charm, did everything from losing her virginity on stage to exploring the human desire of pain and pleasure.

The lighting and choreography was well executed, serving as a firm backbone for the musical numbers to stand on. The strength of the choreography allowed the viewer to feel strong vicariously through the cast.

As the characters felt the joy, or fear, or loathing of adolescence, the audience was able to experience it as well.

Michael Lawlor, as male lead “Melchior Gabor”, belted out “Totally Fucked,” a song that describes the struggle young adults feel when trying to please their parents while at the same time pursue their own desires.

Grace Callahan, as “Martha Bessel”, later sung the soulful and tactfully melodramatic number “The Dark I Know Well,” performed alongside Rosemary Lambert, who plays “Isle”.

At it’s core, Spring Awakening is a musical about self discovery. The UVM cast executed it beautifully, summing up the joy, hatred, and confusion that comes with admitting that you’re no longer a child.