The Renegade Rip

‘Spring’ attempts to awaken its audience

The male cast of “Spring Awakening” performs one of the many musical numbers from the show.

The male cast of “Spring Awakening” performs one of the many musical numbers from the show.

Sharida Rejon

Sharida Rejon

The male cast of “Spring Awakening” performs one of the many musical numbers from the show.

Ruben A. Perez, Reporter

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The Empty Space Theater is opening its 11th season with the musical “Spring Awakening” directed by Kristina Saldana and Brian Sivesind.

The musical is a coming-of-age story about German teenagers in the 1890s.

“As soon as the rights were available we knew we had to do it,” said Saldana. “It was a show that was meant for our space, and if you see pictures or video of the original Broadway production, you’ll see that it’s sort of set up like The Empty Space.”

Some of the topics in the musical revolve around suicide, sex, atheism, homosexuality, and general teenage angst. This did not faze the directors at all.

“The good and bad thing about The Empty Space is we’re sort of known as the edgier theater,” she said. “On one hand, people sort of expect it from us, but on the other hand, new people aren’t very aware of the types of things we do here, but we like to push the bar a little bit.”

“For me, the best kind of theater makes us discuss something, and I think that this show will hopefully spur discussion about kids and how to communicate with parents,” said Sivesind.

Even with the scandalous subject matter, people were not deterred from auditioning for “Spring Awakening.”

“As soon as people heard we were doing Spring Awakening, the buzz grew and grew and grew and we had something like 50 people audition for the 11 roles,” said Saldana.

“It says some important things about our society and life. Hopefully people get something out of it,” said Sivesind.

“We were very happy with who showed up and there were actually people we had to turn away that we probably could’ve used and would’ve been brilliant,” said Sivesind.

The musical’s opening weekend was met with very warm response from audience.

“It’s a rock musical,” said Saldana. “It’s about love, believing in something, finding out who you are and it’s all these universal themes of sadness and love and angst and death and all these things that people can relate to. So I feel like there’s a little bit of something for everyone.”

The Empty Space is doing at least one more musical this year but hopes to do a total of three or four.

“Spring Awakening” will be performed at The Empty Space Theater until Feb. 16.

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‘Spring’ attempts to awaken its audience