Spring Awakening


April 17 – May 9, 2011
Thurs – Sat at 8, Sun at 3pm
The Artistic Home
3914 N. Clark St.

By Frank Wedekind

Long before there was a hit Broadway musical, this play scandalized the German public. Frequently banned since it was written in the late 1800s, Spring Awakening takes an unflinching look at the sexual discovery and violent consequences of repression among a group of schoolchildren as they hurtle toward their uncertain future.

Trailer courtesy of Glass City Films

Murray’s production plays it stripped-down and raw. As a result, many moments still have the power to stun, as when Melchior beats fellow teen Wendla at her request because the sheltered girl—her mother still insists that storks bring babies—craves a physical sensation, even if it’s pain.

Kerry Reid

Chicago Reader

Owing in large part to the actors’ collective facility with Wedekind’s beautiful but potentially difficult language, the script rings as true as it did the day it was written. Sure, the play originated as a critique of fin de siècle Germany’s sexually oppressive mores, but throw in a father/daughter purity ball and cast Sarah Palin as Frau Bergmann, and “Spring Awakening” could have been written last year. Yet the show truly comes alive in the pauses, every cast member making reliably inventive choices, imbuing their actions and physical relationships with truth and complexity. Standouts Sara Gorsky, Nick Lake and Devon Candura are particularly impressive. With a sinuous voice and easy physicality, Gorsky specifically, is larger-than-life yet authentic, a difficult feat.

Sarah Terez Rosenblum

Centerstage Chicago

For fans of the musical, I urge you to go and see from whence your favorite characters (Melchior, Wendla, Moritz, Ernst, Ilse et al.) came, and for those who love a good story, with heartbreaking situations and deeply resonant ideas, I would hope that you already have your tickets in hand.

Paul W. Thompson


Production Staff

Director: Stephen F. Murray
Stage Manager: Sharla K. Nolte
Set Designer/Technical Director: Aaron Menninga
Costume Designer: Emma Weber
Fight Choreographer: Vanessa Passini
Sound Designer: Steve Ptacek
Photography: Tom McGrath

*Indicates PTE Ensemble Member

**Indicates PTE Artistic Associate


Martha, Mrs. Gabor: Jessica London-Shields
Lammermeier, Sunstroke: Paul G. Miller
Hans, Mr. Srteifel: Cole Simon
Thea, Mrs. Bergmann: Jes Bedwinek
Wendla: Devon Candura
Ernst, Mr. Gabor: Zachary Clark
Iles, Ina: Sara Gorsky
Melchior: Nick Lake
Moritz: Tyler Rich

*Indicates PTE Ensemble Member

**Indicates PTE Artistic Associate