This coming weekend, Powder and Wig will put on the critically-acclaimed Spring Awakening in Page Commons. Echo spoke with director Katie Monteleone ’18 to discuss her views on the upcoming production.
Echo: How did you decide to put on Spring Awakening?
Katie Monteleone: I wanted to direct Spring Awakening because it has been one of my favorite musicals for a long time. I love musical theater in general — it’s a unique art form in that when a character is onstage and has really complex thoughts and emotions to express, they get to sing to the audience as a way of communicating a story. I think Spring Awakening is such an important show to perform in college because it deals with many relevant and difficult issues that people our age deal with every day; the show addresses exploring one’s sexuality, dealing with mental health issues, teenage suicide, rape, physical abuse, and many other topical issues.
Echo: What’s surprised you about directing this particular show?
KM: One thing that has surprised me about directing this show is how many small decisions and elements must go into each moment to create a larger effect. Theater always involves a large group of people to make it possible for the show to come together — the audience sees the actors and the musicians onstage, but what they don’t get to see is all of the members of the creative team who work for months creating lights, costumes, sets, projections, and more. The magic of theater really comes from collaboration, and people don’t always realize that.
Echo: What’s been challenging?
KM: Directing can be challenging because you have to manage a large group of people and sometimes you are expected to have answers for things that you may be unsure about. Spring Awakening is a challenging show to direct since it deals with a lot of heavy topics. I’ve been very cognizant of the fact that the material in the show may be triggering and difficult to perform for some of the actors, and we’ve worked through it as a group.
Echo: What’s been something you didn’t expect?
KM: The whole cast and crew has been so excited and passionate about the show. It’s so awesome to work with other students who really care about making this production something special for audiences to experience. I think Spring Awakening has a special place in all of our hearts.
Echo: How is the cast?
KM: The cast is wonderful. They’ve been so dedicated throughout this whole process and they all take care of each other and support each other. We have a lot of fun as a group, which is the most important part of doing a show like this.
Echo: What is your favorite part of the show?
KM: My favorite part of the show is probably any of the big group numbers, like “Bitch of Living,” “Touch Me,” or “Totally Fucked.” You can really tell that the cast is having fun in these numbers, so it makes them even more fun to watch.
Echo: Why should people come?
KM: People should come see Spring Awakening because it’s a really exciting show with great music and with some really important messages for audiences. Please note that there is very mature content in the show that could be triggering to some audience members.
Spring Awakening is on Friday April 14th and Saturday April 15th at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available in the Spa all week and at the door.