Spring Awakening


Theatre Studies annual production - 2017

Date: Wed 20th Sep 2017 7:30pm 9:30pm

A group of young people, coming of age at the turn of the century, set out to understand love, sex, fate, and destiny while the adults around them insist on denying their burgeoning maturity. Spring Awakening is a cautionary tale about keeping children in the dark so long they have to find their own way into the light.

Performance schedule

Dates Wednesday 20th - Saturday 23rd September
Starting time 7.30 pm
Saturday matinee 2 pm
Venue Arts Theatre A1, UNE


Adults $20.00
UNE Students $10.00
Concession (people holding a pension card, other students) $15.00

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Spring Awakening is one of the most significant plays in theatre history, but unlike a lot of plays of which that is true, it is also wildly entertaining. Frank Wedekind was only 26 when he wrote it, and he didn’t know or care about the rules of theatre at the time – he had something to say, and he was going to shout it at the top of his lungs until someone listened. He was sick of the hypocrisy of adults who withheld the truth of the world from their children, only to blame the children when they sought their own ways to live authentic lives.

Bertolt Brecht described Wedekind as a “fairground showman”, and our production of Spring Awakening takes this description as its starting point. The young people in the play are dancing into the night in the bright lights of the fairground, clinging desperately to the traces of their childhood while all around them things are falling apart. The fin de siècle malaise at the heart of the play is why we updated the setting of the play from the 1890s in Germany to the 1990s in regional Australia; in both cases society is on the cusp of paradigm shifts that will fundamentally alter the experience of young people in the world.

The 2017 UNE Theatre Studies Major Production marks the world première of a new Australian translation of the script. It offers UNE audiences a unique opportunity to engage with one of the masterpieces of Modernist literature and consider what a play written in 1891 might have to tell us today. Even with the deluge of information available to today’s teens, how much do they really understand about the big bad world? This heart-stopping, unmissable piece of theatre drags Spring Awakening kicking and screaming into the present day.


Phone Peter O'Donohue on 02 6773 3061
Email Chris Hay (chay3@une.edu.au)

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