Spring Awakening Opens Olney Theatre Center's 75th Anniversary Season

Feb 8, 2013
Spring Awakening

Spring Awakening, winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, officially opens Olney Theatre Center's 75th Anniversary Season tomorrow night and runs through  March 10, 2013.

Based on the Expressionist play that caused a scandal in 19th-century Germany, Spring Awakening features a captivating score by Grammy Award-winning songwriter Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Steven Sater. The New York Times calls Spring Awakening, "HAUNTING AND ELECTRIFYING! This brave new musical has a shivery, sensual allure unmatched by anything in the theater right now."

Steve Cosson, founding Artistic Director of The Civilians and director of Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns at Woolly Mammoth [Top 10 of 2012 The Washington Post] takes the helm for this new production. Mr. Cosson is joined by Helen Hayes Award-winning Music Director Christopher Youstra and New York Choreographer Sam Pinkleton.

"When the lights rise on Steve Cosson's extraordinary production of Spring Awakening, audiences are going to get blown away," says Olney Theatre Center Artistic Director Jason Loewith. "It's effervescent, thrilling, artistically rigorous, emotionally charged and designed like nothing I've seen at Olney Theatre Center before.  What Steve and his team have achieved here is breathtaking - an incredible 75th birthday present for the theater."

The cast is led by Matthew Kacergis and Alyse Alan Louis as the star-crossed lovers Melchior and Wendla.  

Mr. Kacergis recently made his Olney Theatre Center debut as Prince Christopher in this winter's Cinderella. DC audiences will recognize him from his performances in Parade, The Civil War and 1776 at Ford's Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre Company's Two Gentlemen of Verona: In Concert.

"Like many young actors, I spent my youth rebelling and challenging everything I could find. I spent a lot of time in the principal's office," says Mr. Kacergis. "Melchior refuses to be satisfied with the status quo and is constantly searching for new answers to explain the world around him - I like that about him."

Ms. Louis appeared on Broadway as Sophie in the hit musical Mamma Mia! Other credits include Bells Are Ringing, Camp Wanatachi, The Daughters, POP! Who Shot Andy Warhol?, Xanadu, Bright Lights, Big City and Hair.

"The design of our production of Spring Awakening here at Olney Theatre Center is especially breathtaking and creative. Our director, choreographer, and design team have developed a new language in our version of this powerful musical and it's an honor for me to be a part of this talented cast," say Ms. Louis.

Portraying the tortured Moritz Steifel is Helen Hayes Award Winner Parker Drown. Audiences will recognize Mr. Drown from his performances in Olney Theatre Center's Cinderella, Grease and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, as well as Studio Theatre's Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson and Keegan Theatre's RENT, which his portrayal of Angel earned him a 2010 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Resident Musical.

"What drives Moritz as a young man is his curiosity, but battling that against what is expected of him. He tends to let his nerves get the better of him and he puts too much social and academic pressure on himself that it is hard for him to escape it," says Mr. Drown.