A story that dates back to 1892, Spring Awakening revolves around a group of teenagers who are on the road to self-discovery. Like every youth, they too have their problems and these are the same problems that have existed amongst youths for close to 120 years. Expect themes such as sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy and suicide, which are commonplace in this day and age.

Keeping the musical relevant to the youths of today, the characters express themselves through rock music.

“It is electrifying, it is moving, it is funny, it is everything that good theatre should be, but presented in a completely fresh and exciting way,” describes Adrian Pang, one of the artistic directors of Pangdemonium! Productions.

Apart from being highly entertaining, the 8-time Tony Award winning play also highlights the treatment youths get from the present community and what should be done to bring about a change in attitude towards them.

As Pang puts it, “Spring Awakening is the voice of generations of youth who otherwise feel they have no voice.”

The entire cast is made up of performers who are either Singaporeans or performers who have trained in Singapore, and now call it their home. Pang believes that there is no need to “localise” a theatrical production for it to be accepted by the local audience. Instead, he’s confident that the local audience can appreciate the production without him having to make changes to specially cater to them.

“The themes of Spring Awakening are universal and timeless and relevant to anyone, anywhere in the world. If we are professing to be a “global society”, we have to open our minds to more issues that affect not just us as a Singapore community. And Spring Awakening is perfect to address issues affecting all of us,” adds Pang.

He also notes that it is likely for the audience to identify with at least one character. “I personally relate to the character of Moritz (played by Eden Ang) because he’s very much a maladjusted misfit,” says Pang.

It took 3 months to put together the perfect cast for Spring Awakening and rehearsals began in the first week of December 2011. After months of hard work and effort, it has brought them to the day everyone has been waiting for.

When asked how much time and energy has been invested in preparation for this production, Pang replied, “I’d say 859,795,479 kilojoules at last count, not including blood, sweat and tears.”

Since the themes dealt with in the musical are dark, the actors had to be careful not to bring home those personalities. Also, where scenes that involved physical intimacy were concerned, the director was careful to respect the cast as people. Pang explained that the cast and crew themselves felt an awakening of growth after having worked together and showed tremendous love and support for one another.

“If there is one message I hope adults get from Spring Awakening, it is to talk to your children, and even more importantly, listen to your children. And if there is one message teenagers get from Spring Awakening, it is to be brave, you are not alone,” ends Pang.

Be sure to check out this pagefor upcoming contests where you can stand a chance to win attractive prizes such as autographed programme booklets and a chance to meet the cast!

Held at the Drama Centre Theatre, National Library, Spring Awakening runs from 4 – 26 February 2012. Ticket prices range from $40 – $85.