When I arrived at A. A. Frederick’s to watch the student production of “Spring Awakening,” I was struck by one of the more impressive sets I have seen at this university to date. The floor was ornately painted with a splatter that began in its center. It was very reminiscent to what I imagine a blown-up spin art painting would look like.
The risers on the stage allowed for everyone to be able to look down and watch the show in the round. This was a very interesting point of view to be in as an audience member, rather than having to look upward. It was almost like watch a show up close whilst being in the mezzanine. This change of perspective was not only welcome, but successfully aided in the narration of this story.
As you wait for the show to start, the pre-show music plays lightly in the background while the live band warms up. The music, or rather sounds, playing were those of children playing in a playground. You could faintly hear children’s screams and laughter until the actors began filling the stage for a pre-show ritual before the show officially started.
As a whole, the cast was filled with extremely strong actors. Right away I understood that I was watching a show with children telling this story, even though these actors range from 18 to 21.
While the show as a whole sounded beautiful and poignant, the female ensemble truly blew me away. In “Mama Who Bore Me (Reprise),” the harmonies were so tight and resonated beautifully throughout the theatre. The pure angst emitted from these ladies was breathtaking.
The show stopper in this show for me was clearly “The Darkness I Know Well.” The technical aspects of this song truly portrayed the real darkness the song describes. The use of puppetry was very powerful and perfectly matched the dramatics of the song as well.
Cassidy Giddens, who portrayed Martha, left her soul bare on the set as she belted through her character’s felling whilst lying on a bed onstage.
You are guaranteed to leave this show feeling differently, which is something that always lets me know it has done its job. The way it resonates in everyone speaks worlds of both the direction and the writing.
The message of the show is mostly a call to action for sexual education and freedom within our youth and the audience will leave wanting to know how they can be a part of it.
“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” is debuting at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 31. If it is half as good as “Spring Awakening,” NSU Theatre is in for a great semester.