By NR Staff • 

Rock musical takes Linfield stage

Steven Sater wrote the script and lyrics to “Spring Awakening.” Music is by Duncan Sheik.

The show, which won eight Tony Awards, is based on Frank Wedekind’s controversial 1891 play about teenage sexuality and society’s efforts to control it. The play originally was censored because of its open discussion of sex, homosexuality, child abuse and adolescent suicide in a repressed society.

“The genius is the use of song and performance as the avenue through which the teenagers can express their innermost thoughts, weaknesses and frustrations in the backdrop of 1890s Germany,” said Janet Gupton, the director.

“Spring Awakening” is co-produced by the Linfield Departments of Music and Theater and Communication Arts. Gupton is an associate professor of theater arts. Musical director Christopher Engbretson, a Linfield graduate, is visiting assistant professor of music.

The cast consists of 11 members in addition to several Linfield students working on ensemble and design. Engbretson said he has been “inspired and touched by their passion and drive to make this a truly excellent production.”

Both he and Gupton said they hope the play will spark dialogue and critical thinking around issues that are often uncomfortable and avoided. “The material in this musical is especially relevant at this point in our nation’s history,” Engbretson said. “With debates over concepts like abstinence-only education, sexual orientation and religious freedom, this show arrives at just the right time.”

Tickets are $10 general, $8 for seniors 62 and older, as well as Linfield faculty and staff, and $6 for students. Opening night is $2 less.

Tickets are available at or by phone, at 503-883-2292.

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