Casting Announced for World Premiere Musical Spring Awakening

News   Casting Announced for World Premiere Musical Spring Awakening Atlantic Theater Company in association with Tom Hulce and Ira Pittelman, announced Side Man Tony Award winner Frank Wood and John Gallagher Jr., of Rabbit Hole, will be among cast members in the new musical, Spring Awakening.

Tony Award winner Frank Wood joins the cast of Spring Awakening.
Tony Award winner Frank Wood joins the cast of Spring Awakening. Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The new show directed by Tony Award nominee Michael Mayer is the first musical in the Atlantic company's history. The world premiere (May 18-July 9) features music by Grammy Award nominee Duncan Sheik ("Barely Breathing"), book and lyrics by Steven Sater (Carbondale Dreams) and choreography by Bill T. Jones (The Seven).

Opening is set for June 15 at ATC's home in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood.

A cast of 14 will be led by Tony Award winner Frank Wood (Side Man, Hollywood Arms), Atlantic founding member Mary McCann (Broadway's The Old Neighborhood, ATC's The Night Heron), John Gallagher Jr. (Rabbit Hole), Jonathan Groff (In My Life) and Lea Michele (Fiddler on the Roof).

According to ATC, "Based on Frank Wedekind's masterpiece The Awakening of Spring, Spring Awakening is the contemporary musical adaptation of one of literature's most controversial plays. [It] boldly depicts a dozen young people and how they make their way through the thrilling, complicated, confusing and mysterious time of their sexual awakening."

The company also includes Christopher Clark, Michele Cobham, Lilli Cooper, Chris Garneau, Jared Goldstein, Brian Johnson, Lauren Pritchard, Jonathan B. Wright and Remy Zaken. According to production notes, "Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's score features songs that illuminate the urgency of adolescent self-discovery, the burning intensity of teen friendships and the innate suspicion of the uncomprehending adult world. The story centers around a brilliant young student named Melchior (Groff), his troubled friend Moritz (Gallagher Jr.) and Wendla (Michele), a beautiful young girl on the verge of womanhood."

The design team for Spring Awakening features scenic design by Christine Jones (The Public's Much Ado About Nothing), costume design by Tony Award winner Susan Hilferty (Wicked), lighting design by Kevin Adams (Take Me Out), sound design by Brian Ronin and musical direction by Kimberly Grigsby (Caroline, or Change).

Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's longstanding working relationship includes collaborating on Nero: Another Golden Rome, Sater's play with music currently on stage at San Francisco's Magic Theatre.

The team presented the New York premiere of Umbrage at HERE and are developing The Nightingale, based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, which has been workshopped at the O'Neill Center and La Jolla Playhouse. Sater provided the lyrics for Sheik's acclaimed album "Phantom Moon" and their original songs have been featured in Michael Mayer's film "A Home at the End of the World" and the forthcoming independent feature "Brother's Shadow."

German playwright Frank Wedekind's play Frühlings Erwachen (The Awakening of Spring or sometimes called Spring's Awakening) was written in 1891. It concerned two 14-year-olds and their parents (it was called "a children's tragedy"). The controversial drama was not produced until 1906, according to production notes. The play was also banned in Britain until 1963. It was subsequently produced at Britain's Royal National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal Court Theatre and the Young Vic. Benjamin Franklin Wedekind (1864-1918) is best known for his controversial Lulu plays.

This new Spring Awakening musical received an acclaimed American Songbook concert staging at Lincoln Center.

Director Michael Mayer's work includes Broadway's 'night, Mother, After the Fall; Thoroughly Modern Millie; An Almost Holy Picture; Uncle Vanya; You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; The Lion in Winter; Side Man; A View From the Bridge; Triumph of Love; and Off-Broadway's The Credeaux Canvas, Stupid Kids, Antigone in New York, Baby Anger, View of the Dome, Missing Persons, America Dreaming, Hundreds of Hats and more.

He also directed the upcoming feature film "Flicka."

For more information, visit www.atlantictheater.org.