"A Purple Summer: Notes on the Lyrics of Spring Awakening" Published March 1

By Adam Hetrick
March 1, 2012

"A Purple Summer: Notes on the Lyrics of Spring Awakening," Steven Sater's companion book to his evocative text of the Tony-winning coming-of-age rock musical, gets released March 1.



Sater, who earned Tony Awards for book and lyrics to Spring Awakening, told Playbill.com that the idea for the book was born when Sater and his Tony-winning Spring Awakening collaborator, singer-songrwriter Duncan Sheik, were working with the original creative team to stage the London production of the rock musical.

At the suggestion of Tony-winning director Michael Mayer and musical supervisor Kimberly Grigsby, Sater revisited his lyrics to create the 112-page book as a resource for future generations who will explore the hit musical adaptation of the Frank Wedekind drama. 

"The lyrics for Spring Awakening are kind of poetic and dense and strange," Sater told Playbill.com. "I still get questions all the time, 'What is a purple summer?' 'What is a blue wind?'" The book sheds light on the numerous literary and dramatic referances that shaped and influenced Sater's work.

Sater has also been actively involved in translating Spring Awakening for its various international productions, and "A Purple Summer" provides references to the literary sources and the various allusions to the musical's evocative text.

The book will include background on the creative process with Sheik and Spring Awakening's development from initial readings to Broadway. Sater also documents working with original cast members Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele. "A Purple Summer" also includes production photos from the second national tour of Spring Awakening.

"A Purple Summer: Notes on the Lyrics of Spring Awakening" is published by Applause Books. 

Based on the 1891 play by Frank Wedekind, Spring Awakening won eight 2007 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Spring Awakening features direction by Mayer, choreography by Bill T. Jones, book and lyrics by Sater and a score by Sheik.

Songs featured in the Tony-winning score are "All That's Known," "And Then There Were None," "Blue Wind/Don't Do Sadness," "Left Behind," "Mamma Who Bore Me," "My Junk, "The Bitch of Living," "The Dark I Know Well," "The Guilty Ones," "The Song of Purple Summer," "The Word of Your Body," "Those You've Known," "Totally Fucked," "Touch Me," "Whispering" and "The Mirror-Blue Night."

Visit playbillstore.com to buy the original cast album