"I actually got a text from Brian [Charles Johnson] a couple weeks ago, saying, 'Hey, what's your email address?'" Remy Zaken, who originated the role of Thea, told Playbill.com. "He [said], 'Great, thank you. Expect to get an email within the next hour.' I get an email, and it's Brian saying, 'Hey, you guys! I'm back at school. I'm trying to finish up my degree, and I'm actually interning at the Atlantic Theater Company right now, and they really want to bring us all back to see the renovated new space — in honor of the seventh anniversary of the [show's] opening — and they thought it would just be really great to have us all together."
Brian Charles Johnson, a former acting student at Atlantic Theater Company who played Otto in Spring Awakening, spearheaded the Spring Awakening reunion and is also taking part in the launch of "ATC Uncovered," which will offer an inside look into the everyday life of a theatre company through the artist perspective.
In attendance at the Atlantic Theater Company were original cast members Lea Michele, Tony nominee Jonathan Groff, Tony winner John Gallagher Jr., Lilli Cooper, Gideon Glick, Lauren Pritchard, Phoebe Strole, Zaken and Johnson.
PHOTO ARCHIVE: Spring Awakening's Broadway Opening Night
Opening Night: Spring Awakening on Broadway
Missing from the core group — who played the 11 adolescents experiencing the "Bitch of Living" in Spring Awakening — were Skylar Astin, who is currently filming the television series "Ground Floor," and Jonathan B. Wright, who was in Los Angeles.
"Somehow we got 9 out of 11 people to be there," continued Zaken. "Skylar emailed us the other day and said, 'I'm so sorry, you guys. Unfortunately, I have to film. I really, really wish I could be there.' And, Jonny B. is out in L.A. We kind of worked the schedule around [everyone]… Lilli flew in from the Wicked tour to be here yesterday, and we worked around Lea's schedule with her photo shoot [for V Magazine]. It's pretty amazing that we got everybody together. I was just so overwhelmed."
Strole, who played Anna in Spring Awakening, said, "We all have a good sense of what everyone's doing — obviously, things like Facebook help — but we all reach out to each other. It's also kind of like a family, in a sense, when we get together… We have that great, underlying history, [and] we jump right into the way things are between close friends and family."
The cast arrived at Atlantic Theater Company at 5:30 PM, toured the new space — which includes a refurbished backstage area, dressing rooms and green room — took pictures and videos (including a special message to Tony-winning director Michael Mayer from the cast), caught up with ATC artistic director Neil Pepe and his wife (and Off-Broadway Spring Awakening cast member) Mary McCann, and went out for dinner and drinks at Kittichai in the West Village.
"The best part about being in the Atlantic Theater again with everyone is that it felt like we'd never left," said Pritchard, who played Ilse. "I think that's also due to the fact that we've all stayed in touch since the show ended, but it was great to go back to where it all began and where we all first met." According to members of the cast and the below video, featuring Johnson, the cast will be celebrating the show's anniversary with a "live special event." An announcement is expected within the next week.