Lyric Theatre is producing the Tony-award winning rock musical SPRING AWAKENING at the Plaza Theatre from March 28 through April 14.
This coming-of-age indie rock musical, adapted from the controversial 1891 German play by Frank Wedekind, explores the intimate journey from adolescence to adulthood with unforgettable poignancy and passion.
This daring production is under the direction of Lyric’s own Artistic Director, Michael Baron. Baron recently directed SPRING AWAKENING at Zach Theatre in Austin, Texas in November of 2011. Reviews from the show said Baron’s direction “skillfully captured the energy and heart of the hit Broadway show and shocked and exhilarated audiences.” The casting of SPRING AWAKENING requires large talent in such young actors.
“I’m excited to be collaborating with some of the best theatre programs in the nation- Oklahoma City University, The University of Oklahoma, and the University of Central Oklahoma to cast the production,” says Baron. “Each of the students are not only strong actors but fearless at expressing their voices and experiences through song. There is definitely excitement building about this show and it is certain to get audiences talking.”
Baron has directed over 65 productions at theaters across the country including direction for Lyric’s 2011 Season shows such as ALWAYS…PATSY CLINE, BOEING BOEING, OLIVER!, RAGTIME and LYRIC’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Completing Baron’s artistic staff for SPRING AWAKENING isAshley Wells, choreographer; Brian Hamilton, music director; Art Whaley, lighting designer; Brad Porch, sound designer; Rickelle Williams, stage manager and Jeffrey Meek, costume designer.
Making her Lyric debut as a professional actor is Leah Coleman starring as Wendla. Coleman, a Music Theatre major at the University of Central Oklahoma, was a student at Lyric’s ThElma Gaylord Academy for many years. She expresses her excitement to share her talents on the Plaza Theatre stage for the first time.
“Having grown up as an academy student, it is incredibly surreal to be coming back to my childhood home, but this time as a professional. I may not be considered a student anymore, but just the same, I expect to learn and grow considerably with this show,” says Coleman. “Above all, I am positively restless to tell Wendla’s story because I am exceptionally passionate about this character and I am honored to tell her story to Oklahoma audiences in what I know will be a touching, thought provoking, and life changing production of SPRING AWAKENING.”
Coleman’s past Lyric and local productions include LITTLE WOMEN, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, ANYTHING GOES, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and THE WIZARD OF OZ.
Playing Coleman’s young love, Melchior, is the University of Oklahoma student, Kelly Methven. Methven has starred in many regional productions such as THE MIKADO, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS at Cobb Civic Center and SWEENEY TODD at Carrolton Cultural Arts Centre. To complete this dynamic young cast are Alex John Enterline (Georg), Ryan Fitzgerald (Ernst), Grayson Heyl (Martha), Wilson Kerr (Moritz), Simone Raquel Laday(Thea), Renee Lawrence (Ilsa), Sheridan McMichael (Hanschen), Kate Moore (Anna) and Nicholas Oliveri (Otto). The adult roles in the show are played by Jonathan Beck Reed (Scrooge in LYRIC’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL) and Jennifer Teel (Lyric’s OKLAHOMA! Interactive Show).