Friday, May 25, 2012



Wow! Are you as excited as I am?

Yes! It's true! "Spring Awakening," the coming-of-age rock musical that has thrilled audiences on Broadway and on tour, is coming to the Ephrata Performing Arts Center at the Sharadin Bigler Theatre! It's the fall "TBA" musical EPAC has been promising to tell you about. Now that it's SPRING ... the news is out!

The show, which, on Broadway, starred EPAC veteran Jonathan Groff and fellow "Glee" actor Lea Michele, runs at EPAC from Oct. 25 to Nov. 10. You do not want to miss this one, people! This musical was tailor-made for EPAC, and you KNOW it's going to be a fabulous production. 

Auditions for the show are set for Saturday, June 2. Please see the end of this post, and the EPAC Facebook page, for details.

I've seen "Spring Awakening" off-Broadway, on Broadway and on tour, and I've laughed, cried and marveled at this show more with every viewing. 

The musical is based on German playwright Frank Wedekind's 1892 play, "The Awakening of Spring," which is subtitled "A Children's Tragedy." That says a lot about why this show will grab you by the heart and never let go. It's a story of teenagers grappling with questions about life, love and sexuality, and with their relationships with the adults in their lives. It's both wrenching and uplifting.

"Spring Awakening" peppers Wedekind's story with lovely ballads and exuberant rock tunes by Duncan Sheik (book and lyrics by Steven Sater) that will tempt you to download the Broadway cast album on your way home from the theater!

And, in case you missed Jonathan Groff's statement about EPAC presenting the show that put him on the theatrical map, he said (via e-mail from NYC):

"I am so thrilled that EPAC is including ‘Spring Awakening’ in their 2012 season! ... Being known for their edgy/exciting work and incredibly gifted local artists, they are the best theater in the area to put on this piece.

"It also means so much to me that a theater that gave me a chance to creatively spread my wings while I was growing up in Lancaster, is producing the show that changed my life and started my career in New York. I can't wait to see it!" 

We can't either!! 

The particulars:

Due to content, language and nudity, no one under the age of 16 will be eligible to audition for this production, which is being directed by EPAC artistic director Edward R. Fernandez, with musical direction by J.P. Meyer, and choreography by Kristin Pontz. Anyone under the age of 18 will require proof of parental consent.

Open-call auditions for the student roles (ages 16-22) as well as two adults (one male, one female playing both teachers and parents) will be held on Saturday, June 2, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Callbacks are Saturday afternoon and Sunday, June 3. See the Facebook page for more information.

Any questions should be directed to director Fernandez at (717) 733-7966 or via e-mail to

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, and 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Oct. 25-Nov. 10, with a pay-what-you-will pricing for unsold tickets to the 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Nov. 10. Regular tickets are $15-$27. No one under 16 will be admitted unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

-- Mary Ellen "Merv" Wright