GMTG Musical Theatre society next week will perform a brand new version of Spring Awakening, a musical based upon Frank Wedekind’s original 1891 play. The play explores the development of sexuality and the transition between childhood and adulthood within a group of confused and sexually oppressed teenagers. The Musical version of the play, which has been awarded a total of eight Tony Awards for its Broadway run, has been transformed from an Americanized drama into a visually stunning, expressionistic production by director Jacob Dorrell. The musical will explore several sensitive and socially controversial issues including sexual abuse, suicide, homosexuality and abortion.
The design of the production will play a huge part in the communication of the concept and visual experience of the audience. I have been fortunate enough to have been involved in the experience of bringing my good friend and talented director’s vision to reality and have chiefly been responsible for designing, sourcing and, in many cases, making a grand total of thirty costumes. However, because Jake’s mind was set on an expressionistic production with a predominately black and white colour scheme, the design and creation of the costume proved to be slightly more complicated than I had originally anticipated. I can’t tell you just how frustrating it is to come across the perfect dress for a character, only for it to be bright pink! Credit must here go to my Mother who has allowed me to use (and destroy!) her washing machine in the process of dying ten items of costume black. On the other hand, Jake’s expressionistic concept has presented the opportunity to be a little wild and to create some rather exciting costumes! I have been forbidden to give too much away (the pictures in this post really are a sneak peek), but I feel fully within my rights to say that Lady Gaga has been a huge source of inspiration for me!
This production really is a departure from the family-friendly and popular musical genre that is customary to the Birmingham University stage. The musical will be comparable with ‘stepping into a moving art installation’ (in the director’s words) and the content much grittier than your average episode of glee. When Jake first approached me about being involved in the production, the performance seemed a vague and far off prospect. Now, a week before performance week, I have a bedroom full of costume and several last minute alterations to make. We have had a wonderful design team working on this production and I hope that History of Art students will come to witness a piece of performance Art and support the incredibly hard work of their fellow students!
Performances run from 26-30th November,
You can purchase tickets here.