Suffolk performers gear up for bustling spring season

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As yet another semester begins for Suffolk students, both the Theatre Department and Performing Arts Office are gearing up to present their spring line-up of performances, a season that will be packing both the C. Walsh and Modern Theatre with events to dazzle and delight the Suffolk community as well as the surrounding Boston public.

In the coming weeks, both the Theatre Department and PAO will be presenting their highest anticipated events of the spring semester.

The PAO will be presenting their main stage production for the season, “Spring Awakening.” This annual production, which alternates each year between a musical and a play, is the centerpiece of the PAO’s work during the spring semester.

“With this slot we like to do things that have newer voices and contemporary playwrights,” said Kristin Baker, director of the PAO.

Contrasting the performances PAO sponsors during the fall semester, such as Fall Fest and Dinner Theatre, performances that are typically lighthearted, the main stage production in the spring tends to be slightly more somber and serious in nature.

“We’re looking for a play that has something to say to the Suffolk community and start conversation,” said Baker.

“Spring Awakening” is a musical that tells the story of German teenagers in the 19th century that are discovering the troubles of the world around them, as well as their own sexuality. The musical, which is based on a traditional German play, is an emotionally demanding piece that is paired with a powerful score.

“The material is hard. We’re asking our actors to go through a lot when they take on these roles and we’re also asking our audience to explore some dark and difficult things,” said Baker.

Due to the emotional nature of the show, the PAO will be hosting several talkbacks with the cast, as well as opportunities for cast members and students to speak with the counseling center. In addition, the PAO will be partnering with the library, World Languages and Cultural Studies department where Professor Jay Rosellini will be hosting a discussion about the origins of the play as well as German culture during the time the show is set.

Rossellini’s talk will take place at 1 p.m. on Feb. 12 at the Poetry Center and “Spring Awakening” will take place Feb. 19-21 in the C. Walsh.

In the Theatre Department, the main production of the semester, “Spring Showcase,” is currently deep in the rehearsal process, although the cast is facing the challenge of coping with lost rehearsals due to snow days.

Haley Peabody/Journal Staff

“The showcase is the soul of the department,” said Professor Marilyn Plotkins, chair of the Theatre Department. “We encourage all of our students to write and direct, not just act.”

The “Spring Showcase,” a performance written and directed entirely by students, is an annual production that the Theatre Department puts on in their Studio Theatre, located on the fourth floor of the Archer Building. The show will feature four one-act plays and will be held from Feb. 12-15.

In addition to the “Spring Showcase,” the Theatre Department will be hosting several events in both the C. Walsh and Modern Theatre throughout the semester.

In the Modern Theatre, the department will be working with Company One, a Boston-based Theatre Company, to present “Shockheaded Peter.” Coincidentally, the production is also based on German play, about the struggles of children transitioning into adulthood. Shockheaded Peter tells its tragic story using powerful music and boasts of being, “the most damning tale ever told on stage.” The show will be presented from March 6 to April 4.

The Theatre Department is also working on a production called, “The Marathon Project,” a multi-media producation by two seniors in the Theatre Department who will be looking  back on the Boston Marathon two years after the tragedy. The project, although produced by the Theatre Department, is almost entirely created by the students involved.

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