Spring Awakening

This production was challenging in concept as we set a traditally rock-based musical in a blackbox, in-the-round space. The music director took this as an opportunity to rethink and rearrange the music, removing the drums and playing all the music acoustically. The choreographer then incorprated body percussion throughout as an additional rhythmic aspect.

Given these parameters and the stylistic conept of folk-punk, I aimed to bridge the underground rock show aesthetic that the designers were channeling with the softer timbre of the acoustic instrumentation. The band and cast were all mic’d to help give an extra edge and energy to the sound. Some elements were run through a distortion pedal for effect as well.

Another key conceptual element of this show was the divide between the realistic world of the spoken scenes and the more expressionist world of the songs. To help create that divide, microphones were used only for songs. Some moments, such as the gunshot sound for Moritz’s suicide, break through that world barrier. A realistic gunshot formed the basis of the cue, but pitch shifted layers were added and the whole cue had heavy reverb to give something of the effect of being inside the character’s mind, with all the impact that implies.


Director: Mary Schuttler
Scenic Design: Hayley Parker
Costume Design: Lizz C. Williams
Lighting Design: Naomi S. Gold
Photography: David Grapes II