Spring Awakening is a contemporary drama about the sexual maturing of adolescents. It shows author’s condemnation of false bourgeois morality and the dire consequences of social conventions thwarting and distorting natural instincts. He portrayed the liberated man in a spirit of a utopian modern society that shuns conventions and hypocrisy. When it premiered back in 1906, Wedekind’s play Spring Awakening caused a major scandal, shocking the audiences and the guardians of morality with its frank depiction of children’s sexuality.
Director Oliver Frljić poses the question if Wedekind, banned and condemned 114 years ago, today has the power to once again challenge social taboos. Frljić says: It seems that the repressive system, which Wedekind criticized with his drama about the sexual maturing of young adolescents, functions far more subtly nowadays. The Catholic Church, as part of this system, steadily keeps losing its credibility. One should bear in mind that even as such, shaken by scandals, the Church still has an undeniable influence on the formation of young people’s sexual identities. This play is a metaphor for the society traumatized by the hypocrisy of Catholic prohibitions. In this play Wedekind’s young protagonists don’t scandalize us by expressing their sexuality; what scandalizes us is rather the fact that this option had been taken away from them by force.
premiere 22 May 2010
The play Spring Awakening is based on Frank Wedekind’s 1891 work of the same name and is directed by Oliver Frljić.
German playwright Frank Wedekind was born in 1864 in Hannover and Spring Awakening was his first major play that brought him world fame. This play is also his most popular piece, which he dubbed a childhood tragedy, dedicating it to parents and teachers. Yet it was parents who denounced his play as an attack on the tradition, their authority and a desecration of sacred rights.