Exploring Spring Awakening: “Getting Ugly” Week Two, Blog Two (Written By Eric Deutz
Spring Awakening is plugging along, combining movement and music with script to create the outline of a full show. But what if we told you it’s starting to get ugly? Read what our Moritz, Eric Deutz has to say about that in this week’s blog.
Week 2: Getting Ugly
The tablework is done, and now in just a little over a week we’ve put the skeleton of the
show on its feet. We’ve had blocking, choreography, and music direction, and though we’ll
dive even deeper into the characters and story in later rehearsals, a whole new layer of
depth has already been added since my last blog.
The musical styles of this show are somewhat unique among musicals. It’s a rock musical,
sung entirely by high school characters, most of whom are going through some very trying
times and are using the songs as a way to let out their frustration, anger, or confusion. As a
result, singing in our best, perfect-pitch, classically sounding voices goes out the window.
We have a few “pretty” songs in this show, but for the most part, our first sing-through of
each song would end with our music director saying, “Good, but it sounds way too pretty.
Make it ugly.” We’ve been encouraged to miss notes and rhythms, to experiment with
sounds we think will sound bad, to talk when the score says to sing, and all of this has
already lent itself immensely to the story we’re trying to tell. You’ll still hear gorgeous
singing, as there are a whole lot of jaw-dropping voices in this cast. You’re just going to
hear them a little dirtier, grungier, and yes, uglier than what you’re used to, and I promise
you’re going to love it all the same.
We’ve choreographed every number in the show already, and the choreography varies
widely with each song, which is a very good thing. There are times that we’re incredibly
specific and coordinated with our movements, and then there are times you might not even
know to call it choreography because of how free and uncoordinated it is. There are times
that we look beautiful as movers on stage, and there are times that we’re showing you our
“ugliest”, most vulnerable selves. It’s easy to forget how much of the story is really missing
until the choreographer comes along and fills in all the blanks on the page with their own
inferences about the story, and choreography’s always such a fun addition for that reason.
Many people will come to the show already having listened to music. It’s what they see
that’s going to make the story new for them again, and a large portion of that is
It’s been a fast process thus far – two weeks ago we had nothing but words on a page, and
now we’re running the entire show! It’s another six weeks before opening, and people
unfamiliar with the process may wonder what we’re going to do with ourselves for the next
six weeks. But those who are familiar with the process know that we’ve only just laid out a
ground plan. Now the real work, and fun, begins!