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The Rivalry
upcoming theater at the Firehouse

Theatre Initiativedrama

Spring Awakening

July 19-22

Featuring music by Duncan Sheik and book/lyrics by Steven Sater. Winner of eight Tonys.

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Laramie ProjectDRAMA

The Maiden Voyage of Meaghan O'Dell

Sun, July 29

Drama students mark the 100th anniversary of the maiden voyage of the Titanic.

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It's a Wonderful LifeAward-winning dramatic comedy

The Gin Game

Thu-Sun, August 9-19

Coming to terms with life through never-ending games of gin. Humorous, sad and poignant.

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GleeClubSummer vacation theater workshop

Firehouse Glee Club!

Mon-Fri, Aug 20 - 24

A week-long program of voice instruction and choreographed pop and show tunes. Grades 2-12.

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Doubt: A Parable

Thu-Sun, Oct 11 - 21

Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play.

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Spring Awakening
Book and Lyrics by Steven Sater, Music by Duncan Sheik


July 19-22,
Thu-Sat 8pm, Sun 3pm

Directed by Stephanie Williams and Lisa Zaleski


The Firehouse and the Newburyport High School have teamed up once again with POV Stage Company for the upcoming production of Spring Awakening. Spring Awakening is a rock musical adaptation of the controversial Frank Wedekind play (1891). Featuring music by Duncan Sheik and book/lyrics by Steven
, the story is set in late 19th century Germany with teenagers as the main characters. Colors and seasons are the metaphors that add dimensions to the experiences made manifest in that place between childhood and adulthood, where desires overwhelm innocence -- crushing some, pushing others out to sea, and listing among the survivors only those who learn to ride the waves through the tumultuous rite of passage that is puberty.

The original play was banned in Germany due to its sometimes harshly honest portrayal of abortion, homosexuality, rape, child abuse and suicide. The musical version of Spring Awakening received eleven 2007 Tony Award nominations, and went on to win eight, including Tony(s) for Best Musical, Best Direction, Best Book, Best Score and Best Featured Actor. The show also won four Drama Desk Awards, while its London production won four Olivier Awards.

Directors Williams and Zaleski received permission from Newburyport Principal and Superintendant Dr. Kirble. After the recent success of Rent at the high school, the two feel that they have a good support team in place to work with the students and community. They were also pleased that the findings of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), an assessment that monitors six types of health-risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults, showed that these issues are still relevant to today’s students -- despite the passing of more than
100 years.

About the Author: Born in Hanover Germany in 1864 to a Swiss mother and a german father, Benjamin Franklin Wedekind lived most of his life in Munich but spent time in London and Paris. There were various jobs and occupations that filled his early adult years including studying law, business -- he even joined a circus -- but it was as an actor and a singer that he achieved critical success. That introduction to the theater, along with his natural inclination to write, set him on a path as a playwright and dramaturg. In his work he was often critical of the prevailing Bourgeois attitudes, particularly towards sex, and was in fact imprisoned for some of his satirical poetry on charges of lèse majesté.

His first major play was Spring Awakening (1891) followed by what are perhaps his best known works: Earth Spirit (1895) and Pandora's Box (1904). These two plays tell one continuous story although they were originally conceived as a single play.

Many of Wedekind's plays contain scenes that are sickeningly brutal. Yet within that context his real genius lies in his outstanding ability to present life and character -- to tell a story that is full of the incredible life force that is by its very nature both powerful in its destructiveness and beautiful in its birth, its creation. Wedekind has most appropriately been called "an inspired pessimist".


About the Directors:

Stephanie Williams began acting and dancing over twenty years ago with the Seacoast Repertory Theatre and the New Hampshire Academy of Performing Arts. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont's Department of Theatre where she was fortunate to spend a summer studying with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. After graduating, she spent four years performing, teaching, directing and choreographing in California's Central Coast before returning home to teach Theatre and Video Production at Newburyport High School in 2005. Stephanie has had the honor of working with some incredible teachers and directors in her life thus far, and feels blessed to be in a career where she can 'pay it forward.'

Lisa Zaleski studied theatre at both New York University and Emerson College. She has worked as an actor, singer, teacher, and director at several schools and theatres in the Northeast and Midwest, including Lexington Children’s Theatre, one of the oldest professional theatres for youth in the country. Favorite productions as director include Into the Woods, Macbeth, and Eurydice. She was also seen onstage in previous P.O.V. productions, Proof and Stop
. Lisa is particularly drawn to plays with social justice themes. She is currently employed by Newburyport High School as the Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair.

Williams and Zaleski directed Footloose in 2009 and The Laramie Project in 2010, two other collaborations between the Firehouse Center for the Arts, Newburyport High School and POV Stage Company.

Spring Awakening is produced with special permission of Music Theatre International.


Parental guidance is strongly suggested. This play contains mature content.

Poster Design: Tim Hiltabiddle/Milestone Marketing



This event is produced in collaboration with the Newburyport High School Theater Department, P.O.V. Stage Company and the Firehouse Center for the Arts

$22 Adults • $20 Students/Seniors • $19 Members

arrow See the talented cast of Spring Awakening performing at the 2007 Tony Awards.