MUST Awakening James Malcher Samantha Haffey-Bagg - photo by Jules KaddatzReturning to Monash Uni Student Theatre (MUST) after the sell-out 2013 production Columbine, Green Room nominee Daniel Lammin and a team of talented young theatre makers honour the legacy of Wedekind’s controversial classic and question current Australian attitudes towards the transition into adulthood.

Melchior, Moritz, and Wendla are on the cusp of maturity, pulled between innocence and responsibility. Physically blossoming and emotionally vulnerable, they have to find their own way when the adult world seems incapable of guiding them.

“The concept behind Awakening is to take the central ideas of Spring Awakening and see how they relate to Australia in 2016, where we are currently engaged in heated debate over the emotional and sexual health of teenagers,” says Daniel. “There is a disturbing disconnect between the expectations of older, conservative generations and the needs of Australia’s youth.”

“Many of the experiences and actions that Wedekind depicted 125 years ago still occur today, including the extreme lengths some teenagers go to as they explore, express and justify themselves, without the understanding or guidance of those who are supposed to help them. This disregard and ignorance sow the seeds of mental illness, sexual assault, suicide, and violence towards women – all horrific and very present problems in our society.”

In the midst of our national crisis over teenage well-being and self-expression, and debate fuelled by ignorance and bigotry, Awakening brings this timeless classic crashing into the twenty-first century. Performed by a daring young ensemble, Awakening is a passionate, intense and uncompromising adaptation of Wedekind’s classic – deconstructing and contemporising the story to look at the experiences of Australian teenagers right here, right now.

Daniel is a graduate of Directing at NIDA and the Bachelor of Performing Arts at Monash University. He received a Green Room nomination in 2014 for his work on Master Class (Left Bauer Productions), and in 2011 was a recipient of the Besen Family Artist Program from Malthouse Theatre.

His other directing credits include: Ryan (La Mama), The Cutting Boys (La Mama), Columbine (MUST), Christopher Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (Melbourne Fringe 2015), Pygmalion (5pounds of Repertory Theatre), Howl (NIDA / Theatre Works) and The Laramie Project (MUST).

He was also Assistant Director on The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later (Red Stitch), On the Misconception of Oedipus (Malthouse Theatre) and Endgame (MTC). Daniel completed a dramaturgy internship in 2014 with Playwriting Australia and MTC. He returns to MUST, where he was immersed during his undergraduate years, to direct this unexpected and affecting adaptation.

Old Council Chambers – Victorian Trades Hall, 54 Victoria Street, Carlton
Season: 25 August – 3 September 2016
Information and Bookings:

Image: MUST presents Awakening – photo by Jules Kaddatz