The Citrus College Visual and Performing Arts Department succeeded in all theatrical elements in its production of Steven Sater’s musical, “Spring Awakening,” on Saturday, March 4 and Sunday, March 5 at the Haugh Performing Arts Center.
The performance was quite close to professional quality. The cast’s ensemble work was most pleasing, as it was compelling to see talented and passionate individuals perform as one committed body.
Choreography on stage was synchronized. The movement of the set was made intriguing, also, and was mostly accomplished by the ensemble.
Performers not in a particular scene were still included, as they still spent time seated on stage during the scene, watching those performing.
The directional choice is admiring, with the idea that every performer is productive and featured, and every actor contributes. All characters are manifested in the environment and the plot of the playwright’s work.
Individual performances from the production were equally impressive.
Catherine Tereszczuk did a superb job with her characterizations of leading lady Wendla Bergmann, and she seemed more than suitable for the role. Tereszczuk portrayed Wendla’s naive and innocent personality well.
The same applied for Dillon Klena, who played leading male Melchior Gabor. Klena portrayed Melchior’s radical and independent personality wonderfully.
Vocals by Domenique Dominguez, who played Ilse, Audrey Conte, who played Martha, and Anthony Nappier, who played Moritz Stiefel, were remarkable and unique.
The chemistry and intimacy between the lovers was not only portrayed but felt, especially in the duet between Harrison Schultz, who played Hanschen, and Nicholas Rangel, who played Ernst.
Overall, the vocals of the entire ensemble and the acting of every performer was something to be proud of.
The actors fully committed to the theatrical movement and staging, especially Klena and Nappier. The intent of the movement from the punches that were thrown in the air to the tableaus was always clear and well-staged and constructed.
Stage combat was portrayed through sounds from the ensemble. The stage slaps were depicted through the collective stomping of feet or the clapping of hands. It was effective in that it was clean to the point of still being authentic, but creative with a musical touch as well.
Dominguez had a particularly strong stage presence that stood out from the rest, along with the red dress she was costumed in for the show. The color seemed to symbolize her character’s struggle, as Ilse is a victim of abuse, and red can often mean pain.
The show also starred Cherie Brown, a true veteran of the theatre and professor at Citrus College. It was an absolute marvel to witness her honest performance.
Lighting for the show was stunning and appropriate to every scene, thanks to the technical crew.
Without the orchestra, conducted by Alan Waddington, the music would not be as live and powerful.
Very little imperfection was seen in this larger-than life, well-casted college performance of “Spring Awakening.” The entire cast and crew should be proud of the well-done performance.