Reunion Concert (03:28)
The original cast of "Spring Awakening" reunited 15 years later for a one-night benefit concert for The Actors Fund. The show became more popular than anyone anticipated and launched the careers of cast members.
Day 1 of Rehearsal (03:22)
A week before the concert, Johnathan Groff, who played Melchior, and Lea Michele, who played Wendla, prepare for the first rehearsal. The full cast comes together for the first time in 15 years. Lauren Pritchard, who played Ilse, had the idea for the concert.
"Mama Who Bore Me" (02:10)
Michele sings "Mama Who Bore Me." Groff explains how hearing it again brought him back to the original production.
Adapting "Spring Awakening" (05:15)
Playwright and lyricist Steven Sater based "Spring Awakening" on Frank Wedekind's "Fruhlings Erwachen." Though set in 19th century Germany, Sater felt its themes of teenage repression fit with America— post Columbine shooting. Originally a play, he felt it was fit for rock music.
"The Bitch of Living" (04:15)
Director Michael Mayer's vision cemented the idea to keep the original setting. John Gallagher Jr.'s opening notes made Groff fall in love with the show. The moment also brought producer Tom Hulce onboard; he organized a concert at the Lincoln Center.
"The Dark I Know Well" (03:53)
At the first Lincoln Center concert, everyone worried it would bomb. Lilli Cooper, who played Martha, and Pritchard sang about their characters being molested by their fathers. The reality of it made the audience connect instantly.
Original Cast (04:15)
Neil Pepe from the Atlantic Theater Company liked the Lincoln Center concert and agreed to give the show a home. The creators and producers began casting. The cast consisted of young teenagers with a handful of musical theater credits. It opened at the Atlantic Theater.
Michele and Groff (06:09)
Michele was from New York City and had been cast since the workshops while Goff was newer to the cast and from rural Pennsylvania. Michele fell in love with Groff, who was closeted. Mayer was aware of the situation and considered it in his direction of the scenes with Melchior and Wendla.
Sexuality and "Spring Awakening" (04:22)
Once Michele realized Groff was gay and he felt safe with her, they grew closer. They channeled the energy into their sex scene.
Pressures of "Spring Awakening" (05:05)
Many worried the controversial material would hurt the show. Charles Isherwood of the "New York Times" gave the show a glowing review, increasing its popularity. Nobody anticipated the show making it to Broadway, but it did after one summer at the Atlantic Theater.
"Spring Awakening" on Broadway (07:10)
Initially, the show struggled to fill the Eugene O'Neill Theater. The show received 11 Tony Award nominations and won eight, including Best Musical.
Growing with "Spring Awakening" (07:01)
The cast reflects on how they grew up while performing in the show. Gallagher talks about relating to his character Moritz and understanding him better as an adult.
Emotions of "Spring Awakening" (03:47)
Pritchard commended Gallagher for acting out his character's suicide every night. Sater wanted the weight of viewing Moritz's suicide from different perspectives. The cast realized the controversial material helped young fans going through hardships.
Closeness and "Spring Awakening" (05:55)
To escape the emotional toll of the show, Goff's mom had them come to their farm for a campout. It was the end of the season and Gallagher was leaving. The cast had become incredibly close friends.
Leaving "Spring Awakening" (07:50)
The emotional weight of playing Wendla for so long made Michele decide to leave the show. Groff agreed to go with her. Playing Melchior gave him the strength to be openly gay.
Remembering "Spring Awakening" (06:17)
The cast reflects on the memories and experiences of the show. Many admit they still do not know what "Purple Summer" is about. Many saw the reunion as an excuse to be together again.
Credits: Spring Awakening: Those You've Known (02:42)
Credits: Spring Awakening: Those You've Known
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