Red Dragon Players Prepare for Spring Awakening Debut


Seniors Tiffany Olszanowski and Troy Abbott sing “The Word of Your Body” for Spring Awakening. A tree built by tech theater students stands at around 20 feet tall behind them.

Spring Awakening’s debut is arriving in the Preas Theater soon. This play was written by Steven Stater based off the original written by Frank Wedekind and it’s music was created by Duncan Sheik.

The first performance will be on Oct. 24. The other shows are Oct. 25, 26, 31 and Nov. 1 and 2. All of these shows will be in the Preas at 7pm. This is one of the biggest productions of the year and more than ever theater teacher Billy Dragoo is working on getting all of the students and pieces into place for a fantastic return of Spring Awakening to the AHS stage.

“Dragoo and everyone else on production are heavily focused on the quality of how these performances turn out,” french teacher Amy Toulouse said. “The quality is what is special about Austin High’s plays – highly praised performances you wouldn’t expect to come from high schoolers.”

Spring Awakening will be the first play of the year for the Red Dragon Players. The cast has been established with around 11 primary characters. Rehearsals have been in the Preas as well as the tech classes working on the set. The set consists of scenes of a school room, home and other locations that are worked on and prepared by the advanced Technical Theater students. There will also be a projector to help add flair to the special effects in the performance. One of the main set pieces is a merry-go-round that is going to be completely built from scratch by the theater teachers and students. A giant tree is being constructed and is taking a long of time as it also has to support a swing that can handle the weight of people.

“We are starting to see the set come together,” tech theater teacher John Harris said. “I know it’s going to look great in the end because the students are working hard as we figure out the things like projecting and constructing stage pieces, and I think that it’s final product going to look very badass.”

Taking place in late 19th Germany, the play focuses on youth stuck in a world where the adults rule all. The story follows young men and women in a journey of self-discovery and finding a greater truth to who they are. However, not everyone may like the true answer to who they are. It is a tale of sexual awakening, rebellion, and other adult themes.

“The theater is willing to tackle what people consider to be too challenging a production, which is one of the things that makes it so great,” english teacher Katherine Holbrook said. “A play, a professional level play, that students would want to do and which would capture the audience.”

Spring Awakening was performed on the PAC stage 7 years ago. It’s showing shocked audience members because the level of risky themes was unknown. However, overall the reception was good and helped to begin the streak of bold and out there plays performed by the Red Dragon Players.

“When I first saw of Spring Awakening I was very surprised because I was still a fairly new teacher and was used to most school plays being about Greece or simple light-hearted scripts,” Toulouse said. “But [Dragoo] went for the play with mature events – events that young students are going through. And it’s amazing that theatre is able to put on a performance like this.”