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Spring Awakening comes to Empire Arts Theater in Grand Forks

A majority of the cast jump at once while singing during the second act of Spring Awakening Wednesday at the Empire Arts Center. (Luke Franke/Grand Forks Herald)1 / 2
Hannah Diers, a senior at UND, has her hair braided by fellow cast member and UND senior Jackie O'Neil during sound check Wednesday at the Empire Arts Center. (Luke Franke/Grand Forks Herald)2 / 2

Spring Awakening, a 2006 rock musical and winner of eight Tony awards, is now being performed in Grand Forks at the Empire Arts Center July 29 through August 2, and August 5 through August 9.

Taking place in the late 1800’s the show focuses on a group of adolescent students who must navigate and better understand their growing bodies and the feelings that come with them. “It’s a very mature themed play, but I think it’s important,” said Empire music director David Henrickson. “I can’t say enough about the hard work these guys put in.”

Spring Awakening, at first glance, might seem just plain controversial or crude. But at second glance you realize the show is only an accurate depiction of what was going through the minds of these students in a time period when such things were better left unsaid. “It’s nice to do some heavy-hitting drama,” said actor Ruben Flores. “It’s about real life.”

Headlined by music from 1990’s rock star Duncan Sheik the music is a radical contrast to the setting of the play. “I think the music fits the play really well,” said Henrickson. “The songs comment on what is actually happening in the play but the sound is still up to date.”

Only three performances remain for the show with each scheduled to be performed at the Empire Arts Center at 7:30pm. If you have any questions about the play or want to purchase tickets contact Empire Arts Center Box Office at (701) 746-5500. Box office hours are 9:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.