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'Spring Awakening' Opens in Newly Renovated Culbreth Theatre - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

'Spring Awakening' Opens in Newly Renovated Culbreth Theatre

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Charlottesville theater buffs are celebrating the opening of the University of Virginia's newly renovated Culbreth Theatre and its fall debut, "Spring Awakening."

"Spring Awakening" opened Thursday and, so far, they've had standing ovations every night. 

Lead actress Emma Lord said, "I don't think there's anything quite like it, it's sort of like this really cool hybrid of 1890s Germany and pop rock and folk music that we burst into sort of unexpectedly sometimes and it's really fun and engaging."

"Spring Awakening" opened this week at UVA to packed houses and standing ovations.  "It's a great show for young people to perform in and for young people to see," said director Bob Chapel. 

The characters grapple with tough subjects, including suicide, rape, and sexuality.

"The major theme is the struggle of growing up," said Lord.  "I guess all the characters have parents who are kind of expecting them to act like adults, but still treating them like children and not really telling them what they need to know, and so I guess they're kind of overcoming their struggles with that and trying to figure out things on their own."

The show opened in the newly renovated Culbreth Theatre.  The makeover includes wider aisles for better views and accessibility, handicap platforms, new lights, and new seats.

Chapel said, "People who have been coming to the Culbreth for 30 some years have new seats to sit in finally."

The theater also has a new digital soundboard.  Lead actor Daniel Prillaman said, "It sounds miles better than it was before. Everything is very clear and crisp."

Not only is "Spring Awakening" the first show at the new Culbreth Theatre, it's also the first college adaptation in Virginia.

"I think it's a really fun thing to do in a college town just because I think this is an all too recent feeling for college kids at least because we all just sort of recently grew up," said Lord.

Amateur rights to the show only recently came available, and colleges across the country are jumping at the chance to set the stage.

The show runs again next week, Wednesday through Saturday starting at 8 p.m. at the Culbreth Theatre.  Click here to find out how to get tickets.

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