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July 2, 2016

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‘Spring Awakening’ for local audience

AFTER bringing top overseas musical productions to the local market for five years, SAIC Shanghai Culture Square is ready to present its own musical production for the first time this September.

“Spring Awakening,” as a Broadway rock musical based on Frank Wedekind’s original play, will be reproduced and staged at Shanghai Culture Square from September 23-25. It will star young Chinese musical talents while preserving the poetic essence of the original production.

Set in late 19th-century Germany, “Spring Awakening” tells the story of teenagers discovering the inner and outer tumult of teenage sexuality.

The original musical with lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Duncan Sheik won eight Tony Awards and four Olive Awards including that for best musical and best original music.

“You will just feel like breaking away from the contemporary world and entering the world of spring and youth,” says Fei Yuanhong, vice president of SAIC Shanghai Culture Square, a main producer of the musical. “The whole piece is as poetic as many literary films. It contains intense conflict and is filled with emotions.”

Songs will be performed in the original English version, while the dialogues will be in Chinese.

About 20 musical performers including the leading roles were selected from more than 90 candidates this March by director Bjorn Dobbelaere from the Royal Academy of Music and his team.

Ding Zhenying, who will star as the leading heroine, has performed in the 25th anniversary version of “Miss Saigon” in West End; Liu Lingfei, the leading hero, has participated in a series of Chinese musical productions like “Ultimate Broadway” and “Dracula.”

“Many of the performers are still students of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. It is true that some of them are still young and immature,” says Fei. “However, the musical is about young and immature people, about how lost they are, their despair and hope.”

Though focused on the local market for musicals since its birth in 2012, SAIC Shanghai Culture Square has always been cautious about producing its own musicals considering the limited market for the art form.

With the successful production of musical gala “Ultimate Broadway” in the previous years, the Culture Square finally put its hands on a real musical theater production this time.

“We want to be sure about the feasibility before taking moves,” says Fei. “I believe that cultivating the market and creating high-quality productions are closely linked. I hope the audience will see our sincerity in each production.”


Date: September 23-25, 2pm, 7:15pm

Address: 597 Fuxing Rd M.

Tickets: 80-299 yuan

Tel: 962-388, 6472-6000


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