Spring Awakening A Play

ISBN-10: 086547978X
ISBN-13: 9780865479784
Edition: 2007
List price: $14.00 Buy it from $9.47
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Description: First performed in Germany in 1906, Frank Wedekind’s controversial playSpring Awakeningclosed after one night in New York in 1917 amid charges of obscenity and public outrage. For the better part of the twentieth century Wedekind’s intense body of  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Faber & Faber, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/4/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 112
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.242
Language: English

First performed in Germany in 1906, Frank Wedekind’s controversial playSpring Awakeningclosed after one night in New York in 1917 amid charges of obscenity and public outrage. For the better part of the twentieth century Wedekind’s intense body of work was largely unpublished and rarely performed. Yet the play’s subject matter—teenage desire, suicide, abortion, and homosexuality—is as explosive and important today as it was acentury ago.Spring Awakeningfollows the lives of three teenagers, Melchior, Moritz, and Wendl, as they navigate their entry into sexual awareness. Unlike so many works that claim to tell the truth of adolescence,Spring Awakeningoffers no easy answersor redemption. Today, one hundred years after the play’s first performance, a new musical version of this essential modern masterpiece is being hailed as the “best new musical . . . in a generation” (John Heilpern,The New York Observer). Franzen’s version of the text—for so long poorly served in English—is unique in capturing the bizarre and inimitable comic spirit that animates almost every line of this unrelentingly tragic play. There couldn’t be a better time for this thrilling, definitive new translation.

Frank Wedekind (1864-1918) was a journalist, advertising manager, secretary to a circus, cabaret artiste, satirist, convict and actor as well as the author of twenty-one plays, many of which reflect aspects of his extraordinary career. He himself paid for the publication of Spring Awakening (1891), though it was not staged till 1906. (In England it was banned from public performance until 1963.) Earth Spirit (1895), the first of his plays to be seen on stage (1898), introduced the sexually voracious Lulu, who also figured in Pandora's Box (1904) and subsequently in Alban Berg's opera (Lulu, 1935) and in Peter Barnes' conflation of the two plays seen in England in 1970. Other notable plays include The Marquis of Keith (1900; British premiere, 1974), King Nicolo (1902), Castle Wetterstein (1910) and Franziska (1912). Wedekind was greatly admired by Brecht, and his satiric songs still have considerable bite.

Jonathan Franzen was born in Western Springs, Illinois, in 1959, but grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri, near St. Louis. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1981, and went on to study at the Freie University in Berlin as a Fulbright scholar. Franzen worked in a seismology lab at Harvard University's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences after graduation. In addition to winning a Whiting Writers' Award in 1988 and the American Academy's Berlin Prize in 2000, he has been named one of "Twenty Writers for the 21st Century" by The New Yorker and one of the "Best Young American Novelists" by Granta. Mr. Franzen is the author of "The Twenty-Seventh City," published in 1988, and "Strong Motion," published in 1992, and is a frequent contributor to Harper's and The New Yorker.

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