Translated by Tom Osborn
Spring Awakening is set in a small German town in the 1890s, where adolescent boys and girls grope their way towards knowledge and maturity against the blocks set up by parents and teachers in the name of “morality”. Melchior, fearless in his pursuit of the truth, manages to retain his freedom of spirit, but his friends are not so lucky or strong.
Wedekind’s controversial play occupies a special place in modern theatrical history as a key work of the naturalist school and the principal precursor of German Expressionism.
Frank Wedekind (1864–1918) was a playwright, poet, journalist, actor and cabaret singer, whose works revolutionized European literature, and also once caused him to be imprisoned for nine months for lèse-majesté.