Published: May 29, 2017
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland will join forces with one of the UK’s leading theatre companies for its 2018 musical theatre production — the first to be staged in association with a professional company.
Scotland’s national conservatoire, one of the world’s top three performing arts institutions, will partner with the award-winning Dundee Rep to bring the Broadway hit, Spring Awakening, to audiences in Glasgow and Dundee in March 2018.
The venture will create a unique educational experience for Royal Conservatoire students who will work alongside and learn from the only permanent acting ensemble in Scotland and the theatre’s design and creative team.
As a cross-Conservatoire production, Spring Awakening will bring together students from the Musical Theatre, Music, Production Arts and Design and Production Technology Management programmes. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is ranked in the world top three for performing arts education and is number one in Scotland for graduate employability (97%). Scotland’s national conservatoire offers the only arts education of its kind in Europe, with specialised teaching across music, drama, dance, production and film.
Hugh Hodgart, Director of Drama, Dance, Production and Film at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said:
“The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has had a very warm and collaborative relationship with the Rep for many years and past interactions have proved to be mutually beneficial to both organisations and our audiences — BA Acting students’ involvement in minor roles in the award-winning 2007 production of Peer Gynt being a shining example. That was an invaluable learning opportunity, not only for our students but for the members of the ensemble who seized the opportunity to act informally as mentors as well as welcome the students into the company as equals.
“This new joint venture is not merely a continuation but a step change in our relationship, being the first Royal Conservatoire of Scotland production to be staged in Scotland in association with a professional company, and with their actors playing key roles. There is an equally strong partnership planned for our production students who will be fulfilling key roles behind the scenes.
“I am absolutely delighted and most grateful to our friends at the Rep for joining us in this exciting venture. I hope it will be the first of many.”
Tickets are now on sale for the exhilarating and emotionally charged Spring Awakening, from the creative team behind the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s critically acclaimed productions of Chess, Cabaret and West Side Story.
The BA Musical Theatre programme is unique in the world offering quadruple-strand, conservatoire-level education across acting, singing, dance and music. Graduates go on to work in London’s West End, regional theatres, film and television productions and with major companies including Dundee Rep, National Theatre of Scotland, Citizens Theatre and the BBC.
BA Musical Theatre and School of Music students will share the stage alongside members of the Dundee Rep Ensemble which was established in 1999 with the mission of bringing together a permanent full-time company of actors, the only company of its kind in Scotland.
The Royal Conservatoire’s Musical Theatre programme has produced international successes including Rebecca Faulkenberry whose theatre credits include Broadway shows Groundhog Day, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and Rock of Ages and Josh Canfield of Broadway’s Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 and Dr Zhivago. Graduates also include Christopher Jordan-Marshall who plays Sky in the West End production of Mamma Mia! and Kirsty MacLaren who is cast as Manda in Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, also in London’s West End.
Spring Awakening opens in Glasgow on March 13 2018 for four nights which includes an exclusive gala performance on March 16. It will transfer to Dundee Rep Theatre on March 22 for three nights. Both venues will include matinee performances.
Students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s BA Production Arts and Design and BA Production Technology and Management programmes will create, build and operate the spectacular sets, costumes and stage effects that have become a signature of the Royal Conservatoire’s musical theatre productions. Around 20 first and third year technical and stage management students on the BA Production Technology and Management programme will work on Spring Awakening. There will also be input from around 30 students from all years of the BA Production Arts and Design programme during the construction period, who will work on set, props, costume and scenic painting.
Winner of eight Tony awards, four Oliviers and a Grammy for best original cast album, Spring Awakening redefined the boundaries between music and theatre when it debuted on Broadway in 2006. It’s a raw portrayal of adolescents on the brink of adulthood, who are trying to make sense of their strong new feelings. Desires, emotions and hormones rush to the surface in this hard hitting punk-rock musical.
Professor Andrew Panton, Artistic Director of Musical Theatre at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the newly-appointed Artistic Director of Dundee Rep, said:
“We took our 2017 production of Chess to a new city for the first time, to Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre, and we wanted to build on that as the students loved transferring to the professional stage.Working with Dundee Rep will give our students phenomenal industry experience.
“Our musical theatre students and musicians will share the stage with some of Scotland’s leading actors while our production and technical students will hone their skills not only in their ‘home’ theatre, the New Athenaeum in Glasgow, but in one of the country’s leading arts venues.
“Our students will perform in two great, creative, Scottish cities where audiences have the chance to support the next generation of Scottish, UK and International performance and production artists.”
Spring Awakening, staged in Andrew Panton’s first season as Artistic Director of Dundee Rep, is based on the 1891 German play by Frank Wedekind.
Andrew added: “Spring Awakening is a fantastic musical, it redefined the form in many ways – it’s a mixture of a play and a musical, set in period, with punk, rock and pop music. Our students will play age-appropriate roles with actors from Dundee Rep as the adult characters. It covers everything — sexual awakening, abuse, suicide and at its heart is a love story. It’s a show that feels so current and is a real hit with the students.”