Tag: Awakening

Good Luck To You, Leo Grande Review: Emma Thompson’s Sexual Awakening Comedy Is As Seductive As It Is Heartfelt

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https://www.cinemablend.com/movies/good-luck-to-you-leo-grande-review-emma-thompsons-sexual-awakening-comedy-is-as-seductive-as-it-is-heartfelt

“Spring Awakening” explores generational knowledge and sexuality

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Jewish Theatre Ensemble’s productions of “Spring Awakening” will take the Shanley Pavilion stage this Friday and Saturday.

The show explores the consequences of an adult society that fails to teach its children about adolescent sexuality and sex education.

Communication junior and Director Sunnie Eraso said the production also highlights the power of young people to imagine a better world where they are educated about these topics and are free to express their sexualities.

“In particular, our production is looking to center how these characters can imagine this world through the unfettered self-expression of the song world in the musical,” Eraso said.

Communication junior and Producer Rachel Schmaier said she is passionate about building community. She said it was special to bring together many voices and help everyone bring their designs to fruition.

She also said the final song “The Song of Purple Summer” highlights a central concept in the production.

“In this song, we as a cast and a rehearsal room and a team, as well as an audience, imagine what a better world could look like together,” she said.

While thinking through shows they wanted to direct, Eraso said they thought about why the theatre community keeps staging shows with violence. For them, “Spring Awakening” lets the characters sing and have a space for processing with a community.

“To be able to mirror that, not only within the characters that we see on stage, but also within our community of actors and of team members was really, really important to me,” they said.

Eraso also said in Chicago, there has been a movement uplifting the work of intimacy directors who help actors with conversations about sex and intimacy in a way that doesn’t cause harm.

By working with their professional intimacy director, student intimacy liaison and fight director the team has found “creative, beautiful and stunningly meaningful ways” to portray intimacy, Eraso said.

“It blew apart my notions of what I thought intimacy could be on stage,” Eraso said.

Communication sophomore Reilly Oh plays Moritz Steifel, who he describes as a “poet at heart.” Oh said that Moritz symbolizes what happens when you do not teach your children about sexuality, and when they are punished instead of loved.

Oh said he does not want to put himself in the mental and emotional space of the character’s mental health because it can be unsafe for an actor, so instead took a different approach.

“What has helped me is seeing how Moritz makes his own moments of joy and then how other people take them away, and how that has really informed my acting decisions,” he said.

Oh said the show contains heavy, difficult material but the creative team has done a “marvelous job” of making them feel safe and comfortable.

“They’ve all been so incredibly helpful in helping us understand our characters and the piece, but also helping us feel like we can feel free to make mistakes and make new discoveries,” he said.

Email: [email protected] 

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Jewish Theatre Ensemble’s “Spring Awakening” production explores generational knowledge and sexuality, imagines a better world

Elif Batuman’s sequel ‘Either/Or’ follows a young woman’s sexual awakening | KPCC – NPR News for Southern California

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Elif Batuman has turned her years in college into another book. Her highly anticipated sequel to the 2017 Pulitzer finalist The Idiot is out on Tuesday – and the lively, witty, inquisitive protagonist Selin is just as curious about “the human condition” as she was in the first novel.

Either/Or picks up where The Idiot left off. Selin is now a sophomore, after having spent the summer trying to understand her obsession with a boy she followed to Hungary. In Either/Or, Selin continues to muse about every choice she makes, comparing herself to literary characters and thinking deeply about her identity as a writer.

Selin is also more in touch with her feelings this year, and as Batuman told NPR’s Morning Edition, she’s learning more about her sexual preferences and trying to better understand the way people live, and the decisions they make.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Interview Highlights

On seeing herself in the protagonist

I was a seeker, I was looking for the meaning of life and how to live. I was the first person in my family to be born in the United States. My whole family is from Turkey and I did go to Harvard like Selin. I was aware that I had this incredible opportunity and I had to make the most of it. And, that if I didn’t, it was going to be this giant dishonor. I also knew that I wanted meaning to come from books and from literature. And even though my parents are doctors, they didn’t really pressure me to go into science. So I was really just looking for literature to show me the answers, how to live, and how to create a successful life. And that’s also the case for Selin in these books.

On the influence of Russian literature

I fell in love with Russian literature when I was a teenager. When I look back at what really attracted me to books like [Tolstoy’s] Anna Karenina and Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin – which were two of my big favorites early on – [it was that] Tolstoy and Pushkin really saw what was unfair in life for women and children in a way that no other part of serious discourse that I could see was talking about. And what I really got from those Russian novels is a potential way that I could take this threatening and menacing chaos of stories, and at least theoretically, reconcile them all into one single story.

Either/Or

On the aesthetic versus the ethical way of life

The Kierkegaard book Either/Or is one that I actually read at that stage of life – in my second year of college. And Kierkegaard is talking about how you can either live your life as a work of art or you can live your life and try to be a good person. And for Kierkegaard, there’s a huge conflict between these two things. And his example is that if you want your life to be a work of art, you should go out and seduce lots of women and seduce young girls, and some of them might kill themselves or go crazy. But like, you’re living a really aesthetic life. And an ethical life means getting married and being really bored because like a boring marriage in this sophisticated way is actually more interesting than a series of interesting love experiences.

On the protagonist’s sexual awakening

When Selin researches how to live an aesthetic life, she’s really reading a lot of books that are written by men, and she’s learning that the person who lives an aesthetic life is a man, and the way that they do it is by seducing and abandoning young girls. And when I set out to write Either/Or it was in 2017 during the Me Too [movement], when a lot of women were revisiting their own sexual histories. I was, at that point, one year into a lesbian relationship for the first time in my life after only [ever] dating guys. One text that I read at that time was Compulsory Heterosexuality by Adrienne Rich, which blew my mind. It’s about the existence of a force that is sometimes secret, and sometimes not secret, that is always working in society to wrench women’s energies away from themselves and each other and towards men.

When I thought back about my college experience, part of the question I had was, ‘I feel so wonderful in this relationship now with the woman with whom I hope to spend the rest of my life. Why didn’t I do this sooner?’ And that was part of the motivation for me to write Either/Or, to go back to that period and revisit why that didn’t seem like it was an option, and why it seemed so important to have these relationships with guys.

On what the next book might be

I feel like I’m going to run out of time. If I write another book for [Selin’s] next year of college, she’s [just] going to be a few years out of college by the time I die of old age. So, I think I’m probably going to skip forward to her thirties because I have some ideas about where she’s going to end up with that.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


https://www.kpcc.org/2022-05-24/elif-batumans-sequel-either-or-follows-a-young-womans-sexual-awakening

Elif Batuman’s sequel ‘Either/Or’ follows a young woman’s sexual awakening

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Elif Batuman has turned her years in college into another book. Her highly anticipated sequel to the 2017 Pulitzer finalist The Idiot is out on Tuesday – and the lively, witty, inquisitive protagonist Selin is just as curious about “the human condition” as she was in the first novel.

Either/Or picks up where The Idiot left off. Selin is now a sophomore, after having spent the summer trying to understand her obsession with a boy she followed to Hungary. In Either/Or, Selin continues to muse about every choice she makes, comparing herself to literary characters and thinking deeply about her identity as a writer.

Selin is also more in touch with her feelings this year, and as Batuman told NPR’s Morning Edition, she’s learning more about her sexual preferences and trying to better understand the way people live, and the decisions they make.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Interview Highlights

On seeing herself in the protagonist

I was a seeker, I was looking for the meaning of life and how to live. I was the first person in my family to be born in the United States. My whole family is from Turkey and I did go to Harvard like Selin. I was aware that I had this incredible opportunity and I had to make the most of it. And, that if I didn’t, it was going to be this giant dishonor. I also knew that I wanted meaning to come from books and from literature. And even though my parents are doctors, they didn’t really pressure me to go into science. So I was really just looking for literature to show me the answers, how to live, and how to create a successful life. And that’s also the case for Selin in these books.

On the influence of Russian literature

I fell in love with Russian literature when I was a teenager. When I look back at what really attracted me to books like [Tolstoy’s] Anna Karenina and Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin – which were two of my big favorites early on – [it was that] Tolstoy and Pushkin really saw what was unfair in life for women and children in a way that no other part of serious discourse that I could see was talking about. And what I really got from those Russian novels is a potential way that I could take this threatening and menacing chaos of stories, and at least theoretically, reconcile them all into one single story.

/ Penguin Random House

/

Penguin Random House

Either/Or

On the aesthetic versus the ethical way of life

The Kierkegaard book Either/Or is one that I actually read at that stage of life – in my second year of college. And Kierkegaard is talking about how you can either live your life as a work of art or you can live your life and try to be a good person. And for Kierkegaard, there’s a huge conflict between these two things. And his example is that if you want your life to be a work of art, you should go out and seduce lots of women and seduce young girls, and some of them might kill themselves or go crazy. But like, you’re living a really aesthetic life. And an ethical life means getting married and being really bored because like a boring marriage in this sophisticated way is actually more interesting than a series of interesting love experiences.

On the protagonist’s sexual awakening

When Selin researches how to live an aesthetic life, she’s really reading a lot of books that are written by men, and she’s learning that the person who lives an aesthetic life is a man, and the way that they do it is by seducing and abandoning young girls. And when I set out to write Either/Or it was in 2017 during the Me Too [movement], when a lot of women were revisiting their own sexual histories. I was, at that point, one year into a lesbian relationship for the first time in my life after only [ever] dating guys. One text that I read at that time was Compulsory Heterosexuality by Adrienne Rich, which blew my mind. It’s about the existence of a force that is sometimes secret, and sometimes not secret, that is always working in society to wrench women’s energies away from themselves and each other and towards men.

When I thought back about my college experience, part of the question I had was, ‘I feel so wonderful in this relationship now with the woman with whom I hope to spend the rest of my life. Why didn’t I do this sooner?’ And that was part of the motivation for me to write Either/Or, to go back to that period and revisit why that didn’t seem like it was an option, and why it seemed so important to have these relationships with guys.

On what the next book might be

I feel like I’m going to run out of time. If I write another book for [Selin’s] next year of college, she’s [just] going to be a few years out of college by the time I die of old age. So, I think I’m probably going to skip forward to her thirties because I have some ideas about where she’s going to end up with that.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


https://www.kpcw.org/npr-top-stories/npr-top-stories/2022-05-24/elif-batumans-sequel-either-or-follows-a-young-womans-sexual-awakening

10 Best Songs In Spring Awakening, According To Reddit

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Content Warning: This article mentions suicide, abuse, and other sensitive topics.

On May 3rd, Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Known, a documentary about the original Broadway cast reunion concert, premiered on HBO Max. The cast and creators treated viewers to enlightening perspectives and rich insight into the musical’s songs.

Spring Awakening speaks to audiences about the dangers of a society that fails to teach its children about sexuality and treat them with understanding and forgiveness. Viewers likely listened to the original Broadway soundtrack soon after, falling in love with the music again. Here are the top songs of Spring Awakening ranked, according to Reddit.

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

All That’s Known

Melchior being threatened with a stick in Spring Awakening.

This song gives the audience insight into the boys’ experience in their society. In the classroom, they are taught to follow religious scripture instead of learning from history and science. Melchior (played by Jonathan Groff) laments how questioning society would get him in trouble.

RELATED: 10 Musicals That Should Become Broadway Musicals

Reddit user MyLittlePonyta_, as well as three other upvoters, rate the song similarly to the popular “Don’t Do Sadness/Blue Wind.” The song is like “Mama Who Bore Me” because it is a slow lament and it sets up how things are for Melchior, as well as his male classmates, in their society. Highlighting an individual frustrated with their environment, the song creates an interesting contrast to “Mama Who Bore Me.” One song criticizes a lack of education, the other criticizes the inability to question existing ideals.


The Dark I Know Well

Martha and Ilse singing in Spring Awakening.

Prior to this song, Martha (originally portrayed by Lili Cooper) accidentally reveals that her father abuses her. This shocks the rest of the girls. However, when one of them suggests that they tell someone, Martha vehemently objects out of fear of becoming an outcast in society.

Reddit user quinnlatifa describes the song as giving them “chills every time.” One of the most intense songs on the soundtrack, “The Dark I Know Well” describes sexual abuse from an authority figure with scathing rawness. Arguably one of the most traumatic songs, it can hit close to home for many who have similar experiences and can’t share these experiences out of fear. Certainly, listening to this song made some listeners feel less alone.


My Junk

Melchior and Wendla in Spring Awakening.

In this song, Wendla (originally played by Lea Michele, who notably portrayed Rachel Berry on Glee), Matha, Thea, and Anna sing about their crushes on the boys. In addition, Georg fantasizes about his piano teacher and Hanschen masturbates in his room. A deleted Reddit user describes “My Junk” as their favorite, with nine upvotes.

The song “My Junk” is more romantic rather than sexual. The presentation of the song is wild considering everything going on; the girls sing and dance, and Georg and Hanschen indulge in their fantasies. That said, the song is just that: fun, energetic and relatable. In addition, it’s a much-needed reprieve from the emotional intensity of the entire musical.


Mama Who Bore Me (Reprise)

Wendla and the girls performing in Spring Awakening.

In a reprise to “Mama Who Bore Me,” Wendla is joined by the other girls, all of them lamenting the lack of sexual education. Reddit user catmama1713 describes “Mama Who Bore Me” as “a powerful opener with great harmonies in the reprise.”

The reprisal is angry and fast-paced; this frustration is no longer of a single person, but of several. Creating strong juxtaposition due to its placement right after its slower counterpart, the song is energetic and emotionally fierce with its added percussion and female chorus. The voice of one can be powerful and important. The voice of many speaks volumes and showcases a larger problem — and it’s much harder to resist listening.


Left Behind

Jonathan Groff on stage in Spring Awakening.

This song takes place during Moritz’s funeral. Melchior sings about the death of his friend and his parents’ regrets. One Reddit user “get[s] chills every time [they] hear “left behind,” because it’s “so raw.”

RELATED: 10 Strangest Broadway Musicals That Deserve Screen Versions

As to be expected of a funeral song, it’s one of the saddest songs in the musical. However, what sets it apart from any similar songs in the musical genre is how emotionally packed the lyrics are — there’s little to no forgiving nature to them. Melchior spends a good amount of time focusing on Moritz’s father, who treated Moritz’s academic failures without understanding, and passionately reprimands him: “And all of the crying / you wouldn’t understand / you just let him cry / make a man out of him.”

Song Of Purple Summer

Ilse singing in Spring Awakening.

Reddit user theotherviolin created a poll, with “Song of Purple Summer” ranking sixth with 16 votes out of 190. The Song of Purple Summer is the closing song of the musical, after Melchior’s breakdown in the graveyard where his friends Wendla and Moritz lie.

“The Song of Purple Summer” acts more as an ode to the musical. Listeners may interpret that the reasoning for using the color purple is because purple is a rich color on the color wheel. It is also a mix of the colors red and blue, where red can represent passion and anger and blue can represent sorrow and emptiness. Combining the two, purple can represent all the experiences the characters had in the show coming together in summer, the season after spring.

Totally F*cked

The original Broadway cast of Spring Awakening performing at the Tonys.

“Totally F*cked” is the song that Melchior’s classmates along with him when he is expelled due to his sexual essay being found by the administration. Reddit user theotherviolin‘s poll ranked “Totally F*cked” at fourth, with 35 votes out of 190.

One of the most energetic songs of the musical, “Totally F*cked” speaks to every person wronged by the people in their life. Melchior is backed into a corner and lets out his frustration with the rest of his peers in an unhinged, intense tune. One of the strongest lyrics in the song is: “You can ask yourself, ‘Hey what have I done?’ / You’re just a fly, the little guys, they kill for fun.” The feeling of being bullied by society just for existing is understandable, and this song is rightfully one of the best songs in the musical.


Don’t Do Sadness/Blue Wind

Moritz singing in Spring Awakening.

Reddit user theotherviolin‘s poll ranked “Don’t Do Sadness/Blue Wind” third with 36 votes out of 190. The song takes place while Moritz encounters Ilse. Ilse tries to help him, Moritz refuses, regrets his decision, and ends the scene with his suicide.

RELATED: 10 Famous Quotes From Broadway Musicals

Beauty and sadness radiate from the song’s meaning and composition. Mortiz sings about how it must be wonderful to be anyone but himself, and how his sadness is too much for him to handle anymore. Then, Ilse sings about how life is “spring and summer every other day” and even the “blue wind gets so sad blowing through the thick corn / through the bales of hay.” She argues pain is a part of life, trying to encourage Moritz. Having “Blue Wind” fight against “Don’t Do Sadness” at the end is a thoughtful choice, representing Moritz’s conflict.

Touch Me

Moritz and Melchior reading a book in Spring Awakening.

The entire cast comes together to sing about sexual desire. This takes place while Melchior and Moritz discuss the essay about sex that Melchior writes for Moritz. With 38 votes out of 190, Reddit user theotherviolin’s poll had “Touch Me” as number 2.

Violin strings, entrancing rhythm, and poetic lyrics describing sexual fantasies all come together in a powerful display of passionate and primal desire. This song is a fantasy for them since none of the characters had sex before. The effect is overpowering, especially if it’s of something that someone hasn’t experienced before. The raw energy of a teenage, sexual fantasy is the skeleton of this song, making it unbelievably beautiful.

The B*tch Of Living

Moritz and the male cast of Spring Awakening singing.

The image of nineteenth-century schoolchildren — pulling out microphones to sing an intense rock song about their sexual frustrations — is a unique one. This song also solidifies the idea that no matter what time period, teenage angst pervades existence.

Reddit user theotherviolin‘s poll ranked “The B*tch of Living” at first with 44 votes out of 190. Like Mama Who Bore Me (Reprise), “The B*tch of Living” shares the experiences of many. Frustrated, the boys can’t express themselves because they were taught that premarital sex, masturbation, and homosexuality are wrong. Energetic, relatable, and intense, it’s fun for viewers to sing along to. This song was also heavily used to promote the show back when it first premiered, as published on YouTube.


NEXT: 10 Broadway Stage Recordings Streaming Now (& Where To Watch Them)

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