Fourth Year TFDP Major, Hana Bookman Recounts Experience as Lead in “Spring Awakening”

In All, Music, Theatre by admin

Hi I’m Hana! I had the honor to portray Wendla Bergmann in Spring Awakening the Musical at UCR this quarter. I’ll start with by saying how much I appreciate each and every person who was a part of this process. From the crew, the creative team, to my beautiful cast, thank you for the journey. I remember being so excited when we found out about the production. This musical holds great importance especially in our generation today. It tells the story of teenagers trying to discover themselves as individuals and trying to find their part in society. The show wants you to embrace the discomfort and highlights how people are afraid to face vulnerability. We see the power of communication and dialogue between parents and children, between your friends and peers. All of these issues made me realize the actors had a moral responsibility and this was to be truthful and honest. We knew we had to tell this story with great care and commitment. I learned to pay more attention to our surroundings, to each other, and how we must check in with ourselves sometimes.

We can be our own force, to say this is my story, this is who I am, whether or not society will accept me.Hana Bookman, TFDP Student '16
One of my favorite parts of the process was having the privilege to sing and explore the amazing score by Duncan Sheik. His work is very expressive with poetic and symbolic meanings. This challenged us to think deeper and be limitless with our views. What made the show exciting is that all of us learned something new about our characters, the story, or about life in the theatre each time we performed. I remember standing backstage for one of the final performances, and something about a lyric in the boys’ song struck me differently that day. I was like “Oh!!!! So that’s what it means!” It was so great!

I have a million favorite lines in the show, but I do want to point out one that will always stick by me. That is, “And he touched me, and I let him love me, so let that be my story”. This is in my song called Whispering towards the end of Act 2. This is when Wendla reflects back upon her life so far after hearing a piece of life-changing news. Everything was a question to her up to this point, but this is a line that sparks her first true statement. I think it is so powerful, as it tells girls and women that it’s okay to be strong. We can be our own force, to say this is my story, this is who I am, whether or not society will accept me.

What I’ll miss about the show is being in a cast that treated each other like family. We had our ups and downs, the obstacles and spins, but in the end we were able to come together and tell this story to the Riverside community. It would not have been complete without each of the members, as our unique personalities brought it all together. Thank you so much for this experience. You have all touched me and I’ll never forget it.

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