Tuesday, June 20, 2023


Get a First Look at Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik’s SPRING AWAKENING as VANGUARD THEATER explores what it means to live, love, and survive, in a world that strives to keep you in the dark.

Spring Awakening

WHEN: June 22 – July 16; Thursdays through Saturdays 8pm / Sundays 2pm and 7pm.
WHERE: Vanguard Theater, Montclair, NJ
TICKETS: $35 and up. Purchase: or by emailing the Vanguard Theater box office at
Individual tickets, memberships, and subscriptions are available.
A portion of proceeds from Spring Awakening will be donated to Planned Parenthood and Everytown for Gun Safety.

Recommended for ages 13 and over (themes include suicide, abortion and sexual awakening).

Playing in Montclair, NJ, at Vanguard Theater for 20 performances, the rock musical follows a group of teenagers taking an emotional journey through the turbulence of adolescence.  Originally written in 1891, Spring Awakening is set in a provincial town in 19th century Germany that fails its youth by censoring books, silencing dissent, and readily using corporal punishment.  Against all obstacles, the teens answer by creating a community of love, support, hope, and change.

Notable in Vanguard’s production is a fully diverse cast that embodies Vanguard’s mission of giving voice and advocacy to a wider range of identities. Though many of the themes in Spring Awakening are universal, how each character experiences them differs based on their lived history.

Says Director Janeece Freeman Clark: "The narrative of this story takes on a few additional layers with our casting. At times, this might feel uncomfortable. I encourage you to lean into that discomfort and allow yourself to experience this story from the viewpoint of many different lenses provided by color-conscious casting."

Leading the company are Shania Mundy as Wendla, Benji Santiago as Melchior, Timmy Thompson as Moritz, Elise Killian as Ilse, Emma McDonough as Martha, Julie Galorenzo as Adult Woman, Andrew Willis-Woodward as Adult Man, Mikayla White (School of Rock) as Anna, Camille Fundingsland as Thea, William Maus as Otto, Jake Wernecke as Hanschen, Chachi Quinn as Ernst, Chokwe as Georg, and Zack Blumenstyk as Moritz (Final Weekend).  Rounding out the ensemble and covering various roles are Gabby Brubrick (u/s Thea & Anna), Samy Cordero (u/s Wendla), Bryce Gray (u/s Georg and Ernst), Brianna Marie Johnson (u/s Ilse), and Aydan Salim (u/s Otto).

Janeece Freeman Clark helms the creative team which includes Set Designer Eric Marchetta, Intimacy and Fight Director Katie Claire, Costume Designer Terrell Jordan Jenkins, Lighting Designer David Heguy, Music Director Matthew Going, and Production Manager Terri Gorgone.

Founded in 2015, Vanguard challenges conventional social and cultural narratives through theater dedicated to DREAM: Diversity, Reciprocity, Education, Activism, and Mentorship. We approach this mission through color and gender-conscious casting in our professional Mainstage productions, ongoing education and mentorship programs, and summer camps.  Visit us at . Find us across social media @vtcnj 

Photos by Spotlights Photography