Saturday, June 25, 2016

SPRING AWAKENING: Teen Masturbation, BDSM, Sex and Rape\Incest



Broadway's Spring Awakening musical is based on Frank Wedekind's bawdy play, but the musical is more raunchy. The musical made what the play implied more explicit, which is revealing when one realizes that the main characters, Wendla Bergman and Melchior Gabor, were fourteen-years-old.

For example, in the play Hans Rilow masturbated to a picture of Venus of Palma Vecchio which he described as having “plump, youthful breasts”. And asked, “Maiden, maiden, why dost thou press they knees together?” But his autoeroticism was implied.

Venus of Palma Vecchio

In the musical, Hanschen masturbated to Antonio da Correggio's Io. The stage directions read “[...] Slowly and steadily, Hanschen begins to masturbate – building steam as the scene continues.” And on Broadway, Jonathan B. Wright, playing an early-teen, energetically simulated masturbating first with his right then lift hand.

Antonio da Correggio's Io

In the play, fourteen-year-old Wendla asked Melchior, “Would you like to beat me with it once? […] Please---please.” But when she didn't feel Melchior's switch she said, “Oh, Lord, I don't notice it in the least! […] Then strike me on my legs!” Finally, feeling the pleasure of the pain she exclaimed, “You're stroking me! You're stroking me!”
In the musical, additional stage directions were added. “She offers him her backside. He considers, then strikes her lightly.” But Wendla said, “I don't feel it.” Melchior replied, “Maybe not, with your dress on.” Consequently, the stage direction read “Wendla hikes her skirt, offering Melchior the prospect of her somewhat more exposed backside." And that's exactly what Wendla (Lea Michele) did at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on 49th Street in Midtown Manhattan.

In the play, it was implied that Melchior raped Wendla when she pleaded, “Don't---don't, Melchior! […] Oh, Melchior!---Don't, don't---” But in the musical Wendla says, “”No […] Don't it...[...] Wait...[...] Now, there---now, that's...[..] Yes […]” After which the stage direction read “Melchior penetrates Wendla” to which she responds, “Melchior---oh...” On the stage, Melchior (Jonathan Groff) exposed Wendla's (Lea Michele) left fountain before he lowered his trousers, mooned the Broadway theater goers and simulated breaking Wendla's maidenhood up to climax.
Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff in Spring Awakening.
(Photo by Joan Marcus)

In the script's preface, Steven Sater admitted that shifts were made when he wrote the book “As others have noted, the two biggest shifts we made to the tale occur at the ends of Act One and Act Two---in the hayloft and then in the graveyard. In Wedenkind's script, Melchior “date-rapes” Wendla. We wanted to see him make love to her. More: we wanted to show how this [fourteen-year-old] young man […] first uncovers ineluctable sexual feelings; how he begins to own his sexual identity; how he helps [fourteen-year-old] Wendla awaken to hers.”
And just in case you're thinking that Sater updated the ages from Wedenkind's play, Sater shared that the characters were “adolescent”, Wendla was “a nineteenth-century [fourteen-year-old]” and Bronx native Lea Michele (Wendla) joined the company when she was fourteen.

While watching the Youtube clips of Spring Awakening, I normally skipped through the songs, but Melchior stopped me hot as he rubbed Wendla's fountains through “The Word of Your Body” and thankfully my frozen Samsung tablet forced me to listen to “The Dark I Know Well” where Martha and Ilse shared their stories of sexual abuse by their fathers.

[Martha]
You say all you want is just a kiss goodnight,
And then you hold me and you whisper,
"Child the Lord won't mind.
It's just you and me.
Child you're a beauty. "

[Ilse]
I don't scream. Though I know it's wrong.
I just play along.
I lie there and breathe.
Lie there and breathe...

I wanna be strong-
I want the world to find out
That you're dreamin' on me,
Me and my "beauty"

Martha and Ilse sing “The Dark I Know Well”
The bawdy teen musical won a number of awards including the Tony for Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical.

Spring Awakening 2007 Tony Awards and Nominations