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By Frank Wedekind
The introduction to this edition of Spring Awakening includes a short biography of Frank Wedekind, a guide to what happens in the play; a short study of the background, structure and themes; a study of the play’s struggle against censorship, and an index of key dates.
Frank Wedekind’s once-banned and still controversial German play from 1891 focuses on a group of classmates and explores teenage sexuality holding up a mirror to our own times. The play depicts with candour well ahead of its time adolescent sexual curiosity and its unthinking repression by parents and schoolteachers alike. Treated by the playwright with sympathy and humanity the youngsters in Wedekind’s masterpiece go variously, and even fatally, adrift in a society too scared to allow feelings to rise to the surface. Wedekind’s play provided the source material for the smash-hit Broadway musical of the same name.