Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Press Releases
Press Releases

OCC Theatre to Stage Rock Musical
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

“Spring Awakening,” Coming of Age Story, Opens May 2

Orange Coast College’s spring musical, “Spring Awakening,” is a coming-of-age story set in 1890’s Germany juxtaposed against score of alternative, modern music. Performances will be May 2 through May 11 in the college’s Drama Lab Theatre.

“It’s not your typical happy, lighthearted musical,” explains director Naomi Buckley, who is directing her first production for the OCC Theatre Department. Buckley, who is on the theatre faculty at CSU Dominguez Hills, joined the OCC theatre department as a part-time instructor this fall.

The rock musical features 13 cast members. The musical is based on a play written in 1891 and banned by authorities for its frank portrayal of abortion, homosexuality, child abuse and suicide. “It was ahead of its time,” Buckley said. Even though the story takes place 100 years ago, “it’s modern in terms of the story that it tells,” she said. Adolescents at the time were “experiencing a lot of the same things young people experience today.”

The music transports the audience to modern times. “It feels like a rock concert,” Buckley said. The music is pop rock, but the harmonies are “very rich, very modern,” Buckley said. “It’s very interesting, complicated music.”

David Diiorio, an award-winning pianist, composer, multi-instrumentalist and a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, is musical director. He will direct an ensemble of professional musicians playing piano, guitar, bass, viola, cello and drums.

The original production, with music by Duncan Sheik and adapted for theater by Stephen Sater, opened on Broadway in 2006. It won eight Tony Awards as well as four Drama Desk Awards; the original cast album won a Grammy Award.

Buckley is familiar with the musical – she performed in the cast for “Spring Awakening” two years ago at Cal State Dominguez Hills, where she has taught theater for the past seven years. Teaching at OCC is her first experience teaching at another college. “It’s been very easy,” she said. “I have really enjoyed the whole process.”

Buckley earned an M.A. degree from the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London. She is also a playwright and served as artistic director and company manager of the Dominguez Bridge Theatre Company at CSU Dominguez Hills, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in theatre arts.

“Spring Awakening” opens on Friday, May 2, with performances at 7:30 p.m. on May 2, 3, 4, 9 and 10. A closing matinee show is 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 11, in the Drama Lab Theatre. Advance tickets are $12 adults, $10 seniors 62 and over, and $8 for OCC students. Tickets may be purchased at the OCC Bursar’s Office, (714) 432-5880, ext. 1, or online at If available, tickets will be $15 at the door.

What: “Spring Awakening”
OCC Rock Musical

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday & Sunday, May 2, 3, 4, 9 & 10
2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 11

Where: Orange Coast College Drama Lab Theatre
2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa

Admission: Advance tickets $12 adults, $10 seniors 62 and over, and $8 for OCC students at the OCC Bursar’s Office, (714) 432-5880, ext. 1

$15 at the door (if available)

Parking: Campus parking is free on weekends, closest lots are Lot C and Lot D

Contact: Juan Gutierrez, OCC Communications & Marketing

Naomi Buckley, Director, (714) 432-0202 x23697

Download photos (Front page)
Amanda Minano (Wendla) and Winston Peacock (Melchoir) (2nd photo)
Winston Peacock (Melchoir) and Luke Pena (Moritz)
Amanda Minano (Wendla) and Winston Peacock (Melchoir)

Orange Coast College, founded in 1947, is one of the nation's top transfer schools. With a student population of 22,000, OCC provides exemplary programs leading to Associate degrees and 145 career programs. The college's 164-acre campus is located in the heart of Costa Mesa.