3-Minute Interview: Steven Sater

The playwright and lyricist co-wrote with Duncan Sheik the Tony Award-winning musical “Spring Awakening.” The show opens at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre in a Best of Broadway presentation Sept. 4.

You’re on the phone from Kennedy Airport, where are you going? I’m going to the south of France; it will be a great time for writing.

How do you feel about “Spring Awakening” coming to San Francisco? I love San Francisco. I’m thrilled that the national tour of the show is opening there. People there are remarkable; really interested in the arts.

You’ve worked at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, how was that? I had a great experience there, doing “Nero.” It was brave for the theater to put on the show in such an early stage of production. We learned a great deal. 

Why do you think “Spring Awakening” strikes such a note with so many people? We’ve all lived the pains and sorrows of adolescence. And in our culture, we’ve grown fed up with suppression of the truth. The story is heartfelt and truthful.

Is there something about “Spring Awakening” that’s different from other musicals? We started from a classical text, and in our show, the spoken words have the same poetry as the song. And the songs don’t forward the show’s plot. They’re more of a direct expression of feeling; they come deep from the interior.

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