Spring Awakening, which debuted on Broadway in 2006 and garnered eight Tonys, including Best Musical, is currently being .
Several hundred young actors from Long Island and Manhattan auditioned for the Long Island Professional Premiere of this award-winning musical which runs through August 20.
Patch recently caught up with Ashley Reyes, who is among the stellar cast of players depicting young people experiencing the first, confusing stirrings of sexual desire in early 20th century Germany. The controversial musical confronts adolescent sexuality, child abuse, teen suicide, and abortion head-on, without pulling any punches.
Reyes, 16, who is about to enter her junior year at Commack High School, started acting at the tender age of 6 or 7, and was already going into Manhattan to pursue her passion for acting by nine. Reyes’ theatrical credits include Beauty and the Beast (Belle), Grey Gardens (Jackie Onassis), and To Kill a Mockingbird (Scout).
Reyes has also appeared on Nickelodeon’s “Home Court,” PBS’s “Kid Fitness,” “As The World Turns,” and “Family Values.” In Spring Awakening, Reyes plays Wendla, an endearing young teen who is at the forefront of the action
PATCH: How were you familiar with the show?
REYES: I saw the show on Broadway about eight or nine times. It’s my favorite show and I wanted that role [of Wendla].
PATCH: How did you prepare for the role?
REYES: I read the book which analyzes the story and each character.
PATCH: What made you want to play Wendla?
REYES: What I really like about her is that she is really innocent. I feel that the show is almost her story. She’s very real. A lot of girls will be able to relate to her.
PATCH: There are some explicit scenes. Have you ever played someone like this before? What were the challenges of taking on this role?
REYES: No, I never played a character like this before. There’s some scenes that are uncomfortable to do in front of people because I know that I am going to make the audience feel extremely uncomfortable.
PATCH: The songs showcase the beauty and power of your voice. Do you take singing lessons?
REYES: I used to take voice lessons. I was trained in the style of opera.
PATCH: What lessons can be learned from the show?
REYES: Parents need to inform their kids about sex. It’s a discussion parents need to have to prevent teenage pregnancy. Parents need to communicate with their kids.
PATCH: You seem to have found your calling at a young age.
REYES: I want to do this for the rest of my life.