Arts & Humanities Society & Culture

Singer/songwriter Duncan Sheik to host Q&A after ‘Spring Awakening’ April 11

Duncan Sheik 2013-h.env
Duncan Sheik

Athens, Ga. – Grammy and Tony award winning singer/songwriter Duncan Sheik will host a question and answer session April 11 after the 8 p.m. performance of University Theatre’s “Spring Awakening” in the University of Georgia Fine Arts Theatre.

Sheik wrote the music for the sexually charged rock musical, which will close out the University Theatre season with shows April 10-12 and 15-18 at 8 p.m. and matinees April 13 and 19 at 2:30 p.m. “Spring Awakening” received eight Tony Awards in 2007, including best orchestration, best original score and best musical. It also won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.

In 1996, Sheik’s self-titled Atlantic Records debut album spent 52 weeks on the Billboard 200 and earned him a Grammy nomination for best male vocal, RIAA Certified Gold. His hit song “Barely Breathing” gained him a Grammy nomination for best male pop vocal performance. His albums include “Duncan Sheik” (1996), “Humming” (1998), “Phantom Moon” (2001), “Daylight” (2002), “White Limousine” (2006), “Brighter/Later” (2007), “Whisper House” (2009) and “Covers 80s” (2011), with his next solo album due out in fall 2014.

Sheik also started to write music for theatre, beginning in 2006 with “Spring Awakening” at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, “The Nightingale” at La Jolla Playhouse and “Nero (Another Golden Rome)” at Powerhouse Theater followed in 2010 by “Whisper House” at The Old Globe and in 2012 by “Alice by Heart” at The National Theater in London. In 2013, “Because of Winn Dixie” debuted at the Arkansas Repertory Theater and “American Psycho” debuted at the Almeida Theatre in London.

When asked if he would go Broadway after the success of “Spring Awakening,” Sheik noted that “Whisper House” sounds even less like a conventional Broadway musical than “Spring Awakening.”

“No, I went in the other direction,” he said in a recent biography. “Spending all this time working in the theater, I think I have a much more profound respect for the form than I did before.”

He suspects he was “obnoxious about my opinions about musical theater,” when he first began work on the music for “Spring Awakening,” he said. “But I really do love the medium, and there are many, many composers where I listen to this music and I’m really blown away by it. But I also feel more and more that it’s fundamentally important that if the form is going to continue, it needs to have composers and writers who are doing stuff that is unique and really relevant to the times in which it’s being made.”