19
Sep
12

Meet Jacob Wittenauer, the actor who plays Jürgen/Understudy in Spring Awakening at Dominion Stage.

Jacob 239x300 Meet Jacob Wittenauer, the actor who plays Jürgen/Understudy in Spring Awakening at Dominion Stage.

Photo by Joe Tresh

Originally from the midwest, Jacob grew up on a farm near a small town in northern Illinois. He moved to the DC metro area after graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in Computer Science and Performing arts.

“The two fields are obviously very different. While I enjoy programming, I’ve been acting my entire life and it’s what I love doing the most. It allows me to explore new lives, experiences, and situations outside my world. I love to evoke the emotions of an audience as well as question my own thoughts and emotions with each character I play.”

Defining himself as “an actor who can sometimes sing” he has been in a diverse array of productions including most recently Twelfth Night (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Vinegar Tom (Jack), Hairspray (Brad), The Fantasticks (Mortimer), The Pillowman (Michal), and Torch Song Trilogy (Alan).

“I don’t remember when I saw that Dominion stage was going to put on Spring Awakening because it was a long time ago, but that’s when I knew I was going to audition. It’s one of those dream shows of mine to be in. I’ve had the cast album for years. I remember buying it after seeing the Tony Award’s performance. I’ve been enjoying the music for so long that it’s become a part of me, especially since it was my go to “I’m having problems” music for much of my sophomore year of college. My senior year, for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival competition, I performed a scene from the 1891 original German play the musical is based on. I strongly believe that the portrayed themes in the show today are still as relevant as ever. The style of the music is extremely refreshing, the lyrics are soul clutching, and the characters are very relatable.”

Sing it!

Photo by Joe Tresh


“As a male swing, I get to explore two of my favorite characters in the show, Melchior and Hanschen. Both of these guys think they have society figured out and they take entirely separate approaches towards using their assumed wisdom. Hanschen has learned how to manipulate others and get by on his own terms without being disruptive. Melchior uses his knowledge to challenge the authorities around him as he struggles with his strong, unpredictable feelings towards Wendla. Both of these guys have been me at points throughout my life. When discovering my own sexuality, I took the “Hanschen” approach of gliding through college by society’s (or in this case, my parents’) rules. I was aware that I could not sustain myself financially, and while I am lucky to have a supportive family, at that time I wasn’t willing to take the risk of being disowned for being gay. That’s just one example of the many still relevant themes and portrayals in Spring Awakening of what teenagers are confronted with today. I’m thrilled to grow and learn with my cast and crew as we continue to build this work of art.”

Jacob1 239x300 Meet Jacob Wittenauer, the actor who plays Jürgen/Understudy in Spring Awakening at Dominion Stage.

Photo by Joe Tresh


1 Response to “Meet Jacob Wittenauer, the actor who plays Jürgen/Understudy in Spring Awakening at Dominion Stage.”


  1. 1 Dominion Stage Trackback on Sep 20th, 2012 at 4:07 am

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