Saying Goodbye to Claire; Saying Hello to Krista

May 10th was a sad day at the Colonial Theatre when the cast had to say goodbye to Claire Sparks. Claire wanted to say goodbye to all of you in her own words:

CHEERS by Claire Sparks


I thought it would be appropriate to start my letter with “cheers” since my final city is Boston, Massachusetts. I’m in my final week of performances with my family in Spring Awakening, and it could not be any more bitter sweet. I’ve been sitting at this computer for twenty minutes already, trying to find the words that could express my feelings and my experience. I’ll start at the beginning.

My experience with Spring Awakening started much like yours. I ignorantly flipped on my television to watch the 2007 Tony Awards, only to be amazed forever at the story of Spring Awakening. I was inspired by the truth, energy, and sincerity of the performance and the story, and immediately wanted to share that same story with the world. Spring Awakening hit home, as I’m sure it does with you in some capacity. I begged my parents to audition for months and finally was able to audition at an open call. That miraculously led to a callback in New York and the job opportunity of a lifetime.

I never thought I would find family so far away from home, but the first day we all met in New York, I knew we were kin. We’ve grown up together tremendously over the past year. We’ve experienced the same things, the same stories, and the same joys. I have met good friends along the way in different cities, and have seen some of the most beautiful places our nation offers.
My favorite city, I must admit is San Francisco, California. The town is so convenient, so sunny, and so beautiful. The Saturday market, Muir woods and beach, Alcatraz, the ocean, the wharf, the streetcars, the quaint shops, the nice community, Teatro Zinzanni; I could try to name them all, but it would take up half of the page. You’ll just have to visit yourself =)

I don’t think that I have one favorite memory, but I have a hand full of fantastic memories. My most daring memory took place in San Diego. The cast decided to spend the day at the beach. We discovered a grotto that people were snorkeling in that housed wild sea lions. So a few of us thought, why not? We rented gear and walked into the ocean. I’m not a swimmer. I can keep myself afloat, but in no means, if I was in danger, could I swiftly and confidently swim away. I held onto Chase the entire way while we were “swimming” to the cave. The sea lions were adorable and sunbathing, and the experience was one that I will always remember. I forgot while I was ogling the cute animals, that we would have to eventually get out of the water. I lost a flipper and couldn’t swim back to the beach, so we decided to exit onto a rocky shore. I ended up with a gash on my leg and a great story to tell.

I’m sad to leave the tour, but I will hold my experiences closely to my heart forever. I am so grateful to my family, friends, loved ones, directors, crews, and fans. You all have changed my life so much and I couldn’t thank you enough for supporting me and challenging me. Please continue to follow your dreams, I did and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. I love you all so much and will sincerely miss you. I will always keep the story and message of Spring Awakening and of my memories on tour in my heart. Thank you.

Love always,
Claire Sparks

Thank you, Claire. We will miss you and you will always be part of the Spring Awakening family. There is no news at this time as to when or if other cast members will be leaving. Many of them have not decided yet whether to renew their contract. Krystina Alabado will move from being a swing to a part of the ensemble, so her title will be “Ensemble; u/s Wendla, Ilse.” Congrats Krystina! Well deserved!

On June 1, in Louisville,KY, Krista Pioppi will be joining the tour as a swing. Here is her headshot and bio:


Krista Pioppi (Swing, u/s Wendla) National tour debut! Credits: High School Musical and The Sound of Music at Paper Mill Playhouse, original workshop 13! (Patrice). Love to Mom, Dad, Gina, & Dina Bogner.

Our casting directors have had their eye on Krista since she was 15 and she is finally now old enough to be cast! Krysta has her own blog and will detail her journey on Spring Awakening here: http://kristapioppi.blogspot.com/2009/04/hey-everyone-at-request-of-few-close.html Welcome, Krista! Can't wait to see you shine.


Anonymous said...

Hey Pun,

Krista's blog says the tour will be in Chicago until Aug. 23 while the site says the 16th. There has been so much confusion on the Chicago dates. Any chance you know which date is correct (Aug 16 or 23)?

Grace said...

Aww, Claire's letter is so touching!
We'll miss you Claire!!

On another note, I look forward to seeing Krista as a part of the cast! Break a leg!!

elizabeth said...

Claire was a sweetheart! It is truly sad to see her leave. Is she leaving for college? what is she studying? Will we see her again on stage one day? I am interested in what she is aspiring towards....

Meg said...

Oh, how sad! I happened to have the fortune to see Claire as Thea, and she was so good. She seemed like such a sweet girl; I'll miss seeing her on TotallyTrucked, Steffi D's vids, and ExtendedRun.

On the other hand, congrats to Ms. Alabado!

Alynn said...

Aww I'm gonna miss you Claire. :(

Julia said...

We'll miss you Claire :( Good luck in all that you do!

Yay Krista and Krystina! :)

Glenben (from Guam) said...

Aw Claire, we're all gonna miss you. Your letter was so sweet. I hope you go on to have a great future in whatever you decide to get involved in.

Congrats to Krystina and Krista!

Anonymous said...

wow. now we have krista, krystina and christy!
haha. :D
congrats krista and krystina!
:( i'm gonna miss claire.

Anonymous said...

hey pun, sorry to jump topics but i'm freaking out.
i heard that onstage seating for D.C is almost sold out but i wasnt sure whether they have even started selling them yet, because there hasnt been any notice.
i have actually never bought onstage seats before and am pretty clueless about the whole process. do we get to request what seats we want? or find out which ones are still available for the dates we want?
have those seats even gone on sale yet? b/c i know the D.C performances are still a while away...and i'm just really confused and worried that I wont get onstage seats.

Pun said...

Nonny--The correct date for the Chicago engagement ends on the 16th. Sorry for the confusion. The SA website erroneously posted the wrong dates.

Elizabeth--I asked Claire to include her future plans in her message, but she chose not to say anything about it, sorry.

Nonny--On stage seats in DC are not on sale to the public yet. A portion of the seats are reserved for the Guilty Ones street team members to purchase first. The rest will be released closer to the date. We'll post an announcement of it here.

Anonymous said...

oh thank goodness!
phew. i was freaking out so much.
ok my panic attack is over. thanks so much pun!

Anonymous said...

The only reason I am anonymous is because i don't have any of the other accounts, but my name is alessia. How old do you have to be to join the cast? Does she have to be 17 just to play wendla because of the simulated sex and nudity, or do you have to be 17 to join the cast period?

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10/06/09 - 10/11/09
Uihlein Hall Marcus Center For The Performing Arts
929 North Water Street, Milwaukee, WI

10/13/09 - 10/18/09
Music Hall
301 West 13th Street, Kansas City, MO
Non-subscription tickets on sale Sept 5, 2009 (subj to change)

10/20/09 - 10/25/09
Bass Hall
23rd St & Robert Dedman Drive, Austin, TX
(512) 477-6060

10/28/09 - 11/01/09
San Jose Center for the Performing Arts/BroadwaySanJose

Nov 4-15, 2009
Sacramento Community Center,
1301 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Nov 17-29, 2009
Orange County Performing Arts Center
600 Town Center Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Ticketing number: 714.556.2787

Dec 1-13, 2009
The Buell Theatre
Denver Performing Arts Complex
14th and Curtis Streets Denver, CO 80204
Non-subscription tickets on sale: Mon, Oct 19, 2009 (web only Oct 18)
Ticketing Number: (800) 641-1222
Groups: 303-446-4829

Jan 5-10, 2010
Hershey Theatre
15 E. Caracas Ave, PO Box 395 Hershey, PA 17033
Non-Subscription Tickets on sale: Mon Aug 17, 2009
Groups: 717-534-3412

Jan 12-24, 2010
Aronoff Center
650 Walnut Street Cincinnati, OH 45202
Non-subscription Tickets go on sale: Nov 2009
Ticketing (not avail until 11/9) 800.982.2787

Jan 26-31, 2010
Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
8099 College Parkway, SW Fort Myers, FL 33919
Non-subscription Tickets on sale: Sept 1, 2009 (Tentative)
Ticketing number: 800-440-7469
Groups: 239-489-3033, x 3122

Feb 2-Feb 7, 2010
Belk Theatre, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
130 N. Tryon St. Charlotte, NC
Group Tickets: (704) 379-1380
Ticketing number: (704) 372-1000

Feb 9-14, 2010
Auditorium Theatre, Rochester Broadway League
885 E. Main Street Rochester, NY 14605
Ticketing Number: 800-745-3000

February 23-28, 2010
Bushnell Performing Arts Center

MARCH 2-7, 2009
DPAC, Durham Performing Arts Center
Ticketing: 919-680-2787
Groups: 919-281-0587

March 9-14, 2010
Fabulous Fox Theatre
660 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30308
Call Ticketmaster at (404) 817-8700

March 16-21, 2010
The Peace Center
300 S. Main Street Greenville, SC 29601
Ticketing Number: 800-888-7768
Groups: 864-679-9201

March 23 - April 4, 2010
Dallas Center for the Performing Arts
2100 Ross Avenue, Suite 650 Dallas, Texas 75201
Box Office: 214.880.0202

April 20-May 9, 2010
3011 W. Grand Boulevard Detroit, MI 48202
Ticketing number: 800-982-2787
Group Tickets: 313-871-1132

May 11-16, 2010
Arsht Center
Box Office: 305.949.6722

May 18-23, 2010
Carr Performing Arts Center
401 West Livingston Street Orlando, FL 32801

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I send fan mail to the cast?

If you just want to send a quick note to all the cast members telling them you appreciate their work, you can email us here at totallytruckedblog (at) gmail (dot) com. I will be happy to forward your email to the cast, but to preserve their privacy, it is unlikely they will email you back (I will, though).

You can also send individual performers fan mail and care packages care of the theatre at which we are currently performing or will be performing. Go to the theatre's website (listed above), find their mailing address, write the actor's name as well as "Spring Awakening" and send c/o the theatre. Remember, we are often at these theatres for only a week so make sure to allow for delivery times. It's a better bet to send it to the theatre we will be going to next as they can always hold packages for us until we arrive. Letters received late will not be forwarded to our next location.

2. How Can I Audition for Spring Awakening?
From time to time, we have open calls in larger cities across the US. We will post any additional open calls here. Subscribe if you havn't already to keep informed. In the meantime, we've made it easy for you to submit yourself singing a folk/alternative rock song on video. Go to: http://www.springawakening.com/videoauditionsubmission/ Make sure your submission is less than 500 MB and is one of the accepted formats. Your screen should change and you should get a confirmation that says your submission has been received. Trust us, people are called in this way. Lucas Wells was cast because of an online submission!

3. How Do I Score On Stage Seats?
That is really up to the individual theatres. Most of them won't release the seats until just before performances because they want to make sure the house is sold first. Some do so online, although the ticketing systems they have in place often can't accommodate our unique seats onstage. Most of them are available only at the box office (though you can purchase them for a performance in the future). The Guilty Ones Street Team members have the rights to purchase these seats before the general public. Any seats left over will be released to the box office and may also be purchased as part of rush tickets (discounted, day-of tickets).

4. How Do I Join The Guilty Ones?

The National Guilty Ones Street Team is a way for fans of the show in each of our tour stops to help us spread the word. You will get access to parties, meet and greets, and other special events while meeting new friends who share your passion for the show, all while gaining some valuable marketing experience. You must be at least 15 yrs old. Email your contact info to nationalguiltyones (at) gmail (dot) com.

5. Can I Get Discounts?

From time to time, a theatre may offer us discounts to send out to our fans. We will post any here on the blog. Subscribe now!

6. Who runs this site? This site was created for fans to stay connected with our touring cast and follow their adventures around North America. Ideally, it would be in the voice of the cast members. Unfortunately, our cast members are often too tired or busy to post lengthy blog posts on a regular basis. Company members will contribute a post from time to time and every month we will have a compiled blog post that most every company member will participate in. The other stuff like updates, etc, will be posted by me. My name is Pun. I work for the production, love this show, its cast, and our fans, and I'm so very glad you're here!

Co 231 W 39th Street Suite 1200 New York, N.Y. 10018.

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