Inspired by a true story, a working-class community is awakened when its high school theater program takes on an unconventional new leader. As dedicated teacher and family man Lou Mazzuchelli takes over the lagging department, he encourages his students to unleash their creativity and explore new means of self-expression. But even though the students discover talents and ambitions they never knew they had, not everyone in town is thrilled. Upset by challenges brought by change, enraged faculty and skeptical parents contest Mr. Mazzu's galvanizing efforts. But with passionate fervor running through the town's veins, no one can deny a revolution is underway.
During opening night of "Spring Awakening" personal crises and dilemmas percolate in the wings backstage as Simon struggles to overcome his biggest fear, Lilette withholds a huge development from Robbie, Robbie has a momentous breakthrough, and Tracey draws a line in the sand. Over the course of one evening, decisions are made that will change Lou and Stanton Drama forever.
In the premiere, Lou petitions to take over as director of the theater program in an attempt to revitalize his passion for teaching, but quickly realizes he has his work cut out for him. His controversial decision to change the musical to the more provocative "Spring Awakening" and his atypical casting choices create a ripple effect for the program's assistant director Tracey Wolfe. the school's football coach Sam Strickland, and the students in the show.
Lou is brought down to Earth when his production budget is slashed, Coach Strickland vindictively monopolizes Robbie's time, and he has a conflict with Tracey. Lilette finds herself starting to fall for Robbie.
After their unresolved confrontation with Gordy, Lou and Gail try desperately to get through to him. Lou discovers a crucial element to the show needs a major overhaul, while Tracey resists a blossoming romance. As Gwen reels in the aftermath of a shocking announcement from her parents, Simon finds an unlikely ally. Robbie and Lilette grow closer just as outside forces conspire to put them at odds, and Vanessa takes a stand.
Gordy agrees to volunteer in the theater, bringing him back onto Gwen's radar, while his family tries to come to terms with Maashous' imminent departure. As Robbie faces the severity of his mother's illness for the first time, Lilette waits for her mother to return home. Tracey and Lou work to prepare "Spring Awakening" for opening night, but can't see eye-to-eye on how to address notes from the administration.
When Lou describes his vision for the show's staging and design, Tracey questions his every decision - but it's Simon's bombshell news that forces Lou to ask himself whether picking this controversial show was worth the cost. Meanwhile, Coach Strickland attempts to rehabilitate Gordy, and Gail worries for Maashous. Lilette struggles to contain her feelings for Robbie after discovering another side of him.
As Lou's vision for "Spring Awakening" starts to crumble, Lilette and Robbie feel the weight of responsibility on their shoulders with rehearsals going into overdrive. In reaching out to a student in need of support, Tracey opens up old wounds from her own past. Gwen starts down a destructive path that threatens to disrupt Gordy's attempts at self-control, while Simon takes steps to get closer to Anabelle.
Tech week at Stanton High finds Tracey and Lou leading the cast through a series of rehearsals that falls short of expectations. Gwen's familial strife leads to a wild night out, while Michael tries to reconnect with an estranged friend. Maashous receives potentially life-changing news, and Simon's personal feelings start to compromise his performance in the musical.
When an unauthorized, provocative sizzle reel promoting the Stanton High production of "Spring Awakening" is posted online, it spreads like wildfire through the school and surrounding community. Coach Strickland and Vanessa are forced to face their daughters, but major damage has already been done. Robbie faces a crisis of confidence, while Maashous contemplates a difficult family reunion.
Robbie's two worlds collide at a house party where his football teammates face off with the drama troupe; Tracey reluctantly explores a new relationship with a not-so-secret admirer; a family road trip to visit Gail's sister goes sideways.
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