Caitlin Kinnunen, from Camano Island, just got cast in "Spring Awakening," a Tony-winning Broadway musical. The 16-year-old actor will move to New York City to play Thea in the teen rock musical.

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Young Camano Island actor Caitlin Kinnunen just got cast in one of Broadway’s hottest shows: “Spring Awakening.”

Kinnunen, 16, auditioned for the Tony-winning show at an open call in Seattle last fall, then went to two call backs in New York; she learned earlier this month that she was chosen to play Thea in “Spring Awakening,” a teen-centered rock tuner set in 1890s Germany.

So what did this home-schooled island resident do when she learned she’d been cast in a Broadway musical and was moving to New York?

“I actually cried,” said Kinnunen, the first time she’d ever shed tears of happiness. Then almost immediately, she got worried about her to-do list. “First of all, we have to find a place to live. Then, what do we take? How do you pack up and move with three weeks notice?”

Kinnunen’s mother and home-school teacher, Betsy Stam, will move with her daughter to New York for the open-ended engagement. Stam, an online college instructor, will be able to continue to work from New York. Kinnunen’s 19-year-old sister, Julia, was the first in the family to get into acting; she may join her mother and sister in New York in the fall.

Kinnunen, who has worked professionally at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, the Village Theatre and Seattle Children’s Theatre, will be the first replacement for Thea in the show, which has been on Broadway since December 2006. She starts rehearsals June 30, and is scheduled to take over the supporting part July 21.

“The music is beautiful,” Kinnunen said. “And the fact that they took most of the dialogue from the original play [written in 1891 by Frank Wedekind] is amazing — I love it.”

“Spring Awakening” made headlines not only for its rock score and eight Tony wins, but the subject matter: the tumult of teens discovering their sexuality. It portrays masturbation and sex, suicide, sexual abuse and abortion.

Kinnunen is fine with that. “The play is a really good way to show these things to teenagers. It’s not stuff that we talk about [with our parents]. So this is an opportunity to go to the show — then talk about the subjects with her parent.”

“Spring Awakening” hits the road with a Broadway touring cast in the fall, stopping at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre Oct. 14-19.

Raina Wagner: 206-464-8147 or