You can play The Awakening without playing The Apprentice, yes. But if I may make a suggestion, play The Apprentice at some point anyway, it was pretty epic.
I'm a bit computer illiterate, so I can't post a link to it, but if you go to the main Portal page (not the forum, the actual site) and look at the misc. column, the logo for The Apprentice is the third or fourth item down. Click on the logo to get to the page for the game.