The Marsh Presents Marsh Youth Theater’s Teen Troupe in "The Wave," a Musical by Ron Jones
The play is based on an actual classroom experiment in fascism conducted by Jones in 1967 while he was a history teacher at Cubberley High School in Palo Alto. During a five-day period students gave up their ‘freedom’ for the prospect of being superior to their classmates. Almost immediately, the experiment got out of control. Student curiosity and questioning were replaced with conformity and violence.
Written by Ron Jones
Directed by Cliff Mayotte; Dramaturgy by David Ford
Choreography by Patricia Lam
Music Direction by Frederick Harris; Music by David Denny, Kathy Peck & Emily Klion
Sets by Alex Bargas; Lighting by Patti Meyer
Friday, January 29: 12:30 pm
Thursday, February 4: 10:00 am
Saturday, January 30: 5:00 pm
Sunday, January 31: 5:00 pm
Friday, February 5: 8:00 pm
Saturday, February 6: 8:00 pm
Sunday, February 7: 2:00 pm
The Marsh is proud to announce Marsh Youth Theater’s (MYT’s) Teen Troupe in the world premiere of “The Wave,” a musical by Ron Jones. The play is based on an actual classroom experiment in fascism conducted by Jones in 1967 while he was a history teacher at Cubberley High School in Palo Alto. During a five-day period students gave up their ‘freedom’ for the prospect of being superior to their classmates. Almost immediately, the experiment got out of control. Student curiosity and questioning were replaced with conformity and violence.
Jones first wrote about the experiment in an article for the Whole Earth Catalog. In 1981, the article was adapted into an Emmy Award-winning television drama by Norman Lear. A ‘fictionalized’ novel of that teleplay by Todd Strasser has sold 3-million copies and has been translated into 16 languages. In 2008 the German film company, Rat Pack, produced a feature film, “Die Welle,” based on the book that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008. The unrelenting and worldwide interest in the experiment prompted the original students who took part to finally ‘speak out’ about their experience. One of these students, Philip Neel, recently interviewed his classmates and produced a documentary, entitled “Lesson Plan.” Steven Spielberg, recognizing the relevance of these interviews to the holocaust, has funded the documentary through his Righteous Person Foundation for release in 2010.
Renewed contact with the students, as well as interviews from the documentary, inspired Jones to create “The Wave.” The show’s script and musical numbers are, for the first time, from the actual perspectives of the students who comprised the experiment. Bridging a time gap of 40 years, these students will work with the young MYT actors, challenging them to examine their deepest beliefs about social politics and peer conformity. Together, they will discuss the meaning of what happened, including the dangers of taunting and reliance on simple answers, the consequences of excluding and hurting others because they are different and the loss of freedom to fear and intimidation.
Unique Partnerships. For this production of The Wave, MYT has formed an unique partnership with San Francisco Mercy High School, which will provide the choreographer and the music director as well as some of the student actors. This partnership is the first of its kind for MYT. In addition, this production marks the first time that adult members of The Marsh family and Marsh Youth Theater’s young actors have combined their talents. Jones has performed many times on The Marsh stage, as has Mark Kenward, who plays the part of Jones. David Ford is the dramaturge. This intergenerational cross fertilization only adds to the excitement generated at The Marsh by this extraordinary project.
For Calendar Editors
What: Marsh Youth Theater’s Teen Troupe Production Of Ron Jones’ The Wave
When: School Performances
Friday, January 29: 1:00 Pm
Thursday, February 3: 10:00 Am
Reserve By E-Mail: Myt@Themarsh.Org
Saturday, January 30: 5:00 Pm
Sunday, January 31:2:00 Pm
Friday, February 5: 8:00 Pm
Saturday, February 6: 8:00 Pm
Sunday, February 7: 2:00 Pm
Where: The Marsh, 1062 Valencia Street Between 21st & 22nd Streets
Tickets: $14 General Admission; $7 Student Rate; $50 Reserved Seats
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