Spring Awakening: Challenging Injustice Through the Lens of Theatre, Part 2


Rosie Best, MA, MSW, LSW | September 19 | 10:15-11:15 AM

Topic: Art, Research | Knowledge Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced | Location: TBD

Spring Awakening is a powerful piece of drama in its breadth of issues regarding teenage angst, dilemmas, and community oppression. Written in 1891 by Frank Wedekind, it concerns German youth and their challenges in growing up. The dramatic material tackles a plethora of issues such as rape, suicide, and abortion, to name a few. Issue Box Theatre’s process first identified a specific translation (Franzen) of the German text that would most potently explore these issues. Next, they created a performance with age appropriate casting to ensure a well-rounded and realistic interpretation of the play. They selected a director who was able to navigate the contemporary themes in the dated material and established a production team to support this challenging but vital work of theatre. Curriculum was developed to generate community dialogue with the participants and audience members. Characteristics of safe and healthy relationships were discussed via open dialogue and resources provided by community educators. Issue Box Theatre encourages participants to become “Actorvists”, putting the ACT back into activism. This workshop will present their methods starting with a rationale for this production including IBT company methods and values. Rosie will present synthesized data gathered throughout the process and present results including community responses and reactions. This is a follow-up presentation to a workshop from last year's conference where the project was proposed.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Discuss the process of the theatre project development and conclusions

·  Describe ways healthy relationships curriculum assisted both young and old alike to discuss issues in an open and healthy manner

·  Describe how creating a network of community educators and resources for young people was beneficial to the community as a whole

About the Presenter