The hit Broadway musical Wicked has launched an Education Kit for NSW students.
Suitable for both Primary (8 years and over) and Secondary students the Education Materials have been developed using a range of pedagogies with reference to the NSW Institute of Teachers, Professional Teaching Standards. Using the background materials provided and the suggested activities, teachers are able to devise specific activities to suit their students in a range of subjects including HSC Advanced English, Standard English, Drama, Dance and Textiles and Design.
Wicked tells the untold story of the witches of Oz. Long before that girl from Kansas arrives in Munchkinland, two girls meet in the Land of Oz. One, born with emerald green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch makes for the most spellbinding new musical in years. The stage production is based on the novel Wicked by Gregory Maguire.
Themes from the musical are perfect for study of a range of subjects. Producer of the original Broadway production, Marc Platt, has seen the impact of Wicked in students worldwide.
“Wicked centres on Elphaba, a young woman who is born green and thus is an outsider. Her different appearance leads the people of Oz to misjudge and ostracise her,” Platt said.
“As the characters journey through Oz, they develop the courage to overcome stereotypes and realise the true meaning of friendship. This show raises many questions that will challenge our students as they think about their experience at Wicked and work through this study guide. Simultaneously, they will enjoy a theatre experience filled with laughter, fun, magnificent sets and costumes, and wonderful music.
“The characters in Wicked grapple with moral dilemmas and ethics in a way that is unique amongst Broadway shows. At the heart of the show are important and relevant questions about tolerance: Does ‘tolerance’ mean that we should respect and treat kindly those who are different from us, or has it been redefined to mean that we should not ‘tolerate’ anyone with whom we disagree? In the same way, Wickedprobes the question of good and evil. Can we ever judge anyone as evil? Is there any objective source that defines good and evil or are they strictly matters of one’s personal feelings and opinion? Can we say it is wrong to scapegoat girls born green and talking animals for one’s own political gain? Can we say anything is ever wrong or is that ‘judging’ and being ‘intolerant’ of those whose motives, behaviour and goals may not be valid in our personal opinions?
“This charming musical also raises the issue of propaganda and the manipulation of the citizens of Oz. Students now lives in a world where the media is pervasive and drives our popular culture. Wicked raises questions that will inspire students to assess their own sources of information and how they respond to the barrage of media influences that permeate their lives, becoming an instructive tool for developing critical thinking skills.
“For today’s young people who are growing up in a world searching for its moral compass, Wicked is a provocative theatrical work that explores these critical issues in an entertaining way. What happens when good is called “evil” and evil, “good”? Is it all that black and white? Wicked brings out shades of green.”
Materials available from the Education website (wickedthemusicaleducation.com.au) include:
A downloadable Active Learning Teacher Booklet – providing an ideal starting point and stimulus to inspire work on almost any area of the curriculum. Divided into such topics as “Design”, “Individuality and Being Different versus Fitting In”, “Choices, Consequences and Bullying”, “Friendship and Popularity” and “Propaganda, Power, Oppression and Critical Thinking”
A downloadable full synopsis
The Education materials have been adapted for the NSW run by Lisa Jinga. Lisa is currently Head of Drama, Dance and Entertainment at MLC Burwood, New South Wales. She is also the Method Lecturer for Drama at UNSW and has worked in syllabus development at the Office of the Board of Studies.
There is a substantial discount for groups of 20 students or more for Tuesday and Wednesday performances, and bookings are now being taken by Ticketmaster (8512 9020) for school groups for term 1 in 2010. Wicked is recommended for ages 8 and up (not recommended for children 4 years and under).
School Bookings: Ticketmaster (02) 8512 9020