Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Youth Ensemble in Full Swing!

Our 2010 summer program is in session! Yay!

A brand new group of students have come into our ensemble. We have been getting to know each other, playing games and talking about issues like sexism in pop culture, bullying, harassment and the ways all kinds of technology affects the social lives of teens.

In this activity, students deconstructed the messages in advertising. We discovered that ads are selling more than a product -- they also sell ideas about what we should aspire to.

Adelai shares her group's thoughts about what this weight loss ad has to say about femininity.

The model in the ad claims that she "was in denial about being a size 7"
implying that women should aspire to be even smaller!

The group decided that the ad is selling the idea that, no matter our size, all women should aspire to be as small as possible.

We're NOT buying it!

Sabina notes the violent tone in this Luis Vuitton ad and raises some big questions.

Why does this ad (that is supposed to be selling a purse) look so much like a crime scene?

Why does the model look beaten up and left for dead?

Why do so many fashion ads depict women as weak, vulnerable, victims???

What does this all say about our society's view of women?

And, how do the ideas in these ads carry over into our relationships???

We use theatre to explore the ways ads like this reflect violence in relationships.

Check out these photos of our ensemble members
performing the AWESOME monologues they wrote:

Kayla takes on the role of Danielle, who is in an abusive
relationship but makes excuses for her partner's behavior.

Olga also steps into Danielle's shoes as she examines bruises on her face --
put there by the guy she is in love with. Should love hurt this much?

DJ takes on the role of a bystander who witnesses Danielle being physically attacked by her boyfriend in the cafeteria at school. He believes that it's wrong for a male to treat a female that way and steps in to stop the violence.

Katie portrays the character of Melissa, Danielle's long time best friend.
She explores the pain of seeing someone she cares about being hurt
by someone who is supposed to love her.

Gus plays a young man who plays sports with Chris, Danielle's abusive boyfriend.
In this speech, he approaches the coach of their sports team about Chris's unacceptable behavior and asks for help.

More coming soon from our new ensemble!