November 25, 2017

"I wanted to be able to present a theater piece that was a little more intense."

Says Jenna Carol, owner of the dance studio Express Yourself in Madison, about the show "Spring Awakening," which opens this week at the Bartell Theatre here in Madison, reports the Cap Times:
Among her 27 actors, more than 20 are minors, some as young as 15.... With themes of incest, sexual abuse, suicide and abortion... [t]ypically the show is cast with college-age performers...

“We’re pushing the envelope,” Carol said. “We are not cutting anything — the songs, the content in script is still going to be presented....”

Carol said she asked auditionees’ parents to sign a release form.... And she’s decided not to stage the nudity. Further, she’s placing dancers between the main characters and the audience during the most graphic sexual imagery.

“I don’t see it necessary to flash a boob for shock value,” Carol said. “The scene between Wendla and Melchior is extremely well-choreographed. The audience will know what is happening.... We are not trying to do things just for shock value,” Carol said, “but I am trying to create something specifically for teens and young adults to perform relevant shows, something that makes you think...."
I'd like to see a copy of the release form. You're using children who are too young to have sex and they are on stage dancing about sex, amid "graphic sexual imagery"? And you need their parents to sign the release. That put me in mind of Roy Moore's approach to dating teenagers:
HANNITY: You mentioned you'd never go out with any young girl I assume you meant like when you were 32 at that time of your life, would you always ask the permission of the parent before you would take a girl out?

MOORE: Well I mean I'm saying that in their statements that they made these two young girls said their mother actually encouraged them to be friends with me. And you know that's what they said. I don't remember....
ADDED: "I am trying to create something specifically for teens and young adults to perform relevant shows..." She's using the word "relevant" in a way that was the vogue in the 1960s. You might ask now (as people asked then) relevant to what? In the 60s, the answer might be: Relevant to what's happening.

The OED has a definition for this usage — "having social, political, etc., relevance." It's illustrated by this quote from 1969, Harper's Magazine: 
Either we can commit ourselves to changing the institutions of our society that need to be changed, to make them—to use a term which I hate—‘relevant’..or we can sit back and try to defend them.
College students of the time used to criticize course material that was not "relevant." At the time, I myself was a college student, and I attended a college — the Residential College at the University of Michigan — that was so intent on meeting the younger generation's idea of relevance, that we laughed at them. I remember the Western Civilization chapter-unit titles all beginning with the word "Revolution." It's funny when kids make demands and the grown-ups just cave. Then we feel embarrassed for them.

IN THE COMMENTS: james james said...
A little more intense. Pushing the envelope.

That requires children now, doing adult things.

We've already seen the intense adults pushing envelopes; no longer a big deal.

We're bored, they think.
Speaking of pushing, let's dance...



Tcross: "Pushing the envelope outside the box."

Meade: "#EnvelopePushesBack."

55 comments:

Sebastian said...

Progs only exploit kids for a good cause.

robother said...

Of course, in the case of incest, the parental consent is presumed.

Meade said...

"Running time is about two and a half hours with one intermission. Recommended for those 14 and older."

She'd be well-advised to get consent forms signed by anyone under 18, the age of consent in the state of Wisconsin.

Also, I wonder what percent of the audience will bolt at intermission. >50%?

Caroline Walker said...

“Pushing the envelope” : last gasp of an exhausted, dissipated civilisation.

james james said...

A little more intense. Pushing the envelope.

That requires children now, doing adult things.

We've already seen the intense adults pushing envelopes; no longer a big deal.

We're bored, they think.

-jj

David Begley said...

1. Some envelopes don’t need to be pushed.

2. Moore was the county attorney, in a small rural county, at the time he was asking permission. He knew the answer to the question before he asked it. An old attorney trick.

3. What is wrong with parents in 2017 in Madison and in the 80’s in Gadsden, Alabama?

Meade said...

By the way, I wonder if The Capital Times will ever decide to be honest and just call itself The Communist Times.

MayBee said...

This really sounds like a Christopher Guest movie gone awry.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

james james said: A little more intense. Pushing the envelope.

That requires children now, doing adult things.


Nah. To really push the envelope you need children, adults AND farm animals doing "adult things".

rhhardin said...

The age of consent point is arbitrary but definite.

It's in automatic conflict with everything that doesn't do bright lines.

Perpetually bloggable.

tcrosse said...

Pushing the envelope outside the box.

Michael K said...

Moore is the lightbulb and the moths are all headed that way.

The issue if whether the allegations are true. It's not an issue of whether he should be a Senator if they are true.

Of course Angelo Codevilla has a whole different POV on ths story.

I think he has a pretty good point. I knew a guy who lived in Annapolis and his girlfriend was a DC Congressional staffer.

I hard some stories.

rhhardin said...

Pushing the envelope means doing stuff outside the region that you know what happens, probably from aeronautical engineering. You need more data points to stay safe.

The envelope encloses where you have data.

Maureen Dowd started the idea that it's, like, an envelope.

AllenS said...

If it wasn't for the Badgers there would be absolutely no need for Madison.

Paco Wové said...

"It's funny when kids make demands and the grown-ups just cave.

Then we feel embarrassed for them."


Then society collapses.

Funny!

james james said...

Pushing the envelope with dance. Sure.

In 1999 the Icelandic band Sigur Ros released a video for their song "Svefn-g-englar"

The video features the perlan theatre group, an Icelandic acting troupe of men and women with Down syndrome.

Beautiful music, and art showing beauty in what people try to ignore: I prefer this.

-jj

rhhardin said...

Strictly speaking, moths keep light at a constant bearing so as to make progress by moonlight towards flower-bearing meadows.

The moon, fortunately, is not nearby so it works out to keep them flying straight.

If it's a light bulb, moths what keep the light slightly ahead of abreast will spiral into the bulb.

Tommy Duncan said...

Blogger Meade said...

By the way, I wonder if The Capital Times will ever decide to be honest and just call itself The Communist Times.


They get close to that moniker:

The Capital Times began publishing as an afternoon daily on December 13, 1917, competing directly with the Wisconsin State Journal. The Cap Times' founder, William T. Evjue, previously served as managing editor and business manager of the State Journal, a paper that had been a supporter of the progressive Robert La Follette, whom Evjue considered a hero. When La Follette began publicly opposing World War I, the pro-war State Journal abandoned La Follette.[4][5] In response, Evjue abandoned the State Journal and formed his own newspaper, The Capital Times, one that would reflect the progressive views he espoused. The newspaper's motto was and continues to be "Wisconsin's Progressive Newspaper."[4]

Meade said...

"Pushing the envelope outside the box."

Good one.

Meade said...

#EnvelopePushesBack

John Lynch said...

I'm going to make the obvious point that this play is child abuse. Exposing children to adult experiences before they are ready or able to consent is abuse. Right?

Fernandistien said...

"Relevant" to religiously repressed peasants in a nineteenth-century German cow-town.


Michael K said...
Moore is the lightbulb and the moths are all headed that way.


Yikes! Izzat one of those metaphors or something?

The issue if whether the allegations are true. It's not an issue of whether he should be a Senator if they are true.

All right-thinking will people agree with that, for no particular reason.

Of course Angelo Codevilla has a whole different POV on ths story.

Good old Angelo! We can always count on Angelo!

I think he has a pretty good point.

I'm sure all right-thinking people would agree since it's good old Angelo's point.

I knew a guy who lived in Annapolis and his girlfriend was a DC Congressional staffer.

You always know a guy who knows the wife of someone's cousin, but the important and relevant question is: could he get it for you wholesale?

I hard some stories.

I'm sure you did.

John Lynch said...

Who thinks that normal 14 year olds have even heard of all the horrible things in this play? Despite the torturing of statistics used by advocates, the overwhelming majority of children aren't abused and would never know about this awfulness before adulthood unless they have it shoved in their face by media.

David Begley said...

John Lynch

Good question. Where’s the Dane County District Attorney on this?

Paco Wové said...

Spring Awakening sounds like a truly awful bit of theater, The Vagina Monologues blended with... Hair, perhaps, and hearty doses of Teutonic angst, adolescent self-importance, and Fuck-you-Dad-ism sprinkled on top.

traditionalguy said...

Destroying young life of both genders was first approved by the approval of their abortion murder funded by the Global Elite have paid our politicians. So it is no wonder the survivors are being used, trafficked and sacrificed for the pleasures of the old rich elites. When you are Spirit Cooking for Thanksgiving, don't ask what's on the menue.

Henry said...

Next up: Dancing with the Sex Dolls. Their legs don't work, of course, so it's very challenging.

DuraBull said...

From Word-Detective.com: “ “Pushing the envelope” comes from a field, however, where tremendous risk is the whole point. It’s drawn from the lingo of test pilots, whose job consists of pushing their aircraft right up to and often beyond the technical specifications and theoretical limits of their craft. While “pushing the envelope” (originally in the form “pushing the edge of the envelope”) has probably been in use among test pilots since World War II, it was propelled into general usage by Tom Wolfe’s 1979 book about test pilots and the early US space program, The Right Stuff. The “envelope” being pushed in “pushing the envelope” is a mathematical construct, what is called the “flight envelope” of a given aircraft: combinations of speed and altitude, range and speed, or speed and stress on the aircraft’s frame, that are considered the limits of the plane’s capabilities. Within the “envelope” formed by these parameters, you’re (at least theoretically) OK. Push those limits and you’re asking for trouble, which is what test pilots do for a living. In the process, they verify the safety of the aircraft within those limits and pinpoint possible points of failure if the “envelope” is pushed too far.“
Learn something every day...

james james said...

I talk with young dancers sometimes. Well, young, but still twenty-one or older, since they are in the bar. And if their ID isn't fake. Most likely it isn't: the bartender takes great care with that. Especially good with Florida driver licenses; for whatever reason, a lot of girls In Seattle have Florida licenses but don't seem to have ever been in Florida.

Talking to strippers can be entertaining. It can also be profoundly boring: for some of these girls getting naked on stage in front of men is the most coherent thing in their lives.

Some, though: they have incisive thoughts, said with sly humor. They know how to tell a funny story. They also know the power they have, and can exercise it by simultaneously relaxing it. Nice trick.

One of the strippers is getting her real estate license on the side. Why not? She already has experience selling real estate, of a kind. I made that joke to her and she laughed, but it was pretty much a situational laugh, not a that's-funny laugh. Sometimes funny doesn't really need to be that funny, really.

None of the strippers want to still be stripping when they get older; for some though, the definition of 'older' moves out as the years go by. But this girl: she has an actual plan. I think she'll be good at it: she's a people person.

-jj

William said...

Where on the envelope did they make you push it?.........The show makes no mention of cannibalism. It's very important for children to understand that cannibalism is wrong. This is particularly true for members of the same family. Cannibalism among family members can cause a variant of mad cow disease. There's no particular downside to same sex cannibalism, however. ............Also, especially at this time of the year, we should all be grateful for the fine work the USPS does in pushing the envelope.

CWJ said...

"We're bored, they think."

They're right. When all you really have are "first world problems/issues," you have to keep digging into the ever more outrageous and conversely trivial or even imaginary in order to find them. Decadence.

Ennui is the perfect word - so reminiscent of entropy.

L Brash said...



So what will you tell the reporter about why we're casting kids?

Same thing I told you. We wanted to spice it up a little.

No. Don't say that.

We wanted to plow new ground?

Seriously?

Oh! Ha ha. Right.

To encourage the audience to think in a new way?

You mean like a pedophile?

No! Okay okay. Well what would you say?

How about pushing the envelope?

Oh, that's good. I like that. Sounds like we're Google engineers or something. Thanks!

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Some, though: they have incisive thoughts, said with sly humor.

I once worked at a coffee stand in Gig Harbor and one of my regulars was a girl named Dawn who danced at Deja Vu, in Tacoma. She was a nice girl and sometimes we'd talk about her work. My favorite thing that she said was, "Oh, stripping is all lights. It's easy and you can think about anything you want while you're doing it. Anyone can strip. You could strip." She knew this would be a bit shocking to me as I'd never thought of being sexually alluring, being an extremely pale and slightly pudgy still-coming-out-of-baby-fat sweatshirt-clad Kitsap style girl. Being a Seattleite, you know the sort of presentation I'm talking about. I had never thought of strippers as being rural girls wearing Doc Martens, but, sure why not? I'm sure she's doing well, wherever she is.

CWJ said...

"Where on the envelope did they make you push it?."

Show me on this doll, er envelope.

Ann Althouse said...

@james james

James, James hold the ladder steady
James, James I'm packed tonight I'm ready
James, James hold the ladder steady
I'm a' comin' down to your are-are-are-rms...

Big Mike said...

Father sees his 16 year old daughter pantomiming giving oral sex to a teenaged boy on stage, turns to his wife and asks "Did you read that parental release form before you signed it?"

Luke Lea said...

I wish artists would stop pushing the envelop. They should lick it instead and drop it in the mail.

Gahrie said...

It's funny when kids make demands and the grown-ups just cave.

No it's not. It results in spoiled, petulant children and worse adults. It's why college campuses today resemble the island in Lord of the Flies.

Fred Drinkwater said...

I hung out with test pilots for 20 years (60s and 70s) and never heard "pushing the envelope" even once.

rcocean said...

When "artists" run out of good ideas they start "pushing the envelope."

"Interesting" and "Weird" as talent substitute.

buwaya said...

Relevance - was a big thing in PI universities also, early 70's. And you would have found it everywhere else in third world higher education at the time, where it was not suppressed.

Relevance was defined as helping organize a communist revolution. This was a Maoist meme. Technical training was not relevant to a third world country, worse than even law school, as it only provided more tools for capitalism.

This is yet another of those engineered propaganda memes that has outlived its creators.

Mary Beth said...

relevant to what?

Relevant to getting more people to sign up for classes: kids who think that they will be able to do outrageous things on stage, parents who want to show their liberal cred. Also relevant to students (and their parents) from the current group who think that the kind of attention that a show like this gets means they might get discovered.

YoungHegelian said...

“The scene between Wendla and Melchior is extremely well-choreographed.

Wendla & Melchior?

Did someone open up the baby name book at random to pick names or sumthin'?

Lord only knows where "Wendla" came from, but "Melchior", one of the Three Wise men who visit the Christ child (the other two being Balshazzar & Gaspar), generally is used only among traditional Catholic cultures. Somehow, I can't imagine how the two values "traditional Catholic family" & "Spring Awakening" can be reconciled.

buwaya said...

Relevance was a Maoist meme, because it was in opposition to the Soviet meme of the day, which was about the benefits of joining the Soviet/non aligned block, and benefiting thereby from technology transfer of high Soviet tech, no-capitalist-strings attached.

A lot of propaganda meant for the third world seems to have leaked through into the US, become popular through its cachet, and persisted long after it was done and gone in the places it was meant for.

Howard said...

Shallow lefties think pushing buttons and pushing the envelope are the same thing as if triggering conservatives is the same thing as enlightening them.

David said...

Bad art, vacuous thinking, terrible people. We are awash in all of this.

n.n said...

Sundance Film Festival goes to Madison. Social progress.

Bill said...

From Frank Wedekind's Wiki:

His sex life was promiscuous and he frequented prostitutes, contracting syphilis. He also enjoyed the pleasure of platonic female company and kept his tendencies toward homosexuality and sadism in check. He had an affair with Frida Uhl who bore him a child. In 1906, he married the Austrian actress Tilly Newes, 22 years his junior and became strictly monogamous. His relationship with his wife was turbulent, with Wedekind prone to jealousy and he felt pressure to maintain strenuous creative and sexual activity in order to please her. They had two daughters, Pamela and Kadidja, but his jealousy led his wife to attempt both separation and suicide.

tcrosse said...

For edgy, relevant family entertainment they could re-enact the famous Aristocrats Joke. (NSFW, but available on YouTube)

n.n said...

Trans-social behavior which complements progressive liberal indoctrination and/or [medical] corruption of adolescent boys and girls for transgender spectrum therapy, including: homosexual, bisexual, transvestite, and other uncorrelated mental and physical traits.

Larry J said...

"Blogger Fred Drinkwater said...
I hung out with test pilots for 20 years (60s and 70s) and never heard "pushing the envelope" even once."

The phrase they're likely to talk about is envelop expansion. On the early flights of a new design, they take it easy. Sometimes, they don't even retract the landing gear. Over the course of the flight test program, they gradually expand the aircraft's speeds, altitudes, G loads, center of gravity, etc. until they've demonstrated the plane meets the design performance parameters.

FIDO said...

Here is the problem at correcting this horrible human being: if anyone criticizes her, she will see it as a reflection of their narrow mindedness and proof of her sophistication instead of considering herself a later day Tiberius with his 'minnows' having under aged children do lewd things for him.


But hey, if having a penis or vagina is a 'social construct' and not...you know...biology, what possible status can morality codes have in her mind?

Wasn't it Pratchett who said something about someone being so open minded that any bit of stupidity could fall into it?

tim in vermont said...

"as if triggering conservatives is the same thing as enlightening them."

Lol. Yes we need to be 'enlightened' by the same people who have destroyed so much of our culture with little gain to compensate for the massive loss.

stlcdr said...

College students of the time used to criticize course material that was not "relevant."

If kids knew what was relevant they wouldn’t need to be in school, or college.

Pushing the boundary of taste and decorum doesn’t make one clever, skilled or talented. It doesn’t make it new or interesting. In this case, what is the point? Draw arrention to blah, blah, blah that everyone knows about.

stlcdr said...

Blogger Fred Drinkwater said...
I hung out with test pilots for 20 years (60s and 70s) and never heard "pushing the envelope" even once.


Probably because it’s a made up buzz word that business clowns use to describe the importance of their own irellevance existence, but appears to have a basis in things done by people who actually do something important.

Same with that hated phrase ‘think outside the box’; you can’t think outside the box unless you know where the box is.