«The Wave» – excellent on stage

«The Wave» – excellent on stage

Am Donnerstag, 2. Dezember 2021, hatten die dritten und vierten Klassen der Kantonsschule Kreuzlingen das Vergnügen, das Theaterstück «The Wave», welches auf dem gleichnamigen Roman von Morton Rhue aus dem Jahre 1981 beruht, anzuschauen. Das Stück wurde von der American Drama Group auf Englisch inszeniert.

Schülerinnen und Schüler der 3Mz

The story starts in history class, where the students learn about World War II. They are upset about a movie they watched and can’t understand why none of the Germans tried to stop the Nazis. Their teacher, Mr. Ross, can’t give them an answer, so he decides to do an experiment to find out. Over the next few lessons he teaches his students three mottos: Strength through discipline, strength through community, and strength through action. Based on these, they create a movement called The Wave. It has a symbol, a flag, and a salute.

Most of the students are very into it, especially Robert, a student who fits in for the first time in his life. The only exception is Laurie Saunders. At some point, she tells both her friends and her father that she has doubts about the movement.

Laurie has a boyfriend, David. He likes the Wave and together with Eric he convinces the football team to join the movement, thinking it might help them to finally win a game. The fact that he is a member and Laurie is not causes a conflict between them. After that, Laurie opens a letter that she believed to be from David, but it turns out that it was written by an anonymous student who feels threatened by the Wave. He says that it’s members force people into it, even if they do not want to. She also hears about a student who was beaten up by the Wave, allegedly because he is Jewish.

Szenenbild aus der Aufführung der American Drama Group. (Corina Tobler)

Laurie seizes the opportunity and writes an article about it in the Grapevine, the school’s newspaper. All the Wave members think what she states there is not true and Robert even goes as far as to say that Laurie has to be stopped. David then sets off to talk to her in order to change her mind. They start another fight and David ends up hitting Laurie. He realizes he has made a mistake and that the Wave must be stopped.

Meanwhile, Principal Owens has a talk with Mr. Ross. They conclude that the experiment has gone too far. Mr. Ross is going to stop it and organizes a rally for all the Wave members. But will he succeed in stopping the wave or is it too late?

Overall, the play was rather close to the book and the basic plot was adopted, but a few of the side stories and characters unfortunately had to be left out. It was a good adaptation of the book since it got the main message across and did not divert too much from its source material.

Furthermore, the play was performed by only five actors, and they merely used simple wooden boxes as props. Singing between the individual scene changes was very creative and there was no boredom. Also, the actors could sing quite well! The play was generally very entertaining, and the actors spoke very clearly.

Another aspect I liked was the general atmosphere and growing tension: Over the play, one could really feel the students’ characters developing from individual thinkers into people following a mindless group mentality. Considering their limited resources, the theatre group thus did an excellent job.



Ein von den Lernenden entworfenes Akrostichon

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