Theatrical Experience for Teens: "The Third Wave"
How did the Holocaust happen? How could one leader persuade a nation to commit such horrible crimes? How can an ordinary person be attracted to fascism? The Israeli Cultural Connection, in partnership with our School for the Arts, presents "The Third Wave," based on an experimental social movement created by Ron Jones in 1967. This twelve-week theatrical program offers a uniquely creative, educational experience culminating in a play and discussion. Teens ages 14–17 are welcome to partake in this eye-opening project. While working as a high school teacher in Palo Alto, Jones created a project with his World History students in which their class experienced the growth of a fascistic movement called ‘The Wave.’ Intended as a week-long project, Jones designed lesson plans that created a movement, including a salute, a slogan and a secret police force. The experiment spiraled out of control, ending after complaints from teachers and parents. Jones then revealed that it was a hoax intended to give students a direct experience of how easily they could be misled into behaving like fascists, drawing parallels to the rise of the National Socialist movement in Germany. Instructor Ilan Vitemberg is a graduate of the theater program at the University of the District of Columbia. He has directed drama camps for at-risk youth and worked with teens on original drama projects. For 15 years, he directed teen leadership programs and Israel programming at Jewish LearningWorks. He is now a freelancer working with teens on creative drama projects. Vitemberg has been a frequent collaborator with the ICC at the Oshman Family JCC. He developed and taught the curriculum for the Raise the Bar program (a Bar/Bat Mitzvah program for children of Israeli parents) and initiated, developed and facilitated Israel for Reel (IFR), an innovative program that uses Israeli media and popular culture in order to introduce modern Israel to teens.