Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Power of Art to Get Inside a Play

Today I included a favorite lesson, one I learned from Anthony Cappa, last year's student teacher in my class. The lesson involves Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll House and the work of his contemporary and acquaintance Edvard Munch. By examining a half dozen of Munch's works through the lens of Ibsen's play, students unfold both--sets of images and scenes from the play.

We start with "The Scream." Familiar territory and a moment of recognition. They find connections that bridge the playwright's realism and the painter's expressionism. Themes, moods, characters, episodes, and bits of dialogue resonate outward from Munch's pictures.

By the time we get to Munch's portrait of Ibsen himself, we need the momentary chuckle over his mutton chops to shake the despair, longing, and alienation that stem from our better understanding the meaning of what Nora, Torvald and all go through.

Art has that power. Couple drama with painting--wow!


cappa said...

It's great to see that you're still blogging!

And... even better to see that you used my lesson. Looks like it worked out pretty well for you, too.

This lesson was one of my favorites as well.

ceyo said...


Art said...

First of all ...I wish to someday have a student teacher with the creative drive of cappa and
I appreciate the interdisciplinary nature of the blog.