Whitefriars College teacher librarian Karen Kearney has developed another rocking wiki for her VCE Theatre Studies group. Karen explains:
I was very pleased to see that Jersey Boys: the Story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons had been included on the VCE Theatre Studies playlist for 2010. It is a music theatre piece which examines themes of honour, love, betrayal and loyalty and looks at the lives of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons from the 1950s to more recent times.It is a show with an interesting structure too. Tommy DeVito says in the play: “You ask four guys, you get four different answers”. So the writers, Elice and Brickman, decided to write the show to allow each of the four main characters to tell the story from his own perspective, as the group forms and rises in popularity, before personal problems cause conflict between the group members. Each character takes a turn at narrating to the audience.When looking at a theatre performance, it is important that students examine the ways in which the creative team has contributed to the production as a whole. The wiki I have developed to support Jersey Boys, has kept that in mind and I have gathered videos, podcasts and interviews with a variety of creative team members. For example, the set designer, Klara Ziegerova, has a professional site with some great photos of Jersey Boys sets. Interviews with her explain that she found inspiration in photographs by George Tice. After scouring the internet, I was able to locate these photos and a link is provided from the Backdrop Projections page. Examining these photos, and the Jersey Boys sets, students can clearly see how the designer has adapted elements from the photos to the set design.By viewing many of the links provided, I also hope that students will begin to appreciate how much research needs to be done by the creative team before they could begin their own part in the show. Those responsible for set design, multimedia projections, choreography, music direction and costumes, have all needed to research different elements in order to design something suitable for a stage production yet that remained faithful to The Four Seasons, New Jersey, and the era being portrayed.I have collected newspaper articles and videos about the Australian production of Jersey Boys. There are many videos available on the internet, especially on Youtube, and sorting through them allowed me to locate several pivotal scenes, and scenes where I could highlight examples of lighting, costuming or multimedia which had been used. Reviews are very important as they give some insight into the storyline, and will often comment on various creative parts of the production. In the case of Jersey Boys, the pop art multimedia projections were often mentioned. The images we see in Jersey Boys are reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein’s pop art. Examination of Lichtenstein’s work leads to a deeper understanding of how, and why, they have been used in Jersey Boys.Wiki statistics have indicated that visitors are mostly from Australia, but also from USA, Great Britain and Canada, all countries which currently have a production of Jersey Boys. The most frequently visited pages include Pop Art images, the promotional DVD, articles and reviews, costume design and set design.I hope the Wiki will encourage students to take a critical look behind the scenes of Jersey Boys and really try to understand why different creative decisions have been made. The more students understand about the background of the piece they are studying, the more they will appreciate the show itself.
Thanks Karen for again sharing your fantastic work! The students must really appreciate your wiki to assist them with their studies.