NPR Music has a piece about the high school theatre group in Massachusetts that has collaborated with Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls on writing a play inspired by Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea:
The students at Lexington High School say they haven’t just written a play based on this album, or a play about Anne Frank. It’s about art and music coming out of terrible things. And it’s about being transformed by that process of creation. A junior, whose parents did not want her identified, found herself transformed.
“There was one rehearsal where we were using the music a lot, and I just remembered this thing that I had forgotten, which is that there were two Nazis in my family,” one Lexington student says. “And I just had this realization that I had to make reparations, I had this just huge debt all of a sudden, which I had forgotten I had. And after that day everything’s been heavier and also lighter at the same time and I feel like the music just like draws things out of weird places that you didn’t know were there.”
Heavy shit, for sure, but listen to the recordings of the rehearsals on NPR’s site and you can hear the pure joy these kids are getting out of the music, as well. Don’t be simplistic enough to mistake their laughter as not taking it seriously. Teenagers are complex like that.