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.
Here’s a Bostonist interview with Amanda Palmer about the play. “With the Needle That Sings in Her Heart” ran this weekend, and here’s Bostonist‘s review. Palmer’s got some photos up on her Flickr.
3 thoughts on “High School Play inspired by Neutral Milk Hotel Album”
I was there Saturday night and was knocked over by the fact that high school students could pull together something so complex and so good. They got huge cheers from us, and they deserved it.
Also, hearing some of the NMH songs sung in chorus was amazing and different…it made me want to sing along with them, but it wasn’t exactly that kind of show.
i hope this play catches on and takes on life of it’s own. this is far more interesting than bad 80’s films getting new life as broadway plays.
this is truly a burst of creative innovation.
Amanda Palmer tweeted a YouTube link to the kid who was more or less the lead of the show: