Book and lyrics by Ron Jones. Music and lyrics by David W. Denny, Kathy Peck Denny and Emily Klion.
Cast: 6m., 8w., 12 either gender. The Third Wave Musical tells the true story of a classroom experiment in fascism which takes place in January l967 at Cubberley High School in Palo Alto, California. It is a time of anti-war protests, racial integration and a cultural revolution. To answer a student's question about how the holocaust could happen, a young teacher, Mr. Jones, decides to give his world history class an exercise in discipline—the experience of being in a totalitarian society. To his surprise, the students like the order and power that comes with discipline. No one could predict the explosive events that would follow. During a five-day period, students give up their freedom for the prospect of being superior to their classmates. Student curiosity and questioning is replaced with conformity and violence. Membership cards, salutes, bodyguards and informants fuel the excitement that becomes known as The Third Wave. Everyone wants to join—to be part of the action. Students welcome the witch-hunts, rallies, and the feeling of being special. Like his followers, Mr. Jones crosses some invisible line—he's no longer a teacher conducting a simulation but a leader of a national movement who enjoys the power, adulation and control. The Third Wave Musical explains what can happen when we stop believing in ourselves and fall victim to fear and intimidation, allows us to feel how difficult it is to stand up to injustice and group will, and shows us the price we pay when we lose the democratic process and respect of others to a world of bullies. I know. I am Ron Jones and I was the teacher responsible for The Third Wave. One int. set. Approximate running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes.