Lisa Kron visits sophomore English classes

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Earlier this month, American playwright and actress Lisa Kron recently visited English teacher Brian Brewer’s sophomore classes. Kron is known for her Broadway adaptation of the graphic novel Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. Fun Home tells the story of a young woman who is learning to come to terms with her sexuality while growing up in a dysfunctional family. Through a grant from Lambda Literary Writers in Schools, an organization that focuses on LGBTQ issues, our school invited Lisa Kron to speak about the process of transforming the graphic novel into an award-winning musical.

“We have been reading other people’s first-person accounts, so Lisa Kron is an example of a reader of someone else’s first-person account and first-person memoir. She represents how someone has understood someone else’s first-person story, which is what we are trying to do in class with all the material,” said Dr. Brewer.  

Dr. Brewer’s class recently worked on a project relating to superhero personas, a “reflection” of oneself with superpowers. He said, “Our students spectacularize their own stories by creating these superheros, not unlike Lisa Kron spectacularizing Alison Bechdel’s memoirs into this broadway show.”

“The author was very direct with her content and did not filter any themes that would cause controversy,” said sophomore Annie Ye. Such themes included death, family conflict, and the LGBTQ community.

Sophomore Angelina Li said, “Attending the event was definitely a different experience. It was interesting to see [Kron’s] insight to certain scenes of the book and how she wanted to express that through music and lyrics.”

Lisa Kron explained that when transforming the book into a musical, she had to portray the emotions through her own interpretation. Fun Home revolves around a family who yearns to feel when they don’t know how. The musical production of this book “is not about wanting people to feel when they see something,” said sophomore Sarah Aguiar, “but rather, they are for the audience to have the emotions felt by the characters.”