Wicked: Dramatic Performance as Revelatory Teaching-Learning

Pamela Marie Bontempo Garra, Fordham University


Using an artistic methodology, this study explores the contribution Wicked: A New Musical (Wicked) can make to a comprehensive religious education. Wicked, the dramatic performance of a classic tale, is a part of a century-long living tradition. This study begins by examining Wicked’s development. It includes a historical survey, discovering connections among the texts within its canon and their authors. Central to the study is Gabriel Moran’s conception of teaching-learning, an educational metaphor for divine communication and human listening that is fashioned from Martin Buber’s I-Thou relation. Those who behold Wicked in I-Thou relation can hear the call of the Numinous, whispered in traces of beauty, truth and wholeness. In educationally responding to the call, the beholder can be changed—as the protagonists’ swan song’s title proclaims—For Good. The study concludes with pedagogical implications for a religiously educational curriculum that involves an artistic appreciation of Wicked. Specifically addressed, are some of Wicked ’s themes of ultimate concern: the repair and restoration to wholeness of God’s creation, the liberation of the oppressed, and eco-feminism.

Subject Area

Theater|Religious education

Recommended Citation

Garra, Pamela Marie Bontempo, "Wicked: Dramatic Performance as Revelatory Teaching-Learning" (2017). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10263383.