Duluth Theater Group Takes on Bullying... With a Twist

By KBJR News 1

March 29, 2011 Updated Mar 29, 2011 at 10:41 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - For Henry, this Friday's performance is more than a play. It's a way of life.

In BOLD CHOICE Theater Company's rendition of 'James and the Giant Peach,' Henry plays the Magic Man.

A role he takes to heart.

"I've always thought of myself as a magic type person and I was thinking I could make things happen like magic."

Henry, along with MORE THAN 20 performers and staff, are part of an outreach program that travels to schools to put on plays about struggles people with disabilities go through day to day.

"Schools in the area are learning a lesson about bullying, disabilities, and how to stick up for themselves."

"I kind of like when I help other people learn about bullying and help other people stop bullying."

Many of the performers came into the program with little, to no experience performing.

"You can tell at first that they're a little nervous and still a little iffy about it and they just seem to come out of their shell."

"In a way, I feel more confident about who I am and I'm proud of who I am."

'The Peach' has been performed six times since last May... each time having a profound affect on those that see it.

"We get a lot of letters from teachers and students alike that tell us how much of a difference this program has made for their schools."

With bullying becoming a growing issue in most schools, the program aims to break down stereotypes, and show that everyone has a talent to share.

"People can be who they want to be with a lot of hard work."

"Working at this job has been something for me that has been completely enlightening...To be able to advance for the betterment of folks with disabilities."

And for Henry, having a disability doesn't deter his passion for theater. Instead, the Magic Man just presses on.

"In a way, I have a disability but I don't let it get in my way of what I want to do. I just push past it."

You can see the show's only public performance this Friday night at Marshall High School.

Tickets are 7 dollars at the door. The show starts at 7 pm.

Written for the web by Chris Axelson