Traveling Show Takes a Stance on Bullying

By KBJR News 1

November 9, 2010 Updated Nov 9, 2010 at 11:06 PM CDT

Moose Lake, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - The transition from middle school to high school can be a frightening one. Especially if you feel you are a little different from the status quo.

The Arts High School at the Perpich Center in Golden Valley designed a play with 25 separate stories tackling issues ranging as wide as cyber bullying to fears about homework.

"We went out to middle schools in the metro area and talked with them about their fears and anxiety about moving into high school"

This unique approach gives the authenticity needed for kids to relate to the problems raised in the play and hold their heads high knowing they aren't alone.

"It basically says what is happening right now is supposed to be happening."

The play is a sort of an interactive play. The audience calls out a number between one and 25. Each number represents a story and when it is called out, the student actors perform that show in the spur of the moment.

When the performance is over, the cast comes forward and answers questions about the issues portrayed in the plays.

The best part about it?

"We all kinda play ourselves"

Each problem in the play is one the actors have been through, giving the middle school audience a chance to ask the questions they need to help their transition into the High School world a bit easier.

"it was really hard to tell people I am a Christian." "
"I come from a school where it wasn't okay to be gay."
"I'm kind of the annoying one."

But these aren't all just big city issues. Some of the actors came from small northern town backgrounds, allowing a full spectrum of issues to come forth in the performance. So how can a simple piece of theater change a teenager's view on their school?

"This has been a really good experience because it teaches us about like a play isn't necessarily a script put in front of you. It's a lot of different views and a lot of different experiences."

The Arts High students will perform again tomorrow in Saginaw and Carlton and then travel back to Moose Lake for an evening program at Hope Lutheran Church.

Written by Chris Axelson
Posted to the web by Kevin Jacobsen