Nov. 21, 2002
CONTACT: Summer Wilhelm

EMU’s Children’s Theatre Takes Lesson About Bullies To Area Schools

YPSILANTI – Of the many things on the verge of extinction in the 21st century, bullies are not among them. Dealing with a bully is never easy for a kid, and some are afraid to ask for support. But an innovative touring production by Eastern Michigan University’s Children’s Theatre is trying to help. The EMU group is taking “The Bully Show” to area schools through Nov. 25.

“After seeing the show, I’m hoping that kids will be able to use different strategies to cope with bullies such as laughing or changing the subject,” said Christine Tanner, assistant professor of communications and theatre arts. “It’s really a basic message: don’t give them your power. Don’t feed the bully.”

Tanner, a former middle school teacher, has witnessed bullying and knows the damaging consequences that can arise from those situations. When she was asked to put together this year’s show, she knew immediately what theme she wanted to use.

With the input of EMU graduate and undergraduate students in the CTA touring company, Tanner created “The Bully Show,” which takes a close look at bullying from several perspectives, depicting characters that are bullies and characters that have to learn how to cope with them.

The production focuses on one bully in particular that harasses another character. The bully eventually comes to the realization that what she’s doing is wrong. By the end of the play, said Tanner, the younger audiences are usually shouting at her to apologize to the other person.

“The Bully Show” runs through Nov. 25, with 23 performances at 10 elementary schools in Saline, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Newport, Wyandotte, and one middle school in Milan.

“The Bully Show” will be at EMU Monday, Nov. 25, 7 p.m., Quirk Theatre. This performance is free and open to all that wish to attend.

For more information, contact Tanner at 734.487.0032.