Bullying seems to be in the headlines every day, too often with tragic ending. So schools nationwide are working to reach out to kids to fight bullying.
One local mom is doing it with theater.
Kelly Walsh of North Andover, co-director of The Fairy Tale Players, has produced a play of monologues and scenes, each written by students, about bullying -- "The Bully Project."
Walsh, who teaches acting, said she got the idea after her oldest son started middle school and was being bullied by another student. The school and parents dealt with the problem, she said, and her son and the other student became friends.
This got me thinking," Walsh wrote. "How big a problem is bullying in the schools? Haven’t we talked ourselves blue in the face over the subject? What is driving the issue? Fear? Jealousy?"
Walsh discussed the topic with her Act Two theatre students at Creative Arts in Reading and decided to create a theatrical production focused on bullying.
"In my opinion, theatre is a reflection of the world we live in, so what better way to explore the topic of bullying?" Walsh wrote. "The class was excited about writing and creating a group of scenes and monologues on the topic."
The kids wrote on a variety of angles -- peer pressure, low self-esteem, socio-economic factors, etc. -- and the series of monologues has become a whole play.
"My goal from the project is that the students walk away with a better understanding of why children bully and what to do when it happens," Walsh wrote. "I hope they will all leave the class knowing if nothing else, that they are not alone and they can always reach out for help."
"The Bully Project" will be performed April 12 at 4 p.m. at The Reading Public Library Meeting Room. The performance is free and open to the public.
For more info. on "The Bully Project" and other classes, call 781-942-9600 or e-mail email@example.com.