Photo of Angela

Cerebral Cypher

Anti Bullying Workshop at the NJPTA Conference

May 2, 2012

During a hands on workshop for Arts Horizons, Teaching Artist Angela Kariotis discussed Dramatic Strategies for Anti-Bullying with some attendees of the NJPTA 2012 Convention.

Read the story HERE.

Kariotis recalls her experience:

Theatre has been used in a variety of ways over the last few decades as a strategy to address bullying in school settings. According to education writer George Belliveau, Theater helps illustrate strategies to address it and offers ways for children to either prevent or cope with bullying. ‘To unpack the experience and feeling of the bullied, I conducted improvisational exercises. The power of these improvisational exercises is to bear witness to the experience; to see what is happening and deduce what it might feel like. Talking about bullying is ineffective. A student saying to their parents, “Somebody made fun of my outfit,” may not sound like a big deal and might be easy to dismiss, but seeing the threat, the alienation, the subversive power struggle, and the inescapability of the experience – really helps parents, teachers, and students understand the meaning, impact, effects, and urgency of what’s happening in that lunchroom. Theater helps uncover the urgency of bullying.

To conclude, the group wrote a communal list poem. The title of a list poem is the subject, the content of the list poem are sentences that refer back to the subject. Really, we are learning theatrical forms and writing practices all while addressing bullying as content. In a residency, I would take the diary entries, list poem, improvisational exercises and all other materials and this would be the first draft of out anti-bullying play. We created a list poem as a group. It is insightful, intense, compact, and honest.

In the Lunchroom
Sitting alone
Being afraid
Lost appetite
Stomach ache
Cafeteria food
Is it over yet?
Where do I fit in?
Where do I sit?
Who will make room for me?