Mixing fairy-like time travel with instruction on handling bullies, high school drama students brought an original show to elementary students Friday.
Ellison High School drama students traveled to four schools and presented a series of scenes depicting episodes of bullying behavior.
The script, written by Ellison theater director Meredith Yanchak featured Miss Lenora as a magical classroom guest who led students on a surprise field trip into their recent past.
The students viewed their peers picking on one another, telling jokes at one another’s expense and excluding those who are different. With Miss Lenora’s help, they realized many of them were guilty of bullying behavior.
In one scene, three book-loving students face the jokes about bookworms from their peers, but stand up to their adversaries.
In another scene, a boy gives up his jacket to two bigger boys who rile him for causing them to lose a kickball game.
“This is about trying to prevent bullying,” said Danielle Johnson, an Ellison junior who played the part of the teacher. “We’re showing them how to stand up for themselves.
“I really like it,” Johnson said of performing the scenes. “I remember watching the older kids on stage and it made me want to do better.”
The children in the audience seemed to take the lessons to heart.
“I liked the time travel part and how they tried to figure out who the bully was,” said Clifton Park second-grader Hunter Carleton.
“I liked that you could see what to do if someone bullies you,” said Halle Curb, also a second-grader.
“It was good,” second-grader Olivia Fischer said. “I liked the drama about bullies,” explaining that a bully is someone who teases people.
The drama students used an acronym to help students remember how to handle bullying.
The word CALM stands for cool down, be assertive, look the bully in the eyes and mean what you say.
“We like to spread our love of theater in a constructive way,” said Ellison senior Dea Davis, who played the role of Lenora, twittering about like a fairy and guiding the students through time in a magical traveling classroom.
“We hope to share the joy of theater,” she said, “and to inspire them to get out of their comfort zone.”