NCTC to stage "The Bully Plays" next fall

Delania Trigg, Gainesville Daily Register | Apr 21, 2014

It's an awful feeling to be bullied.

Sometimes it's harder still to see bullying happening to others and not know how to stop it.

Abigail's Arms, the county's domestic violence shelter and victim resource agency, is determined to teach kids how to intervene when they see their peers emotionally or physically abusing others.

The agency has recently joined forces with North Central Texas College to stage "The Bully Plays" - an anthology of 24 plays depicting various aspects of bullying behavior.

The performances - planned for fall 2014 - will be free and open to area school children.

Thom Talbott, program director for NCTC Drama, said his department won't produce all 24 of the "Bully Plays."

"We'll target the plays to our audiences," he said. "Not all the plays are appropriate for all age groups."

Any kid who's been bullied will tell you emotional and physical abuse doesn't happen in isolation. It takes good people doing nothing for bad behavior to flourish, Abigail's Arms community liaison/advocate Kelly Fiore-Watson said.

She teaches school students how to protect themselves from abuse but said she's also helping children become "engaged bystanders."

"I teach kids that you have to become an advocate for yourself and others," she said. "You decide if there's a bully in your school."

Live theater can be a powerful resource, Talbott said, adding the "The Bully Plays" are the result of a literary call to action.

"The publisher requested that the authors write a short play that would reference bullying," he noted.

"The Bully Plays" also includes cyber-bullying situations, a mimed piece and a play in rhymed verse.

"Some of the plays are very funny. Some are dark," Talbott said. "We won't perform all 24 of the plays. We'll be targeting the plays to our audience."

Talbott said the performances are set to begin in October 2014.

Fiore-Watson said schools should contact NCTC to schedule a performance.

She also plans to send more details to area schools in September.

For more information call the NCTC drama department at 668-3324.



Kelly Fiore-Watson, Abigail's Arms community liaison/advocate, and Thom Talbott, program director for North Central Texas College Drama, plan to partner to produce 'The Bully Plays' this fall for students in area schools. (Photo by Delania Trigg, Gainesville Daily Register)