“B is for Bully,” a new production by Theatre for a Diverse Population at Central Lakes College, explores the lasting effects of bullying. Designed to stimulate discussion, the show features student actors, including Amy Claypool of Bemidji (pictured). "I like being in this cast," she said. "And showing everyone that bullying happens all the time and it's not right. We need to start making some changes. I'm planning on being an elementary teacher, and I think this play is a great experience to learn about bullying. When I see it as a teacher I'll be able to help students. It happens way too much in our society. People are taking their own lives because of what's going on. No one should feel this way. People need to be aware...I don't have any acting experience, but I feel strongly the message needs to get out there. That's why I am performing in this show." CLC instructor Nancy Smith and members of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, will conduct a talk-back session after each performance. The show will be staged Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 at 10 a.m., Dec. 1, at noon, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 3 at 2 p.m., with American Sign Language interpretation. Joining Amy in the cast are Alex Schmolke, Garrison; Jeremy Boltjes, Brainerd; Ann Campbell, Fargo; Grant King, Germantown, Tenn.; Cassandra Patrick, McGregor; Dillon Pool, Rockford; and Bea Mitchell, Onamia. Tickets are pay-what- you-can, with a $1 minimum. Recommended ticket cost is $5. To reserve tickets call the theatre box office at 218-855-8199 or on the web at www.clctickets.com
According to the National Crime Prevention Council 43 percent of teens have been victims of online abuse in the past year. Bullying can happen anywhere, face to face, by text messages or on the web. Bullying is not limited by age, gender, race or education. It is not a phase, it is not a joke; bullying causes lasting harm.
Theatre for a Diverse Population is designed to stimulate discussion on current social issues. The company is made up of students with diverse background and learning styles. Theatre for a Diverse Population productions have toured throughout Minnesota as well as performing for the International Chair Academy in 2010 and The Region Five Kennedy Center Festival in St. Louis in 2005.
Dennis Lamberson, director of this theatre program, has won state, national and international acclaim for this unique theatre event.