Bullying: The Musical Premieres

Bullying is one of the most widespread and potentially serious problems facing Americans of all ages today.  But you can still sing about it. TAPIT/new works Ensemble Theater will tackle the issue with humor and heart in an upcoming production, Bullying: The Musical, performed March 11 at the Barrymore Theatre, 2090 Atwood Avenue in Madison.

Featuring an all-youth ensemble cast, Bullying: The Musical, is based on 50 workshops conducted by TAPIT/new works producing artistic directors Donna Peckett and Danielle Dresden with more than 1,300 Dane County elementary and middle school students from October 2010 through February 2011.

The real-world bullying experiences students shared in these sessions form the basis for Bullying: The Musical.

Directed by Lorraine Jaki-Terry, a spoken word artist and UW-Madison Theater Department graduate student in the Theater for Cultural and Social Awareness program, Bullying: The Musical features a script and lyrics by Dresden, score by Dave Adler, choreography by Peckett, set by Christopher R. Dunham, costumes by Rebecca Sites and light design by Patricia Micetic.

The production follows eight teenagers, Taylor Agnew, Alex Chen, Addie Clearwood, Kaylin Langer, Matt Kulju, Savannah Valigura, Isabella Virrueta and Frost White, as they confront multiple forms of bullying, both in school and online.  When tensions threaten to get out of hand, the students are sent on a labyrinth-walking field trip and discover that sometimes the way out is found by looking more deeply within.

It’s bound to sound familiar to the 1,300+ students from Lowell, Emerson, Marquette, Randall, Bird, Eastside, Royal Oaks, Shorewood and Van Hise Elementary Schools; Whitehorse, Velma Hamilton and Georgia O’Keeffe Middle Schools. Students who helped inspire the development of Bullying: The Musical will attend two school matinees at 10:00 AM Thursday and Friday, March 10th and 11th.

A Friday evening performance of Bullying: The Musical, for general audiences, is set for 7:30 PM, March 11th.  Tickets for the general public performance are $15 for adults and $12 for students (12 years old and under) are available at the Barrymore Theatre box office and outlets.  Please call TAPIT/new works, 608.244.2938 or email, info@tapitnewworks.org for more information.

Along with helming the production, Jaki-Terry will coordinate pre- and post-performance discussions designed to create a safe and supportive context for exploration of this charged issue.

TAPIT/new works Ensemble Theater is a professional performing arts organization based in Madison and touring throughout the United States and abroad.  Founded in 1985 by Donna Peckett and Danielle Dresden, an award-winning choreographer and playwright, artistic innovation and community connection drive the Company.

Bullying: The Musical is supported, in part, by the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts; the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission with additional support from the American Girl’s Fund for Children, the Overture Foundation and the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation, Inc.; The New Harvest Foundation; Alliant Energy Foundation; The Cremer Foundation; Richard B. and Marilyn Mazess; the Neil Allen Peckett Memorial Fund; and participating schools.

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