This video is of a staged reading for a piece called “Bullying”. The participants are still holding their scripts while they act because this is a work in progress. The script was written and directed by Thandiwe McMillen.
Here is what Thandiwe had to say about the creative process of doing the work:
While writing this piece, my first thoughts were that I had to make my audience aware of the harsh reality of bullying. This part was somewhat tricky due to the fact that I couldn’t stress enough how bullying doesn’t only hurt physically, but emotionally as well.
The next part was a lot more difficult for me. All over the world, different types of kids and even adults are being bullied. However, the focus was on the youth. Numerous teenagers are being bullied because they may be some of the following: gay, lesbian, fat, skinny, “too” smart, short, “ugly”, or they have a seemingly bizarre feature, quality, or medical condition. I had to have all of this in mind as I wrote.I didn’t want to confuse my audience into thinking that only a certain type of person is bullied.
Ultimately, I settled on the type of mean girl, jock guy, bullying. This doesn’t mean that other teens aren’t being bullied; they just have a different case.
It was very interesting to see my work finally put into action. I carefully selected my cast, giving people I thought best fitted, the roles. It was pretty exhilarating to direct the performance; telling my cast what they were doing right and wrong. The script enabled us to permit the audience to comprehend bullying.
I hope that “Bullying” will have an effect on the audience and compel them to put their foot down and do something about it. I still cannot stress the aftermath of bullying, which does not always end in a happily-ever-after.
The “Bullying” cast members:
Sean Mac Queen
Here is the script…
BULLYING by: Thandiwe McMillan
Kelly, Brittany, and Megan enter the teen section of the library.
Kelly: Oh my gosh did you see what Rachel was wearing today? Hideous. Like, even my grandma has more fashion sense.
Brittany: So true. I’m so glad I’m not her. I would have to kill myself.
Megan: Hmmm and she’s ugly to top it all off. (sighs).Anyway, let’s get on with this project. I can’t believe we’re actually in the library. It reeks of loser.
Kelly: Ugh, Ms. P is such a cow.
The girls walk over to the back table where Stephanie is sitting surrounded by books and engrossed in a novel.
Kelly: Whatchya reading ugly? (Swats book out of Stephanie’s hand). You are nothing and I am something. Repeat it.
Stephanie: (mumbles) You are nothing and I am something.
Kelly: Excuse me? Who do you think you’re talking to!!
Stephanie: Um, I meant I am nothing, you are something.
Megan: (holds Stephanie’s hair and whispers in her ear) Louder.
Stephanie: I am nothing.
Brittany: (snickers) She’s pathetic.
The girls move to the other part of the library whispering and giggling. Their voices are now inaudible as we go on to the next scene.—Marcus enters the library and takes a seat next to Stephanie.
Marcus: Well the good news is I found the book we were looking for (smiling). What’s wrong? (smile fades).
Stephanie: Nothing. That’s great (forced smile).
Rick, Bobby, and Vincent enter the library. They strode in to the back.
Rick: Believe me, I know what you’re talking about.
Vincent: (hits Marcus by the side of the head). Hey what’s up loser? (pushes Marcus’s bag off the table). Oops. (high fives Bobby)
Rick: What a douche?
Vincent: Haha. Probably runs in the family.
Bobby: C’mon guys, stop it, let’s just join the girls (looks uncomfortable).
Rick: Alright. Stop being a little girl.
Bobby: (defensively) I’m not. It’s just…not right. You guys tormenting them I mean.
Vincent: Whatever (shakes head).
The guys now join the girls. Their voices are now barely audible in the background.
Stephanie: Let’s just go.
Marcus: No. we’re staying. We aren’t going to let them treat us this way.
Stephanie: (nods) Ok.
The girls and boys enter together.
Marcus: Oh gosh, here they come.
Stephanie: Wait for it, wait for it…
Kelly: (almost on queue) Ew it smells.
The girls giggle.
Vincent: It’s obviously them.
Bobby: (looks uncomfortable) Um…the research paper?
Megan: Shut up Bobby. You’re always defending them.
Bobby: I don’t I-
Brittany: You do.
Kelly: Look. They don’t even speak.
Stephanie and Marcus continue reading their books as if deaf.
Vincent: (snickers) Forget these losers.
Kelly is attempting to force Stephanie to kiss a piece of gum that is stuck to the table. Brittany and Megan hold Stephanie’s hands down despite her efforts. Vincent and Rick hold Marcus so he cant get to her.
Kelly: Kiss it! Kiss it!
Bobby enters half running.
Bobby: What are you doing?!
Vincent: Stay out of it.
Bobby: No. Let go of her. Now.
Rick: What’s gotten into you?
Bobby: Let go of her. NOW!
The girls release Stephanie and the guys release Marcus.
Bobby: I’m tired of you. All of you. Constantly picking on people. You guys are bullies. I want no part in this. And if that makes me uncool; so what? I’m making new friends. Better friends.
Marcus: Thanks a lot (smiles).
Stephanie: Yeah thanks (smiles).
The three exit, leaving the boys and girls dumfound and looking at one another.