Thursday, November 15, 2012

Field trip show gets kids thinking about bullying

Last week, students from two local elementary schools laughed and looked in awe as Tony Brent made a ball disappear right from a student’s hand.

Brent got the kids’ attention by performing card tricks and making things appear and disappear. But more important than his magic was his message.

With Brent’s one-man show PIP-Squeak, part of our field trip performance series, he spoke to kids about bullying.

“I try to get them thinking about what they would do in a bullying situation,” said Brent before the show.

Using comedy, magic and role-playing, he engaged the students and tried to help them understand how their words and actions can affect others.

In one such gesture, he asked a student volunteer to crumple up a piece of paper. And after it’s scrunched and wrinkled and tattered, he asked the student to apologize to it. Despite the student’s apology and attempt to flatten the paper back to its original state, the paper clearly was different, damaged.

“I’m trying to leave them with a mental picture about bullying. I try to be funny in it, but still have the message in there...Hopefully the visual will stick with them longer," he said.

Brent and Next Generation Ballet dancer William Dugan were interviewed by local news stations. They spoke about how important it is for parents to talk to their kids about bullying and for students to get help and reach out to a parent or counselor if they feel like they’re being bullied.

For the upcoming field trip performance schedule, please click here. Make a day of it by adding a workshop and tour with our Day at the Straz.

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