Bullying Prevention Performance 5/16
“If you see something, say something” is advice given by many authorities, but all too often victims of childhood bullying are afraid to speak out for reasons that range from not wanting to be pitied to fears of retribution from the instigators. The tragic results have included suicides, revenge killings (including one at a Bronx high school last year) and mass shootings. The perpetrator of the February 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL., was bullied while growing up as were the two mass murderers 19 years ago at Columbine High School in Colorado.
All are reasons why Tim Collins’ “STANDING BY, STANDING UP” carries much relevance. It is described as a “powerful interactive one-man play about bullying and cyberbullying prevention and bystander intervention.” The 55-minute performance for elementary, middle-school and high-school students, parents and educators is coming to our second-floor auditorium on Wednesday, May 16, at 7:00 p.m.
The St. Louis- and NYC-based Collins grew up in Sherrill, N.Y., near Utica, and he says that he had friends who were bullies and were bullied. “I witnessed it in my school, and that induced me to want to start a conversation with kids before anything occurs, because the spectrum of violence starts at a young age.”
Since 2001, he has done so through theater. “In ‘STANDING BY, STANDING UP’ I portray five characters: four students and one teacher. The kids are the bullied and the ‘henchmen,’ and they reveal their stories on how bullying affects them.
There will be a discussion after the performance, and Collins says that “I have found that students who attend a performance often continue the conversation at home and at school.”
Library youth services director Josh Carlson, who is from Utica and helped recruit Collins, says that “STANDING BY, STANDING UP” is all the more relevant to White Plains because of the incidents this winter at New Rochelle High School, which included the murder of one student by another.
New Hartford, N.Y., BOCES teacher Linda Perras says: “Collins takes the difficult topic of bullying and discusses it, explains it, and shows different types of situations. He helps his audience figure out what to do if they ever encounter these situations as a friend, acquaintance and/or a victim of bullying. I highly recommend Tim Collins’ one-man shows.”
Collins’ honors include “Best Dramatic Script” at the 2012 United Solo Theater Festival and “Best Educational Show” at the 2013 United Solo Theater Festival. He has also written and performed “THE SCRIPT” for military audiences on preventing sexual assault.