Adventure Theatre gets Montgomery County Middle Students involved with Anti-Bullying New Play contest. Deadline to submit is Jan 30, 2012.
Many children in Montgomery County have grown up with Adventure Theatre. Now those tots who Michael J. Bobbitt, Adventure Theatre’s Artistic Director has seen cuddled up on the seats of the cozy Glen Echo Park theatre are growing up and facing bullies in school and in cyberspace.
For Bobbitt, childhood bullying is a very personal issue. “My heart breaks every time I hear of a young person taking his or her own life or being beaten by other kids. As my adopted Vietnamese son, who has two dads, faces middle school, I am filled with fear. What can I do?”
His concerns are realistic. A School Environment Survey completed just two years ago by middle school students attending Montgomery County Public Schools revealed that 3,000 reported instances of bullying, 56.4% of students said bullying was a problem and 41.5% of parents said bullying was a problem.
“I can use what I know to combat this epidemic.” Bobbit said. “I can rally middle schoolers that love theatre and get them onboard as allies against bullying.”
So Adventure Theatre in conjunction with The Department of Recreation of Montgomery County and their sponsor, Monument Bank, have launched the first 10-Minute Anti-Bullying New Play Contest. All Montgomery County Middle School students are invited to submit original 10-minute plays to a panel of theatre professionals.
Scripts must be postmarked January 30, 2012. The three winners, announced February 8th, receive cash prizes and will have the chance to work with dramaturgs in February to prepare their work for a staged reading and reception at Adventure Theatre March 30, 2012 at 7pm. Full details are here.
Finally, Bobbitt added “Howard Shalwitz [from Woolly Mammoth,] said ‘that [theatre] influences the way we think and feel about our own lives and encourages us to take a hard look at ourselves, our values, and our behavior.’ Perhaps these plays, written by young people – for young people – will keep our kids safer from bullies.”