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Wednesday, February 9,2011

CURTAIN CALL

Family Theatre cast strikes back against bullies through drama

by Christopher Horb

No one likes a bully. And though many people are content to write off the problems of youth bullying under the idea that “kids will be kids” — Bill Gordon is not one of those people.


Gordon, director of the Mid Michigan Family Theatre, has created the play “Bully- Be-Gone: Tactics and Strategies to Reduce Bullying in Schools.” Produced with the Lansing Everett Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School Theatre Department, the touring play is aimed at helping elementary age kids handle issues of bullying.


“It’s a problem that’s always been there but it’s receiving increased awareness,” Gordon said. “This is the appropriate time.”


A series of youth suicides in which bullying was thought to be a factor has made national headlines and ignited a debate.


According to Gordon, “Bully-Be-Gone” is meant to be entertaining as well as informative. The play consists of skits and audience participation designed to portray situations kids may face, and the healthiest ways they can handle themselves in those situations. The ideas presented are based on Michigan Department of Education content standards.


“There’s really no instant cure for bullying, but I think kids can really learn something here,” Gordon said.


The cast includes Lindsay July, Autumn Lammert, Brittany Lezotte, Miller Lor, Amber Love, Rebecca MacCreery and Brandon Telfor.


The play can be performed in any space and is expected to run through the remainder of the school year.


Groups or schools interested in booking the play can contact Gordon through the Mid Michigan Family Theatre at (517) 339-2145.


Laughs at LCC


When it comes to the comedy troupe The Public Offenders, no one is safe and nothing is sacred. What else would you expect from such a pointedly named group?


The Michigan-bred comedians hit the stage Friday with “Pro Bono,” a fundraiser for the Lansing Community College Theatre Scholarship Fund.


The evening of comedy and music features the Offenders and the All American Funk Parade and both groups consist of LCC Performing Arts alumni.


“We feel that a lot of talented people are coming out of LCC and it’s important to give future generations the opportunity to follow in their footsteps,” said The Public Offenders’ Tom Slovinski.


The group frequently performs around mid-Michigan and is known for its irreverent take on social issues through a blend of risqué and popcultural-savvy humor. The troupe features Denny Green, Mike Evitts, Jake Zamonski, Dan Currie, Matt Clark, Ivan Wolfgang and Zak Engeland.


Asking for answers


If you don’t ask the questions, how do you get the answers?


This is the point made by the DeWitt High School Theatre Department production “Questions” opening Friday.


Jeff Croley directs the show that, according to the press notes, incorporates "absurd theater, dark humor, and artistic expression" as it targets young adults as it depicts varied social and education issues.



An
original script, “Questions” is presented in part by The DeWitt
Creativity Group, an alliance of the various creative and performing
arts factions at DeWitt High School.


The Public Offenders: ’Pro Bono’


8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11 Dart Auditorium 500 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing $5 admission at the door (517) 483-1488


’Questions’


7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, Friday, Feb. 11, and Saturday, Feb. 12; 2 p.m.


Sunday, Feb. 13 DeWitt High School $5 general admission (517)688-3218

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