Grossmont College’s theater troupe tackles bullying at local elementary schools

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Bullying—the topic is ripe with meaning nowadays on school grounds and many other settings. Grossmont College’s Fall Traveling Troupe 2016 is addressing that topic with their production of the 6-scene play “Blue” about bullying. They performed this production for Lakeside’s Lindo Park Elementary School on Nov. 17.

Bullying—the topic is ripe with meaning nowadays on school grounds and many other settings. Grossmont College’s Fall Traveling Troupe 2016 is addressing that topic with their production of the 6-scene play “Blue” about bullying. They performed this production for Lakeside’s Lindo Park Elementary School on Nov. 17.

In a climate of wearing safety pins to signal that you feel unsafe, Grossmont College’s theatre arts professor Jerry Hager’s adaptation of Kathryn Otoshi’s book “One,” which he turned into “Blue” about accepting each other’s differences, seems very timely.

Second grade teacher, Suzie Smith, credited their PTA. with bringing the production to the school.

“The PTA pays for performers. It’s part of our PBIS reinforcing positive behavior program,” she said. PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. 

School counselor Erika Garcia credits principal Nina Drammiss with setting the tone for a strong no-bullying policy.  Garcia cited “There have not been that many cases at Lindo Park this year.” The school has 548 students according to P.T.A. parliamentarian and attendance clerk Sheila Florey.

“Once a year we bring Grossmont here. And for the last ten years,” said Florey.

The play centers around a group of clowns, headed by a sadistic bully, named Red, who picks on one clown named Blue. With Red being the clown in control it allowed others to bully Blue as well.  Red sets the tone for the clown dynamics. Via a series of scenes, a new clown changes the dynamics, and helps the other clowns challenge Red’s dictator-like stronghold.  Blue forgives Red in the end. 

The six scenes of “Blue” are performed by:  Sam McCubbin, Delia Mejia, Jillian Jones, Jinneva Santiesteban, Jasz Cabrera, Kian Kline-Chilton, Isai Luna, Amy Oliverio, and Raymond Kazules.  Per Jerry Hager his travelling troupe performs all over San Diego.

There were two performances done that morning and the students responded enthusiastically.  So much so that a young girl told Hager, “Polka-Dot (one of the clowns) is my favorite actress.”

The students received the acting and message very well.

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