Analyzing the Bully, written by the youth members of blank slate theatre is one of the best examples of theater for teens by teens I have seen in years. Under the direction of Adam Arnold, the young people of blank slate have crafted a satire that explores bullying with truth and humor. The play explores the complexities of the issue of the day more clearly than any “expert”. Before the Minnesota legislature and the task force for the prevention of school bullying make any decisions they need to see this play.
The audience is welcomed into the theater by three doctors in white coats. They proceed to teach the absolute facts about bullying. But as the show progresses and we start to see the perspective of the bully we learn that peer abuse is not a black and white problem. It is complex.
The show manages not to get preachy. It is the commitment of the four young actors (Thomas Hedlund, Shawn Michael Chromey-Daniels, Taylor Hall, and Stephanie Kahle) that keep the show from after-school special territory.
Everyone who works with kids should see this show.