Alice's Story is a show produced by a theater company called Making Books Sing. The show, which helps kids understand and deal with bullying, is performed in schools. Actors read short scenes about bullying and discuss them with students. Students have parts in the show too. "We wanted to create a program that allows the audience to play roles," explains Brooke Boertzel, one of the show's creators. "Stepping into someone else's shoes and practicing empathy in a safe environment is extremely effective in addressing bullying."
Use this script to perform the scenes with your class. You can change the characters' names so boys or girls can play the parts. When the director yells "Freeze!," the action stops. Answer his or her questions.
SCENE 1: CLASSROOM
ALICE: Hey everybody! Has anyone seen Deanna? No? Well, I should go find her.
DEANNA: (She enters the classroom.) Hey, guys. Did anyone else have trouble with the math homework? I asked Alice if I could see her homework and she said no. Can you believe that? Speaking of Alice, here's a note I found about her.
(She holds up the note. It reads, "Alice eats dog food." Then she writes the same sentence on the board.)
ALICE: (She enters.) Hey, Deanna, I wanted to apologize about the homework thing. I spent a lot of time on mine so I can't give it to you, but I can help you with it after school.
(Deanna laughs. Alice sees what is written on the board. She looks upset.)
DIRECTOR: Freeze! Why do you think Deanna told kids about the note? How does that make Alice feel? Let's see what happens next.
DEANNA: Is it true, Alice? Do you eat dog food? Does it taste good?
ALICE: I don't eat dog food!
DEANNA: Do you eat other kinds of animal food? Bird food? Cat food?
ALICE: I don't eat dog food!
DEANNA: It's written on a note. It's on the board too. It must be true. You know, Alice, no one will like you if you eat dog food.
(Alice starts to cry. Deanna pretends to be nice to her. She hands her a tissue. Then she grabs Alice's homework.)
DIRECTOR: Freeze! How does Deanna treat Alice? Does the scene show bullying? What would you do if you found yourself in Alice's position? Let's see how a bystander, who sees the bullying, can help Alice. Peter was a bystander. Here he comes.
DIRECTOR: Peter, you were in the room watching Deanna and Alice. Why didn't you say anything to help Alice?
PETER: Well, I felt kind of bad for Alice, but she's not really a close friend, and I didn't want Deanna to be mean to me too. I didn't want to be a tattletale.
DIRECTOR: Reporting is when you tell to get someone out of trouble. Tattling is when you tell to get someone into trouble. Let's act another scene to see how you can help.
SCENE 2: PLAYGROUND
(Alice looks very sad as she sits alone.)
PETER: Hey, let's go talk to Alice. If a bunch of us go up to her together, we will have strength in numbers!
(Several kids join Peter as he goes to talk to Alice.)
PETER: Hi, Alice. We wanted to talk to you. We saw what happened earlier and have some ideas for how to help.
(As kids offer suggestions, Alice smiles.)
DIRECTOR: Wow! Look at the way Alice looks now. She looks really happy. You guys made her feel that way. What happened to change the way you felt, Alice?
ALICE: Well, those kids came up to me and started being really nice. They gave me some really good advice on how I could get Deanna to treat me better. They made me feel really good.
DIRECTOR: Do you hear that? Being kind to others makes you a very powerful person. Words have the power to hurt people, or to make them feel really good. Use your words to protect one another.