Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lizzie: Act III

[Dramatis Personae
    Lizzie, a nine-year-old girl
    Ms. Ryane, a school volunteer
    Various nine-year-old Girls and Boys; one Teacher

    Scene: Inside a portable school classroom on an ordinary public school campus]



   Ms. Ryane.   [Addressing the classroom.]   Who here has ever been bullied?

[Hands fly up.]

   Ms. Ryane.   And who here has ever been so angry that they wanted to bully?

[A few hands go up.]

   Ms. Ryane.   Truth?

[A few more hands go up.]

   Ms. Ryane.   Good. In The Shakespeare Club we learn things about acting. Lizzie was in the club last year and she's learned about acting, so she's going to help me teach you how to use acting with bullies. Lizzie, why don't you come up here with me?

[Lizzie, self-conscious but pleased, joins Ms. Ryane up front.]

   Ms. Ryane.   Lizzie is going to play the part of the bully.

[Ms. Ryane whispers to Lizzie.]

   Ms. Ryane.   Okay Lizzie, you first.

   Lizzie. are so silly....   [ Ms. Ryane nods to Lizzie, giving her encouragement.]   Nobody likes you!

[Ms. Ryane looks shocked and crumples.]

   Lizzie.   And you don't have any friends! And you suck!

[Ms. Ryane covers her face with her hands. The class reacts.]

   Ms. Ryane.   [Recovered.]   Okay, what mistake did I make?

   Boy One.   You shoulda cried more!

   Ms. Ryane.   That's the mistake you think I made? That I should have cried more? Not sure I agree....Anyone else?

   Boy Two.   You listened to the bully!

   Ms. Ryane.   There we go.

   Boy Two.   And you believed the bully!

   Ms. Ryane.   Bingo. I listened and I believed. That's what bullies want because bullies lie. Just because someone says crummy stuff to you doesn't make it true. Okay, we're going to switch roles. I'll be the bully.

[Lizzie sits up tall.]

   Ms. Ryane.   Lizzie, you're so du—

[Lizzie stands. The hand comes up. She crosses her arms and walks off.]

   Ms. Ryane.   See that? If the bully doesn't have a target, the bully is weak. And when Lizzie acts strong, she is strong. Now, what happens if the bully follows behind to keep up the jabbering? Watch this. Lizzie, follow me.

[Ms. Ryane walks. Lizzie follows. Ms. Ryane stops beside the classroom teacher, who is sitting to the side.]

   Ms. Ryane.   See that? I don't have to say a thing...not one word....All I do is go and stand beside an adult and we make a team. Bullies don't like teams.

   Boy Three.   But what if that bully grabs you and kicks your head in?

   Ms. Ryane.   Go to an adult, go to your principal and talk.

   Boy Three.   But what if that bully sneaks up after school and punches your face in?

   Ms. Ryane.   Again, make a team, find an adult and tell the adult.

   Boy Three.   But what if the bully chases you and hits—

   Ms. Ryane.   I'm going to suggest that you stop with the "what ifs" and stick to "what is"....That would be my recommendation for you, my friend.

[The kids laugh.]

   Ms. Ryane.   Here's my last thing: What do you do when you see some kid being bullied?

   Girl One.   You go up and tell that bully to stop it or else!

   Ms. Ryane.   In my experience, bullies don't listen. I don't think those words really work. Bullies want to make you afraid. Here's a plan for when you see someone being bullied. Lizzie, you be you. And I need four volunteers up here.

[Three girls and a boy jump up.]

   Ms. Ryane.   [Bully voice.]   "Lizzie, you're so dumb and no one likes you and—"   [Lizzie stomps off.]   Now, watch what happens if you kids surround Lizzie. Encircle her.

[They do and the audience kids oooh and aahh.]

   Ms. Ryane.   You made a bigger team and the bully can't beat that. Lizzie, take a bow.


Lizzie: Act I
Lizzie: Act II

Dear sailor,

My qest was to go on a ship to a ilind but beh a storem and the ship was falling to pesis and I was fer it in because now fier cot oh   ҉   the ship is the   ҉   was going to   ҉   up I got to saty but it was to late.
—Danny, 3rd grade

1 comment:

  1. What a gift you have and give to children. Lizzy's lifesaver!


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