Through the Eyes of an Artist: Angela Kariotis at NJPTA 2012 Convention

During a hands on workshop, Teaching Artist Angela Kariotis discussed Dramatic Strategies for Anti-Bullying with some attendees of the NJPTA 2012 Convention. Kariotis recalls her experience:

Theatre has been used in a variety of ways over the last few decades as a strategy to address bullying in school settings.  According to education writer George Belliveau, Theater helps illustrate strategies to address it and offers ways for children to either prevent or cope with bullying.

‘To unpack the experience and feeling of the bullied, I conducted improvisational exercises.  The power of these improvisational exercises is to bear witness to the experience; to see what is happening and deduce what it might feel like.  Talking about bullying is ineffective.  A student saying to their parents, “Somebody made fun of my outfit,” may not sound like a big deal and might be easy to dismiss, but seeing the threat, the alienation, the subversive power struggle, and the inescapability of the experience – really helps parents, teachers, and students understand the meaning, impact, effects, and urgency of what’s happening in that lunchroom.  Theater helps uncover the urgency of bullying.

To conclude, the group wrote a communal list poem.  The title of a list poem is the subject, the content of the list poem are sentences that refer back to the subject.  Really, we are learning theatrical forms and writing practices all while addressing bullying as content.  In a residency, I would take the diary entries, list poem, improvisational exercises and all other materials and this would be the first draft of out anti-bullying play.

We created a list poem as a group.  It is insightful, intense, compact, and honest.

In the Lunchroom

Sitting alone

Being afraid

Lost appetite

Stomach ache

Cafeteria food

Is it over yet?

Where do I fit in?


Where do I sit?

Who will make room for me?

About Arts Horizons

Arts Horizons is a premier not-for-profit arts-in-education organization that provides live professional performances and artist-in-residence programs to students and professional development for teachers throughout the entire tri-state region. Our commitment is to make music, art, dance, theatre, new media and creative writing an integral part not only of learning, but of life. Through the transformative impact of the arts, we reach young people through many dimensions, breaking down the barriers of language and culture, accelerating personal growth, and stimulating children’s full potential to prepare them for life in the twenty-first century.

Posted on April 22, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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