From teenage drama to cyberbullying, where exactly is the middle ground and when has the line been crossed? What is acceptable and what is not? Are you affected by the impact, or have you become so cold that you turn a blind eye to everything around you? These were just a few questions that came to my mind as I was engrossed in a riveting play. Bullying has been around for centuries, and today social media has magnified the problem. How can we make a difference?
“Social media has magnified the problem.”
Sticks & Scones was a very well written and performed play by the youths of Vancouver, directed by Valerie Methot, on issues around bullying and substance abuse. This play touched the audience in one way or another over the four days of its production. For the courageous and inspired youths that came together to have an impact on everyone, it is not only commendable but truly inspirational. These youths came forward to take a stand for something they believed in and realized that sticking up for what is right as a united front has empowered them to be emotionally stronger, and enabled them to make a difference.
Post-play, a question was raised for the actors, “Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?”
“Don’t be the oxygen to the fire, but rather take a stand, for what is right!”- Lauren Preissl (writer/performer~Zoey/design assistant)
“Tell the bully to stop because as they are hurting the next person and by humanizing the bully, they are more likely to realize that they are hurting people. Often times, bullies don’t realize that they are doing anything wrong or hurting anyone.” -Alishah Virji (writer/performer~Lila/design assistant)
“It is very important for both the bully and target to reach out and have a voice and learn to have compassion. Stop labelling the bully as a bad person! Bullying is behaviour and not the person!” -Valerie Methot (director, artistic director of Some Assembly)
Advice from Teddy (the bully), “Don’t let cyberbullying affect you, but remember that it is them! Don’t encourage bullying, as bullying needs an audience and without the audience there is no oxygen for the fire.”-Patrick Seid (writer/performer~Teddy/promoter)
The three most memorable scenes were:
1. When everyone took a stand against Teddy, who was bullying Viktor, and when Viktor was finally able to stand up to Teddy and tell him to STOP.
2. Using a rope to represent a chatline connecting all of the characters. The cyberbully would use hateful words and use the rope to threaten, showing the target getting hurt in isolation, and how others were affected. When they were all being bullied in cyberspace and then all agreed to make amends, they realized that, to some extent, they were all bullies and hurting each other.
3. The final scene, where Teddy apologized to Viktor and how bad he felt for bullying him. Viktor then invited Teddy to have scones with him as a sign of peace and hopefulness.
Sticks & Scones is a play on words from the nursery rhyme, Sticks and Stones, where the stones are meant to hurt while the scones bring positive change, hope and inspiration.
How have you been affected by bullying or cyberbullying? What steps have you taken to ensure your sanity and others’?
By Fatima Sumar, Roundhouse Blog Team. Fatima works with Matrix Connectivity Solutions running their social media, runs her own wedding consulting business QueenoHearts Planners Ltd, and creates jewellery. After coming on board at the Roundhouse, she realized how much the Roundhouse has to offer and the amount of love she can give back to the community.