In ongoing effort to address bullying, harassment and relationship violence among youth, the Berkshire District Attorney Office sponsored 9 performances by Deana's Educational Theater at 7 schools throughout Berkshire County

On September 23 and 24, 2009, two groups of three actors visited both middle schools and elementary schools to provide students with the theatrical performances to address the behavior of bullying among adolescents. The schools that received the plays were Monument Valley Middle School, C.T. Plunkett Elementary School, Kittredge Elementary School, Lenox Memorial Middle School, Monument Valley Middle School, Richmond Consolidated Elementary, Stearns Elementary School, and Williams Elementary School

Recognizing that violence is a learned behavior, and that efforts in reaching out to younger children is crucial, Deana's Educational Theater's four plays, All Starz, for elementary school audiences and Doin' the Right Thing, Girl Chat and Step Up, targeted for middle school audiences not only focus on the issues of bullying and harassment and help empower bystanders.

AllStarz is an interactive 3 character play for elementary students demonstrates acts of verbal, non-verbal and physical behavior that reflects episodes of real-life bullying in their school and community. The young audiences observe positive role modeling when the characters work together to come to an awareness about respecting all people. The interactive post-show discussion features the three actors who help reinforce the educational points in the play with the students through theater games and role-plays.

All Starz performance at Williams Elementary School on September 24, 2009, by Deana's Educational Theater

All Starz performance at Williams Elementary School

Doin' the Right Thing engages middle school students as they witness the verbal, non-verbal and physical behavior that reflects episodes of real-life bullying and harassment in their school and community. They observe positive role modeling when the main character decides to take a stand and do the right thing. The interactive half-hour after-show discussion features the three actors who help students process and reinforce the educational points in the play.

Doin the Right Thing performance at Monument Valley Middle School on September 23, 2009, by Deana's Educational Theater

Doin' The Right Thing at Monument Valley Middle School

Girl Chat shows middle school girls how damaging relational or emotional bullying can be, and provides a focal point for serious discussion and action.

STEP UP challenges middle school boys to take a stand against abuse when they see it happen. The play and post show discussion sends a strong message that as individuals, they are responsible for their words and actions. The play inspires the majority of boys who don't abuse to build a positive peer culture to prevent bullying.

The performances, made possible through a Safe and Drug Free Schools grant, are just one small part of the Office's Community Outreach and Education Bullying Prevention Initiative. The initiative, which began in 2005, partners with schools and districts to tackle antisocial behavior and provides educational training, conferences, enrichment programs, resources and technical assistances to administrators, staff, students, parents and community groups.