“Random Acts was a right-on look at experiences high school students face every day, and our high school students responded to the reality of the message and the talent of the young actors with genuine enthusiasm. Your students will get more from this hour than they could from a number of counseling sessions. Our students are still talking about this group”
-Tina Higney, Teacher, Ware High School
Commissioned by Byam Stevens from MCC Playwriting Fellow Michael Dowling, Random Acts examines bullying and hazing among peers. Fast-paced, funny and hip, the 35-minute play mirrors the experiences in a typical school day while addressing issues grander in scope that just bullying-isolation, loneliness, and the pressures to achieve, conform, and belong.
Last toured in 2008 to area middle and high schools, Random Acts was an incredibly successful program that has only become more topical and relevant in the past three years. As attested to by Tina Higney’s description, Random Acts proved an incredibly successful means to initiate discussion on the topic of bullying, as well provoke thought on underlying issues like empathy, loneliness, and conformity.
Bullying, in its increasingly diverse and muliplying forms, has become an issue of increasing magnitude and prominence both in United States and worldwide. Massachusetts recently celebrated the two-year anniversary of its landmark anti-bullying legislation. Sparked by the tragic deaths of Phoebe Prince of South Hadley and Carl Joseph Hoover-Walker of Springfield, Massachusetts turned itself into a testing ground for a ground-breaking anti-bullying program. Unanimously passed by the House and the Senate, the law has quickly become known as one of the strictest pieces anti-bullying legislation in the United States (Katie A. Meinelt, Esq., Kerstein, Coren, and Lichtenstein).
CTC received a grant to support a tentatively-scheduled October 2012 tour Random Acts to twelve area high schools and middle schools, as well as the development of an accompanying in class curriculum. CTC is currently in the planning stages for the upcoming tour. To learn more about Random Acts, help support the October tour, or bring Random Acts to a school in your community, contact managing director, Todd Trebour.
“When we showed Random Acts to both high school and middle school students, our students got it. The issues, the stresses, the language were real for both age groups. The Chester Theater Company’s Random Acts was a powerful vehicle to continue a difficult but important conversation about acceptance and respect.”
-Kerry Burke, Principal, Lee Middle and High School.