Anti-bullying play performed for Sussex County school students"Sticks & Stones" presented by Joshua M. Freeman Foundation
“Sticks and Stones,” a one-woman anti-bullying play performed by award-winning performing artist Lyle Cogen, was presented to various Sussex County schools by the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation and The Freeman Stage at Bayside Oct. 15. Students from Rehoboth Elementary, North Georgetown Elementary, Georgetown Elementary, East Millsboro, Long Neck Elementary, Phillip Showell Elementary, Southern Delaware School of the Arts, Lord Baltimore Elementary and John M. Clayton Elementary attended the performance.
"Sticks & Stones," written and performed by Lyle Cogen, is an original play commissioned by Tilles Center For the Performing Arts. "Sticks & Stones" was created to help children, parents and teachers respond to the epidemic of bullying and cyber-bullying in schools and online. In the play, she uses theater to teach children how to recognize different kinds of bullying behavior, allowing them to discover their own behaviors in the various characters depicted - whether bully, bullied or bystander. It also teaches that, when they see bullying taking place, there is an alternative to being a passive bystander, namely speaking up and becoming an ally. Making use of music, poetry and video projection, the play tells the story of a brother and sister who both experience bullying behavior, peer pressure and loss of friends. Cogen, an anti-bullying activist, plays all the characters, using simple costume changes.
Cogen’s popular recordings have been widely praised by parents, educators and national magazines, including Publisher’s Weekly, Parenting and Sesame Street Parents Magazine. Her albums feature high-energy vocals combined with sprightly pop orchestral arrangements. She is a three-time winner of the prestigious Parents’ Choice Award for her albums.
Patti Grimes, executive director for the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, said, “Unfortunately, the serious issue of bullying in our schools is not something that is only unique to Delaware schools; it’s a nationwide problem. We are proud to present 'Sticks & Stones' to local students as a way to identify and overcome this important issue through the medium of theater.”