Eighth Graders Explore Social Media through Theater

  Whether we like it or not, social media is an integral part of most students’ lives. Eighth graders at John Jay Middle School explored how to use it responsibly – remembering that there’s someone on the receiving end of almost every post – through the National Theatre Project award-winning play Out of Bounds at The Ridgefield Playhouse, on November 10.

Out of Bounds explores the vicious world of cyber-bullying and the complicated choices young people make when navigating the politics of friendship. It follows Madison and Daniela, best friends, and a new girl, Amy, who sends an embarrassing selfie online. Soon everyone in the school has seen it and no one is going to let her forget it.

“When I was a kid, I was bullied. It’s something I will never forget,” said Jennifer Fawcett, the playwright. “Does the play give answers? No. What I hope it does do is allow the audience to walk in someone else’s shoes for a few minutes. One play can’t stop all bullying. One person can’t stop all bullying. But one person can make good choices that affect other people, and I believe good choices, just like good ideas, spread.”

“Theater is a powerful way to address any issue,” said Rich Leprine, Principal of John Jay Middle School. “Treating others respectfully—face to face as well as through social media—is an ongoing conversation with young adolescents. Teachers followed Out of Bounds with a classroom lesson.”

Out of Bounds is part of The Ridgefield Playhouse’s Arts in Education Program.