Bullying play in Iowa City reaches junior high students - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Bullying play in Iowa City reaches junior high students

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"Oh my God -- look at this picture Monica just posted," said Kailey.
"Oh," said Lea.

Those probably sound like things your kids would say while surfing their social media sites. That's the point.

Kailey and Lea are two characters in a new play by Iowa City's Working Group Theatre. It takes on the topic of bullying.

"We thought that theater might be a really great way to address the issue in a way that it hasn't really been addressed before," said Jennifer Fawcett, playwright.

The group talked to kids and parents and used their stories as inspiration.

In "Out of Bounds," Amy leaves her school once messages from websites and apps like Facebook and Snapchat go too far, but switching schools doesn't help.

"She's trying to overcome her past, but then the bully in the play --which is Maria's character -- she finds all the information about me and it just follows me," said Emily Hinkler, who plays Amy.

The group rehearses in spare rooms here on the University of Iowa campus. But when they actually perform, they'll be doing it in front of kids.

They've got two performances scheduled at each of the junior highs in the Iowa City School District.

"We're able to reach more kids this way than having them come to us," said Fawcett.

By performing in front of kids, the group hopes to really make a difference.

"The small things, like a text message, or a Facebook message -- those little things add up and they really do hurt you," said Hinkler.

In May, Working Group Theatre will do a public version of the play, taking on the adult perspective. They also hope to take the student version on tour to schools across Iowa.

For more information, visit their website.

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