Oregon Children's Theatre Announecs Winners of The Bully Project

Oregon Children's Theatre Announecs Winners of The Bully Project

As part of Oregon Children's Theatre's 2nd annual Bully Project competition, middle school students (6-8th grade) from Oregon and Washington were invited to write original, 10-minute plays about bullying. Six finalists were selected by a panel of classroom teachers, members of the OCT Young Professionals Company, and OCT staff. Each finalist was mentored by professional playwrights Matthew B. Zrebski or Debbie Lamedman of Playwrights West to refine and revise their scripts. The final scripts will be featured at a public staged reading at the Winningstad Theatre (1111 SW Broadway, Portland) on May 11th at 5pm where members of OCT's Young Professionals program will direct and perform the six plays.

Oregon Children's Theatre has chosen three of the finalists for cash prize awards:

1st place ($100): Chloe Rust (Bullies Anonymous)-8th grader at Lakeridge Junior High, Lake Oswego, OR
2nd place ($50): Hannah Bachman (Like Father, Like Son)-8th grader at Beaumont Middle School, Portland OR
3rd place ($25): Lizzie O'Mahony (Stuck in the Middle: A Field Guide)-6th grader at St. Clare School, Portland, OR

Honorable Mentions:
Mariana Penaloza-Vu (Takes Just One Person)-8th grader at Vestal Elementary, Portland, OR
Kendall Uslan (In a Sea of Fog with No Flashlight)-7th grader at MITCH Charter, Tualatin, OR
Pablo Reese (Voice)-6th grader at Beach School, Portland, OR

"We love this project because it gives kids a voice about issues that are real and immediate to them," says OCT Artistic Director, Stan Foote. "Plus, it offers young writers a chance to work with professionals to hone their craft."

Emphasizing OCT's mission to use theater as an educational tool, all plays from The Bully Project will be available free of charge on OCT's website for teachers to use in their classrooms.

Of special note, Chloe Rust, one of the 6 OCT finalists, was chosen to have her script submitted to a national playwriting competition, where she won Runner Up for her play, Bullies Anonymous, in March. Based on OCT's 2012-2013 Bully Project, the national competition was conceived by OCT Artistic Director, Stan Foote, and Michael Bobbitt (Adventure Theatre, Baltimore) and implemented by Theatre for Young Audiences USA (TYA USA) and the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE) and the Dramatic Change/Young Playwrights for Change. This inaugural national competition invited regional theater companies across the country to hold local anti-bullying competitions, like OCT's Bully Project. Select finalists from the regional entries were submitted to the national competition.

Chloe's script, along with the other plays submitted, will be published in an anthology put out by TYA USA and AATE. Chloe participated in last year's Bully Project at OCT where she came in 3rd place. She is an 8th grader at Lakeridge Junior High School in Lake Oswego.

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