Bullying

A Christmas Carol – Keyano Theatre Company
Photo Credits

This is a guide for Junior and Senior High School drama teachers. The guide will assist you in finding great resources on bullying to use in your classroom. If you need more help, our librarians welcome any questions you may have regarding your search.

Our Online Catalogue

A great way to start your search is by accessing our online catalogue. To locate resources on bullying, try the suggested subject headings below. Choose Library catalog or Subject from the Search drop down menu on the main library page and enter:

  • bullying
  • abuse

* Your search results will be more extensive and inclusive by using Library catalog (this is a keyword search); however, you may find some items in this type of search not directly related to your topic. Any title with your specified search word(s) in the description will appear among the search results. You can narrow your search by limiting your search to any of the Young Adult item types.

Recommended Titles


Blackout by Darvey Anderson (2009)

A play about getting bullied, fighting back, trying to make a name for yourself, turning vicious, doing something stupid, losing everything, then finding your way again. The central character explains: “All I can remember is: I could hear screaming. It was like being in a dream but still being awake at the same time. And all I can hear is – please, don’t, stop it! And then … I don’t know. Next morning, I was in a jail cell. I didn’t know how I got there. And I was like that – aw naw, what did I do?”

 

The Bully Plays (2011)

The trickle-down effect of bullying is explored in several plays, along with the dangers of cyber-bullying. The collection also includes a mimed piece and a play in rhymed verse. This collection of short plays will challenge, inspire and enlighten your audiences and help you confront the issue of bullying in a constructive and creative way. 24 10-minute plays written by Sandra Fenichel Asher, Cherie Bennett, Max Bush, José Casas, Gloria Bond Clunie, Eric Coble, Doug Cooney, Linda Daugherty, Lisa Dillman, Richard Dresser, José Cruz González, Stephen Gregg, D.W. Gregory, Brian Guehring, Dwayne Hartford, Barry Kornhauser, Trish Lindberg, Brett Neveu, Ernie Nolan, R.N. Sandberg, Geraldine Ann Snyder, Werner Trieschmann, Elizabeth Wong and Y York.

 

The Bully Show by Brian Guehring (2006)

The Bully Show! opens with the audience arriving at the live taping of the pilot episode of a new game show. There have been some last minute changes to the show and the game show is now called “You Wanna Be a Bully.” The audience members, who are chosen to become contestants, play games where they have to identify who could be a bully or which scenes show bullying. Eventually the host, Johnny, pushes a contestant too far and the whole game show grinds to a halt. An assistant stands up to Johnny and enlists the audience to help Johnny realize that he is a bully and that bullying is a serious problem.

 

Cloud Busting by Helen Blakeman (2011)

A play for younger actors about making up poems and the highs and lows of first friendships. When Sam wakes up, he fully believes today will be just another ordinary day – but that’s before Mr. Mackie tells class 8M to write a poem about someone they care about. Unexpectedly, Sam volunteers to write about Davey … Davey was Sam’s friend – not that Sam wanted anyone to know that. While the cool girls in the class thought Davey was cute in a sad-dog sort of way, the tough boys – Alex and his crew – just saw Davey as different. Davey liked to dance. Davey liked to look at the clouds and see the shapes they made. Davey liked looking at the world in a different way to anybody else. But no matter how much Sam liked being with Davey, he always denied their friendship. Then one day, Alex’s bullying goes a step too far… but will Sam step in to help his friend? It’s not the ordinary day Sam thought it was going to be.

 

Dog Sees God by Bert V. Royal (2006)

When CB’s dog dies from rabies, CB begins to question the existence of an afterlife. His best friend is too burnt out to provide any coherent speculation; his sister has gone goth; his ex-girlfriend has recently been institutionalized; and his other friends are too inebriated to give him any sort of solace. But a chance meeting with an artistic kid, the target of this group’s bullying, offers CB a peace of mind and sets in motion a friendship that will push teen angst to the very limits. Drug use, suicide, eating disorders, teen violence, rebellion and sexual identity collide and careen toward an ending that’s both haunting and hopeful.

 

Instant by Erin Sheilds (2018)

In Instant, three teens find out how far they’ll go in their quest to be seen and heard. Meredith is a singer-songwriter who makes YouTube videos of covers in an attempt to gain Internet fame. But her friend Jay, a rising hockey star, can’t understand why she won’t post her original songs. When their classmate Rosie suddenly goes viral after a video is posted of her singing to raise money for her father’s medical bills, Meredith’s jealousy takes over and she pushes Rosie too far, triggering a near-deadly response.

 

Kes adapted by Lawrence Till (2000), from Barry Hines’ novel A Kestrel for a Knave (1968)

Billy, a disaffected young boy, has problems at school and at home: he’s neglected by his mother, beaten by his brother and bullied on all sides. He adopts a fledgling kestrel and treats it with all the tenderness he has never known. Slowly, he begins to see for the first time what he could achieve – if only he tried.

 

Late Company by Jordan Tannahill (2015)

One year after the suicide of their teenage son Joel, Debora and Michael Shaun-Hastings sit down to dinner with their son’s bully and his parents. Closure is on the menu, but accusations are the main course as everyone takes a turn in the hot seat for their real or imagined part in the tragedy. Blame shifts over the course of the evening from one person to the next, provoking introspection where there may be none, and raising questions no one is prepared to answer.

 

Outside by Paul Dunn (2017)

Daniel’s ready to talk. And his friends Krystina and Jeremy are ready to help. But is it too late? Set in separate but simultaneous lunch periods at two different high schools, the teenagers are faced with acknowledging what drove them apart. At his new school, Daniel speaks to the Gay-Straight Alliance about the bullying and depression that forced him to move. He looks back fondly at the bond he formed with Krystina and Jeremy in history class and the trauma he faced from anonymous text messages. At his former school, Krystina and Jeremy are setting up for their first GSA meeting while grappling with the guilt of not doing more to help their friend. For the first time Daniel has an appreciative audience, but his friends face an empty room. The narratives intertwine as Daniel gains more confidence in his queer identity and Krystina and Jeremy try to asses their boundaries as straight peopl who want to create a safe space. By talking about mistakes, abuse, a suicide attempt and a move, the teens find comfort in perspective and power in numbers.

 

Power Play by Lindsay Price (2003)

A dramatic play sure to evoke discussion and dialogue. A gunshot is heard. Which of the five characters did it and why? Was it the Goth girl? The football star? The super-intelligent geek? High school violence is a hot media topic, but it is too often simplistically portrayed by putting teens into tidy categories and pointing at the outsider. Power Play explores the realities and the stereotypes of high school violence – not just the brutal shock of the school shooting, but also verbal harassment and bullying. Violence is about power. So is high school.

 

Prairie Tomten by Mary Love (2005)

Prairie Tomten, about a 12 year-old girl and her friendship with an elderly Aboriginal man called Mr. Bitternose. Love addresses issues of bullying both large and small as she weaves together the story of Laura—and her attempt to protect a feral cat from the “Town Girls,” who seem to enjoy tormenting her with little or no motivation—and the story of Mr. Bitternose. “Mr. B” seems to know more than he wishes to remember or to tell about the “starlight rides” given to Natives by police officers who dump their passengers on the outskirts of town, sometimes in the dead of winter, to find their way home on foot. The scandal of the freezing death of a young man in this manner underscores the play.

 

The Secret Life of Girls by Linda Daugherty (2006)

A window into the tumultuous world of a group of middle school girls is opened in this dramatization of the destructive effects of girls’ bullying. The girls’ attempts to deal with bullying in the form of gossiping, name-calling, exclusion, rumors, back-biting, cliques and manipulation as they struggle to find a friend, a place in the group and themselves range from humorous to heart breaking. Based upon interviews with girls on the giving and receiving end of bullying, The Secret Life of Girls also dramatizes how bullying behaviors are facilitated by technologies such as cell phones, e-mail, chat rooms and instant messaging.

 

The Shape of a Girl by Joan MacLeod (2002)

‘The Shape of a Girl’ goes far beyond a simple dramatization of the seemingly inexplicable code of silence and tacit complicity which surrounded the sensational Reena Virk murder in 1977 on which the play is based. It speaks eloquently and compassionately to a world increasingly dominated by all forms of collectivised and ritualized tribalist hatred, and offers the embrace of trust as the only way out of this circle of violence.

 

Wired by Betty Quan (2009)

Damien has moved to a new school and is having a hard time making friends. He transforms into a cooler version of himself through online role-playing games and social media. When Damien has a seemingly innocent run-in with a girl at school, he finds himself in the crosshairs of a humiliating cyber-bullying campaign.


Additional Internet Resources

Continue your online search by looking for websites with ideas on teaching about bullying. Type drama bullying in your favourite search engine.

Divider Image of Theatre Alberta Logo People Icons In Yellow, Green, and Dark Blue
Photo of seven children's titles from library
Library

Children’s Literature on Stage

Adaptations of: Stuart Little; Wind in the Willows; Getting Near to Baby; Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; Charlotte’s Web; Hanna’s Suitcase; Treasure Island; The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe; The Neverending Story; The Velveteen Rabbit; The Bridge to Terabithia; Little Women; Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing; The Cay; and the Adventures of Robin Hood are all available at the Theatre Alberta Library.