Theater students perform anti-bullying musical

Ian Kennedy and Jenna Bratman

Theater students are taking a stand against bullying. Last semester, theater director Maureen Fallon received permission from the Brevard County School Board to have her musical theater students perform Weight of Words, a musical created by Nova High School students with assistance from professionals of the Lovewell Institute for the Creative Arts.

The musical presents vignette-like scenes dealing with sensitive topics of teen suicide and bullying based on ethnicity and sexuality, along with other academic or social pressures teens might experience. Weight of Words leaves audiences with a life message, reminding them choose their words carefully because you might not notice the weight they carry and the affect they will have on others.

After two weeks of rehearsals, 20 students performed Weight of Words for members of the school board back in May. Many audience members were moved by the performance and asked the students to continue presenting the show. Having replaced the graduated seniors, the students have performed Weights of Words additional times across the district. Their first performance is for an audience of guidance counselors at the school board in Viera.

“Many audience members have cried, showing the message has impacted them by informing them of the injustices occurring to students who are different or unique in their own way,” said senior Devin Dolnik, who choreographed the play’s dance numbers. “Our aim is to encourage audiences to realize that their words have meaning and that they can help others who are experiencing the negative effects of bullying.”