“Bullying is a bad thing and you should just try to make friends and be nice,” says Janell, a student at Booker T. Washington Middle School.
The school got a visit from Larry Smiglewski and Sterling Masters, cast members of the hit Broadway musical Wicked, to learn about the themes of the show and how they relate to bullying.
“We learned about the point of Wicked and it was fun. We got to do a lot of activities!” says Kiya, another student at Booker T. Washington Middle School.
The students enjoyed playing games with the cast members that got them running around and laughing with their friends, and acting out scenes from the show. Kiya and two other students even took center stage in front of the group to showcase their singing talents.
“What we do is we use our Broadway shows and all the shows at the Hippodrome to actually enhance education,” says Olive Waxter, the director of the Hippodrome Foundation, Inc. “Today, we’re talking about bullying, and the show is Wicked, where one of the main characters has green skin. So it’s a nice opportunity to talk to the children about how they feel about someone being so different.”
“In the show, Glinda actually starts out as a bully to Elphaba, and in the middle of the first act, changes her stance to be an up-stander instead of a bystander,” says Sterling Masters. The themes of understanding and acceptance are what students took away from the event.