Belonging and Bullying Workshops

Kingston High School final Workshop to combat bullying.
Kingston High School final Workshop to combat bullying.


Anti-Bullying in-School Workshops

Belonging and Bullying
Voice Theatre implemented in 2016 and 2017 at seven Ulster County high schools; principals, students and teachers have requested more. Therefore Voice Theatre is creating unique interactive workshops to combat bullying and examine the refugee crisis with workshops and in-school performances for 10th and 11th grade students at Kingston High School, Hudson Valley Pathways Academy and The Kingston Home for Children.

Voice Theatre will also conduct workshops with unaccompanied refugee children awaiting to be united with their parents or families in the United States from The Kingston Home for Children. 200+ core students will be directly affected with over 400 students attending 2 in-school performances. Half of our core student population are special needs students.

Students will explore the theme of “home and belonging”. Utilizing theatre games and journal writing students will write monologues examining their experiences of what “home and belonging” means to them. Aligned to Common Core Curriculum Standards students will explore their original writing through improvisation, role-playing, mirroring and the Spoken Arts. Emphasis will be on collaboration, original ideas, teamwork and constructive feedback.

In school performances refugees,  American students, Voice Theatre teaching artists and teachers will present the students’ original writing. Public performances of the monologues will take place at the Byrdcliffe Theater, August 5th at 2pm presented by Voice Theatre’s Summer Youth Workshop.

Our goal is to reduce bullying and for all students to see each other as individuals rather than just “refugees” or “Americans” or the “other”. To develop the skills of listening, empathy and respect for differing viewpoints as students’ share their ideas and monologues, widening and contributing to everyone’s experience, thus combating the growing threat of bullying, stereotyping and the scapegoat, which are all too pervasive in our culture.

Since much of the material for the workshop will be generated from the student’s own experiences it is our sincere hope that these workshops will have a lasting impact on all our students and teachers as they navigate the difficult definitions, boundaries and borders of the future and what it will mean to be an American.


Session I

Students meet with Shauna Kanter to explore the themes of bullying: “the role of the other”, “the role of the perpetrator”. Refugee students will share why they had to leave their homes. Both populations will define the importance of community. We will explore the theme of “home” and build conflict resolution skills. An introduction of participating refugee countries will be presented. Teaching artists will work with both populations separately.

Sessions II, III, IV, V, VI

Voice Theatre’s Teaching artists will implement improvisation, role-playing, theatre games and mirroring as students write monologues based on their own experiences of home and bullying.  All students read their monologues out loud. Teaching artists will work in each high school and for sessions V and VI bring both populations together to share and rehearse their experiences and monologues in preparation for presentation to their peers at each high school.

Session VII

Performances: both refugees and American students present their monologues at in-school presentations. Public performances of the monologues will take place at the Byrdcliffe Theater, August 5th at 2pm presented by students in Voice Theatre’s Summer Youth Workshop.

Session VIII

Students share how this experience has informed and touched their lives’. Students and teachers fill out final questionnaires for the Final Report on the project. Food will be served representing each country.

Outcomes / Results / Impacts

Our goal is for students to learn how to recognize the bullying, intolerance and discrimination and use tools experienced in the workshops to identify and disengage from the stereotype and the bully. It is our hope that the personal experiences shared will have a meaningful impact in shaping the lives of all refugee and US citizen participants.