Local Playwright Working to Bring Anti-Bullying Play to Schools

BY ALI ARMSTRONG

 

Barely off the train from the Mid Winter Madness Festival in New York City, Wolverine Lake resident Debbie Lannen is already working to bring her powerful anti-bullying play “I’m Sorry” to dozens of Michigan schools.

 

“We want to hit 60 schools; could be more, could be less. Thirty of those would be within 100 miles of Detroit and 30 would be outlaying,” Lannen said. “The only anti-bullying material that schools have now is something like a video. Nothing has the reaction like a live performance.”

Debbie Lannen

Katey Meisner 2014

 

Debbie Lannen, children's book author, the founder of a senior acting troupe and a playwright, is addressing the critical matter of bullying in her latest play entitled "I'm Sorry."The play tackles a variety of scenarios in which a child is bullied. The intent is to teach kids how to avoid having to apologize by being kind to one another before emotional damage is done. "There are 18 (actors) in the cast and (the play) goes allthe way from preschool to cyberbullying," Lannen said. "This play is really emotional. Everyone who sees it recognizes themselves or someone in it; whether they've done it or experienced it. Kids are killing themselves and if we can save one child, it's worth it."

Anti-Bullying Play I'M SORRY to Play MITF in NYC, 2/20-22
Debbie Lannen of Wolverine Lake, MI has always felt strongly about treating other people with respect. With that in mind she has decided to bring a much needed message to the Mid Winter Madness Festival in NYC. Her new anti bullying play, "I'm Sorry" centers around the idea of what life would be like if we learned not to do the things that make us have a reason to say "I'm sorry".
Ms. Lannen submitted her new script to John Chatterton, producer of the Mid Winter Madness Festival in NYC. He felt immediately that it was a play worthy of a spot in the festival. That is where the risk started to take shape. Ms. Lannen needed to decide whether to cast her play in NYC or in Metro Detroit (specifically the Lakes area of which she is a long time resident). She also had to decide whether to use professional actors, or real life students who live this nightmare of bullying every day. Not one to be afraid of a risk, she chose the latter.
Spotlight Still Got It Players Present THE GEEZER GAME
 

Once again, the Spotlight Still Got It Players is presenting a new comedy for their audience to enjoy. The Geezer Game written by Herb McCollum Jr makes it's premiere at the Biltmore Studio Theatre inside the Village Theater at Cherry Hill in Canton, MI.Doc's depressed and his over-the-hill friends are out of shape. So when they're hustled to play a charity touch football game against a much younger team, where should the smart money bet? Laughs abound as age and arthritis battle youth for every yard in the miss-match Bowl of the century.

 

The cast features: Jack Galazca, Jeanne Pruitt, Harry Stafford, Joe Arcel, Marian Busa, Rich Pientak, Linda Trygg, Terry Viviani. and Gary Turnquist. The comedy is directed by Debbie Lannen, Artistic Director of the Spotlight Still Got It Players.