“Dragon Slayer” play takes on bullying at I.S. 228

February 17, 2015 Anthony Izaguirre
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Students of I.S. 228 David A. Boody Jr. High School demonstrated the value of overlooking their differences and working together in their annual anti-bullying themed play “Dragon Slayer” on February 12.

Adapted from the Dragon Slayer myth used in the Council for Unity (CFU) initiation ritual, the play modernizes the tale to touch on contemporary issues like bullying, cliques, gossip and peer pressure.

When the school’s daily webcast is hacked and its anchor kidnapped by a digital dragon that demands everyone’s electronic devices, the Nerds, Bullies, Populars and Gossips of the school are forced to cooperate in order to slay the dragon.

The students soon realize that “all the problems we face every day are little dragons,” and it isn’t long until they are singing lyrics like “If we all help each other, we can make the dragons disappear.”

“It sends out a really powerful message. They did a great job,” said Robin Pesin, whose daughter played a Popular named Emily.

“I loved it. The message was very good for the kids to hear,” Lorena Messina said as she waited for her daughter after the show.

The collaboration between I.S. 228 and the CFU was intended “to make sure that the play drove home the idea that we want our school — and all schools — to be ‘Dragon-Free Zones,” according to principal Dominick D’Angelo.

“We need every student to be comfortable at school,” D’Angelo told the audience. “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

Founded in 1975, CFU is a non-profit organization that seeks to reduce violence, bullying and other harmful issues in schools and communities.

CFU founder Robert DeSena told the student performers, “This was the best performance I’ve ever seen here. I’m so so so proud of you!”

After the show, t-shirts signed by the cast were auctioned off to the crowd, with the highest bidder paying over $200 for the highly sought-after memorabilia.

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