MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Bullies are forcing more than 160,000 kids across the country to stay home from school every day.

A recent survey showed that more than half of students in Minnesota schools reported they’d been involved in bullying at least once in the past year. Either as a bully or being bullied.

It’s a story that’s all too familiar, so the Youth Performance Company based in Minneapolis is facing the problem head-on in their new anti-bullying musical: “MEAN.”

“We’re taking a really difficult subject matter that really is facing most communities and schools right now, which is bullying. We’re hoping that this is a platform that is the starting point of conversation,” said Jacie Knight, founder and director of Youth Performance Company.

“MEAN” is an original musical that opens Oct. 5 at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center in Minneapolis. It runs through Oct. 23. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for kids under 18.

All of the actors in the production are from different schools around the Twin Cities.

Comments (6)
  1. derp says:

    Oh please, bullies are part of life. Kids need to learn how to stand up for themselves in the face of challenges. It’s not some deep psychological journey, but a necessary evolutionary component of physical and mental development.

    1. Anti - Derp says:


      That’s what the whole show is ABOUT. It’s not a plea for other people to step in as much as it is as a plea for the kids themselves to stand up to the challenges they face like bullies and how to overcome them. There are three different plotlines in the show, one boy who gets bullied because he’s gay, another because she’s fat, and another because she’s muslim, and they all handle their problems in different ways. You shouldn’t judge this show before you actually see it.

  2. Medora Kea says:

    But sometimes it is a deep psychological journey, and not just a part of development. Because of the way you worded your comment derp, I’m assuming you’ve never known what it feels like to not want to wake up the next morning, to not want to exist on this planet anymore. 1 in 10 teenagers have depression and/ or have thought about suicide; it can be the biggest psychological journey ever. Personally, it’s taken me over half a year, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get out of it. This is such a special show because, as stated in the video, it’s about encouraging bystanders, people who aren’t necessarily involved with it at all, to stand up. Have you ever been put in the position where you could have stopped or prevented someone from being bullied? You have no clue how hard that is, and that’s what this show is really about. It’s also a very beautifully written and directed show, and it relates to the struggles that so many people go through on a daily basis. It means so much to me personally, and if it doesn’t affect you, that’s fine, but please don’t make ignorant statements like it’s just a part of development.

  3. D-rock says:

    Here’s what I did about when I was bullied in school. I hit the weights, got into playing football in 9th grade, and once the first day of high school came, I was bench pressing 250+ (from maybe 125 max in 7th and 8th grade), I was playing tight end on the 9th grade football team, and I met a lot of new friends before high school from the team who had my back. When I saw the wankster punks who bullied me on the bus throughout middle school in high school, the tables were turned, and I bullied them back along with my teammates who couldn’t stand them either. “This aint Middle School” and the look on their faces was priceless. Sweet payback, I was fortunate to be able to get out of it the way I did.

    Laws and rules won’t always work, let’s face it. But I saw this interesting article on yahoo on how the bullied can take control of the situation themselves.


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