New play explores rise in bullying at schools

The cast of Wack, from left, are Mzoxolo Bomela, Qhawe Ncamani, Jesse Frankson, Andrea Wildschut nd Lisa Williams.

Wack, a new play by the Bridgetown Theatre Company, is about an increase in bullying at schools caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

School closures, online learning, physical distancing, shift classes and other disruptions to schooling over the past two years have made it hard for pupils to adjust to one another, and with social and communication skills dulled by a lack of human interaction, an increase in bullying has been the result, says Zelda Hintsa, the theatre company’s marketing manager.

The 30-minute play, which includes music and dance, is being performed at primary and high schools until Thursday June 30.

“Our production is likened to a double-edged sword: it teaches and entertains at the same time,” says Ms Hinsta. “To date, the play’s performance at schools has been an overwhelming success.”

Jesse Frankson, 26, from Silvertown, plays David, a peacemaker who suffers at the hands of bullies because of his good deeds.

“I find the arts a way to really explore and inhabit all walks of life,” says Frankson. “It’s something which can change and influence the next person… So let’s live life with no regrets, be positive and kind to others.”

Andrea Wildschut, 21, from Elsies River, plays the role of Celeste, an “It girl” with a stuck-up attitude; Qhawe Ncamani, from Joe Slovo, Milnerton, is Sean, a victim of bullying; and Mzoxolo Bomela, 23, from Langa, plays Zola, who has an anger-management problem.

“I am a patient person, and I know one day I will succeed. The more I try, I learn. I will always work hard and give all towards my work because I love what I am doing, and it heals me,” Bomela says about acting.

Lisa Williams, from Bellville, plays Joanne, who is emotionally cyber-bullied and suicidal. Williams says the play is not only aimed at pupils who experience bullying, anxiety, and depression but also those who are willing to understand that each of our struggles are not the same.

“It doesn’t mean that what we are going through is less important than the next one,” she says.

To book the play, call Ms Hinsta at 082 536 3651.