SAN DIEGO, June 15, 2015 – Act Like You Matter and Theatre of Peace announce that they have merged to be able to offer more complete anti-bullying programs, workshops, assemblies, videos, and publications. Together they will offer solution-driven content, packed with tools that students can use immediately to combat and overcome bullying.
Theatre of Peace (“TOP”) was founded in 2010 by Sharla Mandere and operated as a division of Spotlight Ovations Performing Arts. Since then, the youth acting troupe has raised awareness about bullying by performing for thousands of elementary, middle, and high school students in San Diego County. Through a partnership with Interactions for Peace, TOP has performed The Tunnel of Bullying at multiple San Diego County schools and helped bring hope to many students.
Theatre of Peace will operate as a division of Act Like You Matter and support the entity’s mission of promoting the well-being of children and teens so that each child feels accepted and free to be themselves without being bullied. Act Like You Matter Founder and President Amy Jones Anichini will serve as Executive Director of Theatre of Peace going forward. Ms. Anichini is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue the ground-breaking work that Ms. Mandere and TOP produced with Interactions for Peace as well as explore new opportunities for TOP.
“The work that Theatre of Peace, under Sharla’s direction, produced with Interactions for Peace was life-changing for many of the students who got to watch the youth actors perform,” said Ms. Anichini. “When it comes to peer relationships, children and teens take their cues more from each other than from adults. It’s so important that messages about kindness, compassion, empathy, and acceptance come from today’s youth, and Theatre of Peace is a medium for those messages.”
The mission of Theatre of Peace – youth helping each other – ties in perfectly with Act Like You Matter’s anti-bullying offerings, which include the empowering children’s book Baffle That Bully! Ms. Anichini and her daughter Chase co-authored Baffle That Bully! after Chase’s 2 year struggle with classmates who bullied her in 2nd and 3rd grade. They wrote the book to help other families whose lives have been impacted by bullying. In particular, Chase wanted to teach other kids what she did to get the students who were bullying her to leave her alone. You can read more about Chase’s story here.
Theatre of Peace’s first project as part of Act Like You Matter will be producing a stage-play version of Baffle That Bully! for K- 3rd which will be titled Baffle That Bully! LIVE. Release date TBD. TOP also plans to develop a YouTube channel where youth all over the world can help each other overcome being bullied and brainstorm about ways to deal with bullying behavior.
Ms. Anichini looks forward to continuing the legacy of Theatre of Peace as well as developing new ways for the troupe to help change the way their generation treats each other.
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