In the spotlight

Student theatre group brings bullying, suicide to the stage

BIG RAPIDS – What happened was not necessary.

The 25-member crew of Trust Theatre Ensemble performed “The Bullycide Project” on Wednesday at Ferris State University, acting out snippets of the lives of 12 teens from across the country who committed suicide after being bullied.


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Visit the photo gallery to see more photos from “The Bullycide Project.”

Each story was unique, but they all emphasized a common theme: What happened was not necessary.

“Bullycide” is a term for suicide as a result of bullying. Trust Theatre Ensembles, based in Fenton, is directed by Lori Thompson, a teacher at the local high school. Since October 2010, the group of middle school to college students has traveled to different schools performing “The Bullycide Project,” which is based on a book, “Bullycide in America,” by Brenda High, whose son, Jared, committed suicide. She compiled her story with other parents’ to write her book.

Ferris’ Social Work Association collaborated with several other student organizations to bring “The Bullycide Project” to Ferris. In attendance at the show on Wednesday were Kevin and Tammy Epling, who advocated for the state’s recently passed anti-bullying law named for their son, Matt, who committed suicide; and Tom and PK Harrison, from Cadillac, whose son Alex committed suicide.

For more information on “The Bullycide Project” and how to book the ensemble, visit www.thebullycideproject.com.

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