Actors Help Shine the Spotlight on Wicked Behavior


October 25, 2012    

Media Contact:  Nicole Levitt


       Actors Help Shine the Spotlight on Wicked Behavior

Actors help address the problem of bullying in school.

Baltimore, MD.  October 25, 2012.  Cast members from the Tony award winning musical Wicked, currently playing at the Hippodrome Theater of the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, will stage an anti-bullying workshop for students from the Booker T. Washington Middle School for the Arts, on Thursday, October 25. The week of October 22nd is officially “Red RibbonWeek” – a week dedicated to Drug and Bully Awareness programs within the school.

The workshop is part of a national BullyBust Campaign created by the partnership between the Broadway musical Wicked and the National School Climate Center (NSCC).  The actors and a teaching artist from Broadway Classrooms will help the students learn how to stand up to bullying and promote “upstander” behavior.  According to the program, an upstander is someone who witnesses bully behavior and becomes part of the solution to end harmful harassment, teasing, and violence in our nation’s schools.

The workshop will use interactive theatre games, scene work from Wicked, and general discussion to help the students explore the many issues of acceptance and tolerance that are developed in this story about two unlikely friends.  The character of Elphaba, the misunderstood green witch of OZ, has become the BullyBust Stand Up to Bullying spokesperson in an effort to help schools and communities put an end to bullying.

The BullyBust workshop is coordinated by the Baltimore non-profit Hippodrome Foundation, Inc. (HFI) which works to maximize the community’s access to the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center through free outreach and education programs.  HFI arranged for all the students participating in the workshop to see Wicked on October 4th.

Olive Waxter, HFI director, says, “this is a unique program which allows the actors to interact with the students and tackle a very important issue that is so prevalent in our schools.  This is a wonderful example of how the Hippodrome Foundation is able to connect with the community through theater and make a real difference in the students’ lives.  This program is an important contribution to Booker T. Washington’s ongoing commitment to address the problem of bullying.  HFI is proud to be a part of that commitment.”

For more information about the upcoming BullyBust Workshop and the Hippodrome Foundation, Inc, please contact Nicole Levitt at 443-841-0818 or

About HFI:  The mission of the Hippodrome Foundation Inc., in addition to presenting the Broadway series at the Hippodrome is to maximize community access to the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, and through free outreach and education programs, increase understanding and appreciation of all aspects of theater.

Introduction to Hippodrome Foundation

Four schools win tickets to Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ and related in-school workshops

Students from Catonsville Education Center, and Milbrook, Timber Grove, and Vincent Farm elementary schools to benefit

TOWSON, MD. – Four Baltimore County Public Schools teachers won a poetry competition sponsored by the Hippodrome Foundation, Inc., that will enable their students in Grades 4 and 5 to see a performance of Disney’s The Lion King at the Hippodrome and to participate in two related in-school workshops.

The winning teachers are Diana Tedesco, Timber Grove Elementary School; Carrie Reahl, Milbrook Elementary School; Heather Hoffman, Vincent Farm Elementary School; and Donna Wasserbach, Catonsville Education Center. Each winner is awarded 40 tickets to the performance. The poetry was judged by Judy Rousuck, former theater critic for The Baltimore Sun.

The Hippodrome Foundation’s program, The Lion King:  Lessons from the Pride Land, includes one character-education session (life lessons learned from The Lion King) to take place at each school before students see the December 8 matinee and a puppetry session at each school to follow the performance.

The schedule for in-school sessions is:

Catonsville Education Center
605 S. Chapelgate Lane, 21229
Life lessons – Wednesday, November 9 at 9:30 a.m.
Puppetry – Tuesday, December 13 at 9:30 a.m.

Milbrook Elementary School
4300 Crest Heights Road, 21215
Life lessons – Wednesday, November 30 at 9:30 a.m.
Puppetry – Monday, December 12 at 2:25 p.m.

Timber Grove Elementary School
701 Academy Avenue, 21117
Life lessons –Tuesday, November 29 at 1:30 p.m.
Puppetry – Tuesday, December 20 at 9:25 a.m. 

Vincent Farm Elementary School
6019 Ebenezer Road, 21162
Life lessons – Monday, November 28 at 9:30 a.m.
Puppetry – Wednesday, December 14 at 2 p.m.

“The Hippodrome Foundation’s mission, in addition to presenting the Broadway Series, is to maximize community access to the Hippodrome Theater and all of its assets,” said Barb Wirsing, the foundation’s education director. “We have worked with many teachers in Baltimore County for years. Through the foundation’s free outreach and education programs, the foundation helps Baltimore County students increase understanding and appreciation of all aspects of theater, and we help teachers maximize learning experiences for their classes.”