These Names Still Hurt
Names That Hurt, premiering at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA) on October 17th, is a production performed by the Sophomore class that addresses the negativity of using hurtful names and the consequences that result. This year, there is a wide array of new material and new names as students continue to experience the effects of name calling.
Names That Hurt is a production that addresses bullying in relation to the words and labels that we place upon others. It is intended to teach every student the seriousness of the slang words he or she uses and the consequences that result. Every year, the show is performed by the Sophomore Drama class for the whole freshman class to watch. This is intended for each incoming class to learn about the effects of bullying and recognize that calling people names is no joke.
“It’s a completely different show than last year and I love that because the stories are different,” says director and drama teacher Mr. Cacciola-Price. “The beginning and the end are always the same. It is the middle part that’s always new – the first two minutes and the last two minutes are always the same.”
The performance of Names That Hurt is an FSSA tradition and while there are a few names that are carried over between school years, Mr. Cacciola-Price says that new names will be introduced this year that have never been used before.
“It’s exciting in that it always reinvents itself. It’s always about bullying and pure victimization, but it’s students sharing deeply personal stories about their experiences,” he adds.
As new words are continuously added to each year’s production, it becomes apparent that the content of the play continues to be relevant. This year’s new words are a product of social media and pop-culture. These words become embedded in the vocabulary of so many teens who then assume that these words are humorous or won’t offend someone.
Despite the changes, Names That Hurt always leaves the audience thinking about their actions and the words they say.
“If the bullying message doesn’t really penetrate completely then I hope that each person in the theater leaves with an awareness of the words that they do use, and maybe the words they shouldn’t,” says Mr. Cacciola-Price. “Some people will only leave with just a little bit more information about the words they use, but it’s not going to change their behavior.”
To further increase the student body’s awareness of the bullying epidemic, Mr. Cacciola-Price has collaborated with FSSA’s Fine Arts studio to create an anti-bullying T-shirt to be worn by students. Priced at $10, these red T-shirts with the slogan “Don’t Hate” will be sold in hopes of all students wearing the shirt to express their feelings about bullying.
“We really can’t solve the world’s problems [through the play]. I’d like to think we can, but we can’t solve bullying issues in schools,” says Mr. Cacciola-Price.
The first production of Names That Hurt will take place during 9th period on October 17th for the freshmen students. There will be an evening performance at 7PM that any student can attend. As with all FSSA performances, Names That Hurt is open to the public.
by Emily Rosenberg ’15