I Was A Theatre Weirdo

During high school, despite being 6’6”, built like a linebacker and constantly asked “Do you play football?” I was a theatre kid.  One of my drama teachers referred to us as “Theatre weirds” and we wore that term with a sense of pride and honor.  Theatre and drama weren’t something that was held in high esteem in a rural southern town high school.  Because of this, it seemed as if the drama students were teased and “picked on” (we didn’t use the term “bullying” back then) more than most other kids.  It was no surprise that during my research for this unit I came across and article online titled “Music and theater students are bullied more than other students”.  The article detailed a study in which over 26,000 middle and high school students were surveyed.  Of this group, 7,400 were music and theater programs.  The results of the study came as a surprise to the authors of the article that the study found that performing arts students had a much higher chance of being bullied than non-arts students. In response to those findings the authors of the article concluded that it was possible that arts students are just more willing to accurately report their bullying victimization when asked about it.  If those students exhibited the same love for the stage as I did, I hope they reported it with histrionic flair and dramatically exited stage left with exaggerated hand gestures and audible sigh.  Theatre weird forever!

Elpus, K. (2016, August 11). Music and theater students are bullied more than other students. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@kennethelpus/music-and-theater-students-are-bullied-more-than-other-students-ec18d8cf4305.

Elpus, K., & Carter, B. A. (2016). Bullying victimization among music ensemble and theatre students in the united states. Journal of Research in Music Education, 64(3), 322-343. doi:10.1177/0022429416658642




  1. It’s funny how today almost all the kids growing up want to be youtube stare, actors,singer or something in performance arts. You would think that they would be flocking to these type of school activities instead of teasing others. My daughter is trying out for a play and almost every one of her cool friends is trying out as well. I think the older stigmas associated with this type of activity have passed. I would even go out on a limb and say thanks to youtube for making skits,and pranks a stepping stone to the arts. Artist like Nicki Minaj,Lady Gaga all praise theater programs for helping them embrace their strange and popular styles. Yay for all the “weirdos”.

  2. Hello!

    I wasn’t in theatre, but I loved my “theatre weird” friends in high school!

    Sadly, the results showed those in the performing arts would have a higher chance of being bullied. Do you think the findings are accurate or do you side with that they would have a higher chance of reporting? Why would that be, in your opinion?

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