“Theater is about what it means to be human in a broken world,” said Debra Freeberg, Calvin communication arts and sciences professor. “It disarms our prejudice; we feel empathy for the characters. It does it in a way that lectures just don’t do it.”

Freeberg’s latest production, You Make a Difference: No More Bullying!, is an example of the way in which theater has a clear effect. Freeberg was compelled to contribute to the dialogue on this social issue after her daughter’s experience of being bullied.

“I just saw the damage it does,” she said. “I saw a need and really felt a passion for it.”

The one-hour musical, written and directed by Freeberg with music by Tricia Bayfield ’05, takes the stage Sept. 22–24 once again (it debuted in January as a workshop production). Special school performances are available. An audience discussion follows all performances.

“While the play doesn’t resolve the issues for the characters, I wanted to offer kids some means of becoming more resilient,” said Freeberg. “I wanted to point to a better future.”