By Samantha Sgambelluri

On  June 6, 2016, I had a great time watching the play Blocked at Magnus Theatre. Blocked is a special project of Magnus Theatre’s “Theatre in Education Program” that was created and produced with the support of the Thunder Bay Community Foundation and United Way of Thunder Bay’s Youth and Community Program. The story was written and performed by 15 local teenagers.

Blocked2Blocked took place in two different years—1996 and 2016. In one story line, which took place in 1996, there was a boy who was bullied because he was a ballet dancer. He was teased and physically pushed at school. He was different because he enjoyed dance. He didn’t really do anything to get help or look for help. In the other storyline, a girl in 2016 was bullied through social media websites like, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook. Both teenagers were bullied at school, but Gillian—the girl teased in 2016—was taunted by people at different schools and people she did not know. Rumours were spread more quickly through social media.

Blocked taught me that although technology changes over the years, bullying stays the same—words and actions can hurt us. Both teenagers were teased for being different, but the play showed how social media has become a big part of bullying.
I enjoyed the play because it was funny and very entertaining. There were some sad moments that made me really think about the impact of words and how they hurt others. Blocked kept me on the edge of my seat! Congratulations to all the young writers and actors in this production, well done!

Blocked is on stage at Magnus Theatre until June 9.