Cootie Shots: Theatrical Inoculations Against Bigotry for Kids, Parents, and Teachers


For nearly two years, Fringe Benefits, a team of professional artists, teachers, parents and youth, have been working to concoct Cootie Shots, a delicious assortment of plays, songs and interactive performance pieces that promote tolerance and celebrate diversity by presenting role models of people of many different races, classes, genders, abilities, sexual orientations, religions, shapes and sizes. In all, Cootie Shots is comprised of about ...
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For nearly two years, Fringe Benefits, a team of professional artists, teachers, parents and youth, have been working to concoct Cootie Shots, a delicious assortment of plays, songs and interactive performance pieces that promote tolerance and celebrate diversity by presenting role models of people of many different races, classes, genders, abilities, sexual orientations, religions, shapes and sizes. In all, Cootie Shots is comprised of about 50 2-15 minute educational plays for Elementary School audiences.

The lessons covered are:

o Love is what makes a family o Children should feel free to play with whatever toys appeal to them, study whatever subjects interest them and choose career paths unhindered by gender stereotypes o Name-calling is never acceptable o Putting people down because how they look and whom they love is neither kind nor fair.

The cast of characters includes:

Rosa Parks
Cesar Chavez
Harvey Milk
Emily Dickinson
Alexander the Great
The Statue of Liberty and more!

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Editorial Reviews

Presented as "theatrical inoculations against bigotry," this collection of plays, poems, and songs has a common theme of tolerance. Created by Fringe Benefits, a Los Angeles-based theatrical company, these pieces were compiled and developed by a collection of educators, parents, and teens. Demonstrating that words are powerful, each piece focuses on a topic of intolerance, exploring all the possibilities. Particularly strong imagery comes through in plays concerning the well-known issues of gender bias, ageism, and racism, but more subtle issues are tackled also. One play investigates gender stereotyping when it comes to playing, questioning whether it is all right for boys to jump rope. A particularly poignant poem describes the loneliness that one teen feels at home watching television by herself and eating an endless bowl of cereal. Original artwork and photographs of theatrical performances fill the pages, making this book visually appealing as well as interesting. The plays are well written, with simple props and costumes, lending them to spontaneous performance. Stage directions and editorial comments offer changes in language and scripting to allow plays to be altered for age-appropriateness. Unfortunately, although many are successful in presenting their message, several pieces seem overly simplistic and didactic. Conflicts are resolved a little too easily, and characters seem to realize their errors a bit too quickly. Overall this collection is a worthy effort in the fight against bigotry, but young people might not buy into some of the messages. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; MiddleSchool, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Theatre Communications Group, 176p,
— Heather Hepler
School Library Journal
This eclectic and refreshing collection of plays, poems, and songs was originally created and performed by the educational theater group, Fringe Benefits, in elementary schools throughout California. These pieces are designed to promote tolerance and acceptance of all people regardless of culture, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, ability, gender, class, or appearance. Divided into four broad chapters, the 54 selections are an assortment of workshop and brainstorming improvisations, creations of individual artists and educators, and adaptations of existing longer works that can be performed by a range of ages. The artwork, too, is a mixture, made up of children's photos and drawings, as well as work from known artists. This is a valuable resource for adults working with youngsters to help them acknowledge discrimination and prejudice in their lives and create a more understanding and compassionate world.-Betty S. Evans, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559361842
  • Publisher: Theatre Communications Group
  • Publication date: 8/1/2000
  • Series: A Fringe Benefits Project Series
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 779,003
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Introduction xi
My Family Tree Is a Garden! 1
My Family Tree Is a Garden! 2
What Color Is Your Mama? 4
The Duke Who Outlawed Jelly Beans 8
The Other Side of the Fence 12
A Different Family 16
That's a Family! 18
Love What You Cook 20
Uncle Constantin 23
The Child's Spirit 24
Play Wedding 26
Big Love 29
Ode to Parents 32
Get to Know Me! 35
Get to Know Me! 36
The Golden Rule 38
La Peluca de Su Mama 41
All the Adams in the World 42
Doing the Right Thing 45
Cooties 49
The Birthday Party 51
The War of the Stuck-up Noses 53
Fair Play 58
Cap'n Crunch: A Poem by Bonnie Eaton 60
Anyone for Double Dutch? 61
Snooty Patooty 65
That Race Place 66
Mariposas 70
Be Proud of Your Difference! 73
Be Proud of Your Difference! 74
Mother Nature 76
It Takes All Kinds 78
Opposition 79
Chocolate Face 80
At Your Age?! 82
Bright Orange Fingernails 85
Student Teachers 87
In Mommy's High Heels 88
Moving 90
She's a Real Spaz 92
The Princess Petunia 96
Given All I've Got 98
Rapunzel 100
Just Because You're You! 105
The Parable of the Stimples 106
We Can Change the World! 113
We Can Change the World! 114
Ripple Effect 116
Liberty! 118
Four Heroes 120
Shy Kevin and Curious Joe 126
Billy Tipton 130
Same World 131
What's with the Dress, Jack? 132
Matzoh 134
America Didn't Crumble 137
Courage 138
Credo 140
Music 142
A Special Thank You 151
Artist Biographies 155
User's Guide 159
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2002

    Groundbreaking Book for Kids!

    This incredible book is not only an amazing tool for getting kids to open up about and annihilate prejudices of all kinds, it's also wildly funny, at times very moving, and a joy just to look at. With gorgeous photos and artwork by both children and adults, 'Cootie Shots' is an anthology of theatre and poetry for everyone. Some pieces are from emerging artists, some are from pros like Tony Kushner (Angels in America). When I got my copy I expected just another trite collection of writing 'for kids'. Finally there's a theatre book on the market for kids with DEPTH. BE SURE to check it out!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2002

    Great Ideas For Visualizing Children's Problems

    I found the book extremely interesting in dealing with problems that children face on a day to day basis. The idea of bringing them out into the open by acting them out and offering possible solutions is very much needed today.

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