Saturday, October 29, 2011

Families Come Out For a Good Idea

Carmel Community Recognizes a Serious Issue in a Fun New Way.

“A Caterpillar’s Tale”, a film that highlights the issue of bullying, played to a packed house at the Carmel Cinema on Route 6 in Carmel. With a cast of young actors from the Carmel area, the film takes a look at the causes and effects of bullying as seen through the eyes of its lead character, a giant mutant caterpillar faced with the choice of becoming a bully or doing what he knows to be right.

The film was created to introduce the concept of making good choices to students in the kindergarten through fourth grade age group. Funded in part by a grant secured through the Carmel Central School District, (CCSD), “A Caterpillar’s Tale” made its debut as a fundraiser for the district’s three elementary schools. Each school’s Parent Teacher Organization had the opportunity to sell tickets to the event, with a portion of the proceeds going toward the many programs and services each group provides.

With a cast comprised of 28 actors aged 8-16, many of whom are veteran performers with the Pied Piper Youth Theater in Stormville, N.Y. (www, the film is the realization of over four months worth of work by writer/director Jeff Davis and the crew of JD Savage Productions, (

“You can’t lecture kids if you want the message to take hold,” said Mr. Davis. “Even a message as important as this. To make it stick, they have to experience it in a fun way. The choices kids make at this age level influence them across their entire academic careers, so this is where a difference can be made.”

To make such a difference requires the support of the community, and Carmel residents and businesses are no stranger to lending a hand for a good cause. The Pied Piper Youth Theater, Cartwright and Daughters, the staff of the Kent Primary School and the Carmel Cinema all recognized the importance of this project, and didn’t hesitate to pitch in where they were needed during the film’s production and debut.

The families who joined in to share their laughter and applause did more than simply purchase tickets. Together, they acknowledged the idea that bullying is too important a topic to be ignored.