Above Between Below is a touring assembly for middle school audiences designed to engage students in conversations about managing conflicts, bullying and building resiliency. The plot revolves around an embarrassing cellphone video gone viral, physical intimidation and gossip. These events lead to a confrontation between four students who must choose to take action as a person who is targeted and victimized or a person who bullies. Following each performance, students participate in a discussion with the cast aimed to spark further conversation about how conflicts emerge and to brainstorm positive alternatives and outcomes. Above Between Below aligns with the following WA State Benchmarks for Social Emotional Learning.

SELF-AWARENESS: Standard 1: Individual has the ability to identify and name one’s emotions and their influence on behavior.
SELF-MANAGEMENT: Standard 2: Individual develops and demonstrates the ability to regulate emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in contexts with people different than oneself.
SOCIAL MANAGEMENT: Standard 5: Individual has the ability to make safe and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions.

Seattle Children’s Theatre collaborates with Kaiser Permanente to bring the power of educational theatre to schools and address current topics that impact health. Above Between Below was created by SCT theatre professionals in consultation with educators, youth, community advisory committees, and Kaiser Permanente health providers.

Your School

Grade Recommendation: For Grades 6-8

Running Time: 1 hour

Ticket Price: FREE

“Thank you for presenting your play. It made me feel confident in myself because when I get into situations like that I know what to do. One thing I learned from watching was never be a bystander, be an Upstander.”

– Middle School Student, Tukwila School District

Active Audience Guide

Download PDF

Additional Resources

Pre-Show Student Handout:
Download PDF


Cast / Creative

Sherif Amin


Ana María Campoy


Brad Walker


Jocelyn Maher


Bianca Raso

Hattie/Rayna Understudy

James Schilling

Antony/Zumi Understudy

Production Team

Kathryn Van Meter Director

Ramón Esquivel Playwright

Courtney Sale Dramaturg

Julianna Brie-Crawley Stage Manager

Elizabeth Stasio Production Assistant

Shawn Ketchum Johnson Scenic Designer

Melanie Taylor Burgess Costume Designer

Chris R. Walker Composer and Sound Designer

Geoffry Alm Fight Choreographer

Reading List

For Children and Young Adults:

The Thing About Jellyfish
Ali Benjamin

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Sherman Alexie

Raina Telgemeier

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World
Shannon Hale and Dean Hale

Goodbye Stranger
Rebecca Stead

Mango Delight
Fracaswell Hyman

Better Nate than Ever
Tim Federle

Liar, Liar: The Theory, Practice, and Destructive Properties of Deception
Gary Paulsen

The Crossover
Kwame Alexander

Well, That Was Awkward
Rachel Vail

Gracie likes A.J., but it turns out he likes Gracie’s beautiful best friend, Sienna. Obviously Gracie is happy for Sienna. Super happy! She helps Sienna compose  the best texts, responding to A.J.’s surprisingly funny and appealing texts, just as if she were Sienna. While she tries to be okay with this, Gracie must deal with the heartache.

For Adults Working with Children and Young Adults:

The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age
Catherine Steiner-Adair EdD, and Teresa H. Barker

Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World
Devorah Heitner, PhD

Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids—And How to Break the Trance
Nicholas Kardaras, PhD

Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear
Carrie Goldman

Goldman brings together the expertise of leading authorities with the candid accounts of families dealing firsthand with peer victimization to present proven strategies and concrete tools for teaching children how to speak up and carry themselves with confidence; call each other out on cruelty; resolve conflict; cope with teasing, taunting, physical abuse and cyberbullying; and be smart consumers of technology and media.

Bring This Show To Your School

The Arts Based Learning program is free to qualifying schools.

Above Between Below Production: This production is designed to perform in an assembly-like setting for audiences of up to 300 students. Following each show students will have an opportunity to participate in a discussion with the cast aimed to spark further conversation about how conflicts emerge and to brainstorm positive alternatives and outcomes.

Middle School touring schedule: Touring Spring 2020 in Spokane and Seattle Regions

If you would like to book a workshop or have additional questions, please contact Elizabeth Coen, Arts Based Learning Program Manager at and 206-443-0807 ext. 1082.