Lee J. Kaplan stands up to the bully. Five rounds - it's the fight of his life.

    Bully the Show

    Lee J. Kaplan's acclaimed, award-winning solo autobiographical theatre show, "Bully," continues its nationwide tour and returns to NYC, joined by talented student artists telling their own stories.

     New York, NY, United States
    This is a Fiscally-Sponsored Project

    Fiscally Sponsored by Fractured Atlas

    Great run at IRT & the students premiered their shows!

    Hi everyone - I hope you're all doing well and enjoying the holiday season. I thought this would be a good moment to update you all on what's happening here.

    Since our campaign successfully wrapped up last month, we've been preparing for our run at the IRT Theatre here in New York. We spent the rest of November prepping our production and continuing the work with our three high school students. Our performance run officially began last Wednesday night -- we've already had four shows (with two left to go) and each one has been wonderful. Many of our audiences have been full and the reaction has been fantastic. The students have truly stepped up -- their shows about immigration & deportation, discrimination and choosing between right & wrong are so compelling and have earned praise from our audiences. We are so excited to continue developing these shows with them.

    Your generous donations have enabled us to produce this run, to complete our inaugural student workshop and to complete and distribute our new curriculum. I am so grateful for your help in bringing all of this to life!  

    I will be back in touch in the new year as we rollout more programming and engage more with adults, kids, teachers and families with the show's message. In the meantime, I want to send my sincere thanks and gratitude to each and every one of you for supporting this project. This would not have been possible without you and your support means so much to me and to the Bully team of artists.

    Lots of love and happy new year,

    Bully returns to NYC ... and we've got company

    Hi everyone! Now that we've wrapped up our successful fundraising campaign, we are turning our attention to our upcoming performances in New York.

    Our next stop will be the IRT Theater starting Wednesday, November 29th and wrapping up Sunday, December 10th. Each Bully performance will be paired with the premiere of a brand-new show written and performed by one of the three high school students participating in our solo show workshop. This student collaboration would not have been possible without your donations and it is truly a dream come true to see this happening. We are all so excited to share these new stories with you.

    We will be performing in rep with two other solo shows (The American Soldier and Hope You Get to Eleven), which you'll see listed when you click here to purchase your tickets. Hope You Get to Eleven is written and performed by Bully director Padraic Lillis and I hope you'll have time to see all three shows during our run.

    For your convenience, here's the Bully performance schedule:
    Wednesday, November 29th (7 PM)
    Saturday, December 2nd (3 PM)
    Wednesday, December 6th (7 PM)
    Thursday, December 7th (7 PM)
    Saturday, December 9th (3 PM)
    Sunday, December 10th (3 PM)

    So, if you're in the area or are planning to visit New York shortly after Thanksgiving, please join us! We'll see you in the theatre and thanks so much for all your support.


    246 donors.
    Over $21,000.

    This fundraising campaign has been an amazing journey and I'm so grateful to have been joined by all of you. We reached and surpassed our goal and we did it together. Feels like there aren't enough joyous words I can use to express how much this means and how much we will be able to accomplish with your donations.

    In the short-term, we're now rehearsing for our upcoming six performances at the IRT Theatre, where we'll be joined at each performance by one of our three high school students premiering their new solo shows. We're meeting each week with the students as they're developing their ideas and it's thrilling to witness and be part of their progress. I hope many of you will be able to see the shows!

    In the meantime, please take a few moments to watch the video attached to this message which I recorded on the last day of the campaign. Have a great week everyone -- I'll be back in touch very soon.

    Exciting news & a chat with Bully director Padraic Lillis!

    Hi everyone! As you've been seeing in our updates, we've now raised over 65% of our target amount and we've got momentum heading into the FINAL WEEK of the campaign.

    Some exciting news: we have been offered a FANTASTIC space in which to bring the show back to New York for an off-Broadway run in Spring 2018. This means having expanded audience opportunities, moments for families to come together and discuss the issue, time to bring schools to the theatre on field trips and SO MUCH more. I can't tell you how excited we are about all of this.

    SO, having your support AND the support of your friends & family is going to be CRITICAL in helping us afford to do all of this! Please take a moment to share our campaign link (https://fundraising.fracturedatlas.org/bully/campaigns/872) with a few people who you think would be inclined to donate.

    As always, we are so grateful for your support!

    Our student collaboration is underway!

    Hello everyone and THANK YOU again for donating to Bully and being a part of the team!

    I hope you'll have a moment to check out this video of two of the students we are working with as part of the student collaboration workshop. These students are now three weeks along in developing their new solo shows, which they will premiere during our upcoming run at the IRT theatre in New York shortly after Thanksgiving.

    The funds you've contributed are being used to fund this program and we are all so grateful for your support. More to come ...

    Success in California & now back to New York

    Hi everyone - I hope you'll have a few moments to check out the update video attached to this note. I'm SO GRATEFUL to all of you for showing your support and joining me in this effort. We've already raised nearly $8,000 and we're about halfway through the campaign. It's so exciting to me to see all of this come together.

    Things here in California have been wonderful and they've truly exceeded all my expectations. In all, I performed the show fourteen times in ten schools (in addition to two shows at the Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre) and we reached nearly 5,000 more people!

    I'm headed back to New York at the end of the week and we're jumping right into our new Student Collaboration project, where we are teaming up with three fantastic high school students and helping them to create their own solo shows, which they'll premiere during our upcoming run at the IRT theatre in New York right after Thanksgiving. Tickets will go on-sale soon for those shows -- I'll keep you posted!

    Thanks again for your support and PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD about the campaign. I need to reach out beyond my own network to meet our goal and I know we can do this together.

    Back with more soon!

    Our actual fundraising total (including offline & online donations) is $21,017.65!


    My autobiographical solo show, Bully, was born six years ago when I discovered a journal that I kept when I was in the sixth grade. Prior to discovering the journal, I hadn't picked it up since I wrote in it as a kid. Reading those words was devastating to me and I couldn't believe I'd kept this account of what was taking place.

    In the journal, I detailed many of the attacks I endured that school year, which were followed by two more years of relentless bullying: physical, verbal, emotional and psychological abuse. I regularly handed this journal in to the teacher to be reviewed and graded, but no action was taken to stop the attacks.

    In that moment, I decided I would not be another passive reader of this journal. As an adult, I felt the responsibility to help kids who might be enduring similar attacks.

    When I found the journal, I was at an early place in my career. Without much experience in the solo art form, I knew I coudn't be silent and I needed to speak up. Having been bullied in elementary school for my love of acting in plays, I thought the biggest risk I could take would be to write and perform a play -- a solo show -- about what happened to me. I wanted to be able to share the experience with a live audience.

    With help from Bully director Padraic Lillis and my boxing trainer Alberto Reyes, I crafted a show that allows me to call my bullies into the ring, stand up for myself and finally fight back.


    This has been an amazing journey since we premiered the show at Theatre Row on 42nd Street in New York City in November 2012, only days after Hurricane Sandy made landfall. Even in those less-than-ideal conditions when electricity wasn't fully restored to the area, we sold out our first two performances and won our first award at the United Solo Theatre Festival. In 2013, we played our first two school shows and were accepted to perform as part of the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, DC and the New York International Fringe Festival. We earned fantastic reviews from the New York Times and the Washington Post during those performances:

    New York Times: "It's unassailable messages sugarcoated with ounces of sweat, pounds of goofy humor and tons of heart."

    Washington Post: "Devastating and should be required viewing."

    The reception in schools and theatres has been amazing and so rewarding. Students and faculty alike have raved about the show and about the informative Q&A sessions after the performances. Those Q&A sessions have been remarkable for me: I have been blown away by the sheer honesty that's come out in the audience talkback sessions we've held to this point, as many audience members feel empowered to tell their own stories after watching me tell mine.

    Now, after touring the show in six states and in Canada performing for more than 13,000 people, we have a lot planned for the 2017 - 2018 school year.

    We're kicking off the year with a two-week run at the Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre and area schools in California in September, followed by more school touring later in the Fall. We are thrilled to bring our new curriculum to take with us to theatres and schools to supplement the audience experience. In December, we're bringing Bully back to New York's IRT Theatre.

    Through all the Q&A sessions I mentioned earlier, I've learned many things. Chief among them, I've learned that kids (and adults, for that matter) want to talk. I've watched many people stand up so bravely in these Q&A sessions and tell their stories about being bullied and about being a bully. I've realized we need a platform here to facilitate more conversation and communication.

    So, to that end: we will be joined during the December performances by a very talented group of three teenage artists, with whom Padraic Lillis and I will be working to assemble their own solo shows about issues they want to give voice to. I can only imagine how empowering it would be to be a student that is given the chance to have their moment on-stage and speak their truth about what's happening in their lives and how it makes them feel.

    After more touring in early 2018, we plan to return to New York for one more extended run, where we'll again be joined by our young artists performing their shows.


    We'd hoped that in the five years since premiering Bully that bullying threats would diminish. Sadly, cyberbullying is on the rise and bullying behavior is more normalized than ever. According to the National Education Association, 160,000 kids miss school each day due to bullying and one out of every five students is bullied. This kind of abuse is the leading factor in suicides among children ages 11-16. Given the increased attention this issue has received over the past few years, I am more focused on helping to curb this behavior than ever. This is about helping people -- adults and kids -- have their voices heard. I had no idea that when I found my journal, I'd become an anti-bullying advocate, but this journey has most assuredly changed my life. I know how much audiences value seeing me, knowing that I went through it and connecting with me.


    I love being able to fundraise like this, to connect with supporters and work together to bring this kind of programming into our communities.

    I need your help to make all of this happen! Your donations will help us pay for performance venues, our new youth development program, curriculum development, marketing and rehearsal space and continuing to extend our reach into schools.

    With this crowdfunding campaign, we're aiming to reach $20,000 with small and large donations. This campaign represents approximately one-third of our overall budget, so, if you know of ways to help continue our fundraising efforts outside of this campaign, please let us know!

    In addition to your donation -- any amount, large or small -- I'd be so grateful if you'd help me spread the word to friends and family about this -- send emails, connect with me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and on Instagram. Let's get the word out to as many people as we can.

    Thank you!

    Lee J. Kaplan is a New York based actor, writer, producer, editor. His first short film, Attempt to Rise, has screened in ten film festivals across the United States and was awarded "Best Film Premiere." Most recently seen in an NYC production of G.B. Shaw's Overruled, Lee has appeared in numerous short films and web series. As a voiceover artist, he has recorded multiple television and radio campaigns for clients including Baskin-Robbins and Nissan. www.leejkaplan.com

    Off-Broadway directing credits include: Scott Hudson’s Sweet Storm with Alchemy Theatre in association with Labyrinth Theater Company; Michael Puzzo’s The Dirty Talk for Spare Change Productions at Center Stage, New York; A Line in the Sand, Adina Taubman’s docudrama based on the school shootings at Columbine. He is currently adapting the best selling novel Strangers on a Bridge for Palermo Productions. His play Lights Up on the Fade Out was awarded top ten plays of 2011 in Los Angeles, and his play Two Thirds Home is published by Dramatist Play Services, Inc. He is a company member of the Labyrinth Theater Company, and a lifelong Yankees fan.

    Bully is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Bully must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.



    Donate $25.00 or more

    Amount is fully tax-deductible.

    Receive a sincere social media shout-out, your name in our programs and big thanks from me!


    Donate $50.00 or more

    Amount is fully tax-deductible.

    Receive a personal video message from me PLUS the social media shout-out and your name in our programs.


    Donate $100.00 or more

    Amount is fully tax-deductible.

    A signed production photo, a personal video message from me, social media shout-out and your name in our programs.


    Donate $200.00 or more

    Amount is fully tax-deductible.

    A signed show poster, a personal video message from me, your social media shout-out and your name in our programs.


    Donate $250.00 or more

    Amount over $50.00 is tax-deductible.

    Two complimentary tickets to see the show, a personal video message from me, your social media shout-out and your name in our programs.

    Light Heavyweight

    Donate $500.00 or more

    Amount over $100.00 is tax-deductible.

    Four complimentary tickets to see the show, a personal video message from me, social media shout-outs and your name in our programs.


    Donate $1,000.00 or more

    Amount over $120.00 is tax-deductible.

    Associate Producer credit, four complimentary tickets to see the show, invitation to attend pre-show rehearsal event and post-show cast & crew party, a personal video message from me and social media shout-outs.


    Donate $1,500.00 or more

    Amount over $120.00 is tax-deductible.

    Executive Producer credit, four complimentary tickets to see the show, invitation to pre-show rehearsal event and post-show cast party, a personal video message from me and social media shout-outs.