CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- Melody Munitz, a 13-year old Cortlandt resident, has been traveling throughout the tristate teaching kids about the dangers of bullying.
Munitz is one of the stars of the production of "The New Kid," which chronicles a new kid at a school caught up among all the school's cliques. She performs about two shows a month throughout the region. "Random Farms," the theater company Munitz is in that runs the show, is based in Elmsford.
"I think it's great," Munitz said. "It's a really important message that I can relate to."
Munitz was in the show last year, but this year she has a different role, as one of the bullies.
"I'm not a mean person, so playing this character is different," Munitz said. "It's kind of fun. It's what I love about acting, you get to play the opposite of who you are."
Munitz's mother, Shari, said Melody would apologize to the girl she was bullying during rehearsals.
"It's a really a fabulous opportunity for her to stretch her acting ability," Shari Munitz said. "She's a really nice kid. She is always looking out for kids who have no friends or are new to school."
The musical seems to be resonating with the kids in attendance. Melody Munitz said kids often ask her for autographs or give her high fives.
"When you are on stage, you can watch the audience," she said. "The message definitely resonates. Kids realize they should be themselves and they should stop bullying and give someone a chance to be friends."
"The New Kid" has been featured on TV including "Good Day New York" and "Anderson Cooper Live". Last week, Munitz found herself on "The Today Show".
"That was great," Munitz said. "It was really exciting being on national TV."
Munitz said she hopes to become a professional actress one day, appearing on Broadway and in movies.
"Anyone who has been on Broadway as an actress, I really aspire to be them," she said. "They are all inspirations to me."
Shari Munitz said having kids present the anti-bullying message resonates more than having an adult or mentor deliver it.
"It has a significant amount of meaning to them," she said. "The kids learn about being comfortable in who you are and you can't just do things to please other people. What was okay on Monday might not be okay on Tuesday."