A Message From Our Founder

As Bright Star prepares to enter its 21st school year, we wanted to share a message from our company founder, David Ostergaard, about the big “Why” of our Bully Prevention programming. I thought the message was important to share early in the school year, and I think you will agree. – Josh Batenhorst, CEO

Dear friends,

When I reflect back on my time in school it’s fond memories of teachers that brought creativity and love to the classroom, it’s the iconic pizza slices, the school assemblies and the good friends. Unfortunately, like millions of others, these memories are sometimes tarnished by the darkest years of my life where I found myself being bullied on a near daily basis.

When I had the opportunity to create our first season with Bright Star—an anti-bullying show for the youngest grades was so important to me. I wanted our young audiences to hear these messages of hope, to understand that they weren’t alone and feel empowered to seek help to end it.

I am writing this appeal to express the deep importance of addressing and combating bullying in your community and beyond. Bullying is not just a trivial matter; it has profound and lasting effects on the lives of those who experience it. As someone who values compassion, understanding, and the well-being of others, I believe that taking a stand against bullying is a moral obligation that we all share.

Bright Star has long been a leader in our field providing a strong season of anti-bullying programming that seeks to serve audiences of all ages.

I have experienced firsthand how bullying can lead to emotional trauma, low self-esteem, anxiety, and even depression for the victims. These negative consequences extend beyond childhood and can continue to impact individuals throughout their lives. By promoting an environment that is free from bullying, we not only protect the mental and emotional health of our young people but also foster a sense of belonging and unity.

Furthermore, I firmly believe that promoting antibullying initiatives contributes to building a stronger, more empathetic society. When we actively work to prevent bullying, we send a clear message that kindness, respect, and inclusivity are our shared values. By educating ourselves and others about the effects of bullying, we empower individuals to become allies, standing up against harassment and discrimination in all forms.

As we strive for a more harmonious and compassionate world, let us remember that every person deserves to feel safe, valued, and accepted. By prioritizing antibullying efforts, we not only create a better present but also pave the way for a brighter future where every individual can thrive without the fear of mistreatment.

Thank you for considering my appeal. Together, we can make a meaningful difference and create a community where kindness prevails over cruelty.

We are living through uncertain times where bullies have been given megaphones in our daily lives through the media and politics of our age.

I hope sincerely you’ll join our mission in bringing light to the dark corners of our own lives and the young people that rely on us to be their voice.

Your commitment to the cause means so much. As I reflect back, I think most warmly of Dr. Tony Baldwin in my high school that helped to bring an end to four years of bullying and helped make my final two years of high school something full of sweet memories.

We each have this power to change the life of a young person today.


David Ostergaard

Company Owner/Founder

If you would like to make some of Bright Star’s Bully Prevention programming a part of your school year, reach out to schedule a performance or purchase an online show. Email josh@brightstartheatre.com or give us a call at 336-558-7360.

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