THE BULLY PROBLEM is a family-friendly musical with a balance of comedy, humorously distinct characters, and a smidge of science fiction. It focuses on the subjects of bullying, intellectual virtuosity, and the importance of human connections.

Synopsis: Fourteen-year-old tech whiz Kevin Djikstra just wants to be left alone to build robots, but the bullies at Van Der Bort Junior High are making that tough. Things change when Kevin inherits an android that seems to needs his help as much as vice versa. Before long, Kevin is caught in the middle of a struggle between bullies and smart kids. The future of the school hangs in the balance!



It’s too soon for a true cast album, but we hope you enjoy these preliminary song demos!


The Bully Problem wins first prize in the NMI Search for New Musicals!

The Bully Problem has won the first prize of the annual Search for New Musicals competition held by New Musicals Inc. (North Hollywood, CA). From NMI’s press release: The Search for New Musicals accepts entrants from around the globe; winners receive awards worth up to $25,000 in workshop productions, concert readings, feedback, and developmental support. …

The Bully Problem at the ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop!

One of two shows selected from hundreds of submissions, The Bully Problem was featured at the three day ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop at the the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. A fully-sung staged reading of the first act was presented by a cast that included several members from the 2017 …


Show features:

  • Family-friendly story (accessible to kids, but with a little extra for the adults).
  • Pop-influenced score featuring solo moments and ensemble harmonies.
  • Score performable by solo piano, band, or via pre-recorded tracks.
  • Positive messages about standing up for yourself (we’re for it) without getting preachy.
  • There’s a robot.


  • Can be performed by young actors (middle school, high school) or adults who are young at heart.
  • Flexible cast size (with several possible doubling schemes) accommodates both theater companies and large school drama classes.
  • Many characters can be gender-flipped (in case your class is 75% female).
  • Works best with cast of 12 or more.
  • Meaningful, named auxiliary characters. No anonymous chorus!

Duration: approximately 90 minutes long. Can be performed with or without intermission.


Michael Gordon Shapiro (book, music, and lyrics) writes music for movies, games, the concert hall, and the stage. Occasionally he puts pen to paper as book writer and lyricist as well. Other theatrical projects include Super Sidekick: The Musical (co-written with Gregory Crafts, and published by Samuel French) and the short musical anthology A Feast of Snacks. His favorite robot is V.I.N.CENT from Disney’s The Black Hole.

For more information, visit Michael’s website, www.mikemusic.com .



For performance inquires or other information, please feel welcome to drop us a line!