To schedule a performance at your school or organization, contact Adam.

“Society has this expectation that nerds are people to be bullied and made fun of,” Ruben said. “I would get mad every time there was a TV show that had nerd characters on it and they always had thick glasses with tape in the middle and they were in the chess club, and it became perfectly OK to make fun of them.” — Interview, CNN.COM

About The Show

Fresh from performances at the Capital Fringe Festival and the Fringe Wilmington Festival, award-winning comedian and storyteller Adam Ruben shares true tales of a class election gone awry and a stuffed animal smuggled into summer camp, plus embarrassing excerpts from his fifth-grade diary (in which he mathematically calculates his odds with the girl he likes and somehow still loses) and a manifesto of self-pity written while sitting at home dateless during his tenth-grade Homecoming dance. Complete with laughably naive video and audio clips, this one-man show, named one of the top five solo shows of 2011 by Maryland Theatre Guide, has delighted crowds with the horrors of surviving puberty in a sea of well-intentioned but useless anti-bullying advice. Audiences of all ages have enjoyed this hilarious and heartbreaking palliative for anyone who’s ever been picked on, put down, or cast out. (Running time: 60 min. Can also include artist Q&A.)

About The Show at Schools

In addition to theater festivals, “Please Don’t Beat Me Up” has been performed at public and private schools as part of anti-bullying programs. The show includes a discussion of the anti-bullying advice parents and teachers give–for example, an assessment of the advice to “Be yourself.” We give kids this advice because it sounds good, and it makes sense to us adults, but we often forget that kids don’t believe us; they are, after all, the ones who are bullied BECAUSE they’re being themselves, and how do they reconcile that? If “Be yourself” is such good advice, kids wonder, why doesn’t it work?

Reviews, Previews, and Interviews

“Most poised adults wouldn’t want to tell a crowd about the time they purposely peed their pants in the 5th grade. Of course, most people aren’t Adam Ruben, and his laugh-worthy one man show Please Don’t Beat Me Up: Stories and Artifacts from Adolescence is a rollicking reminiscence of life from the grade-school nerd’s point of view.” — DC Theatre Scene

“Please don’t beat me up for loving this show! In the hilarious and sometimes heart-crushing one-man play, Please Don’t Beat Me Up: Stories and Artifacts from Adolescence, comedian Adam Ruben tells the story of growing up in suburban Delaware. Reading from his green diary that was given to him as a Chanukah gift, Ruben relives the thoughts of his childhood, including the crush on a girl named Liz that he has had since the 3rd grade.” — Maryland Theatre Guide

“It’s easy to laugh with and empathize with Ruben. If you ever feared the four-person relay at field day, made an earnest list of what you need to assemble a robot (a VCR, one flashlight, four screws), extensively deliberated over a crush and read into fate assigned you the roles of hydrogen and oxygen atoms, respectively in science class, you’ll find laughs here. Most people will be able to see parts of themselves, recalling embarrassing moments of childhood through his eyes.” — DCist

Check out the previews in Spark Magazine & Washington Post Going Out Guide.