The characters from four classic and recent children’s books are coming to the stage in Bath this fall! Midcoast Literacy, a non-profit organization that provides free literacy tutoring to people of all ages, is partnering with Chocolate Church Arts Center in Bath to present two live Readers Theater performances on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 12:30 PM and 3:30 PM. The event will feature local, professional actors performing four children’s books sure to captivate families with children ages 4-10: “Miss Nelson Is Missing” by Harry Allard, “Jabari Jumps” by Gaia Cornwall, “Grandma Drove the Lobsterboat” by Katie Clark, and “Bone Soup” by Cambria Evans. Kids will have a chance to meet the actors following each one-hour performance. Tickets are $10 or $35 for a family (4-8 people) when purchased in advance. Tickets can be purchased from the Chocolate Church box office or www.chocolatechurcharts.org
“This is such a fun way to share the love of reading with families,” said Daniel Burson, Midcoast Literacy’s Executive Director. “The actors doing creative voices and characters, with the illustrations from the books projected behind them, all creates a visually immersive experience of the stories for the children watching.”
Readers Theater is a style of performance that blends the reading aloud of a book with theatrical elements before a live audience. The cast of actors simultaneously narrates the story and brings added life to the characters through voice, expression, and movement. In “Miss Nelson Is Missing” by Harry Allard, the misbehaving kids in room 207 get a rude awakening when their teacher, Miss Nelson, is replaced by substitute Viola Swamp. In “Jabari Jumps” by Gaia Cornwall, working up the courage to take a big leap is hard, but Jabari is nearly almost ready to make a splash. In “Grandma Drove the Lobsterboat” by Katie Clark, when the waves get choppy, Grandma must take the helm to get the lobsters to shore in time for the big Labor Day lobster bake. And in the ghoulish re-telling “Bone Soup” by Cambria Evans, a hungry skeleton on Halloween night tries to get the other townspeople to contribute to his cauldron of soup.
Future performances in the Midcoast Literacy’s Readers Theater series will include both short story productions for adults and other productions of children’s books for a younger audience. Proceeds from the Oct. 23 performances will support Midcoast Literacy’s Read Together tutoring program for kids ages 6-14 in midcoast Maine. To find out more about getting help with literacy skills or to become a volunteer, go to: www.midcoastliteracy.org
Midcoast Literacy is a non-profit organization based in Bath that has been providing free tutoring and other literacy programs to people of all ages in Lincoln, Sagadahoc, and northern Cumberland counties for more than 50 years. Through a wide range of family literacy and adult literacy programs, the dedicated staff and volunteers strive to help children and adults develop their literacy skills, so they can succeed through all stages of life.