Sunday, August 30, 2009

For One Inspired Writer, Books + Musicals = Booksicals!


Too Many Visitors Stage

One of my favorite activities growing up was reading. Oh, don’t get me wrong – I spent plenty of time running around outside too – riding bikes, playing capture the flag, catching tadpoles and looking for agates, but there was nothing like weekend trips to the library. Once a week we drove to a neighboring town and mom would drop me off at the public library while she did her shopping. I really looked forward to those Saturday afternoons. In many ways it felt like I was on my own private treasure hunt. Books of all kinds interested me and the library had them all – every topic I could imagine. To this day, I always have a half-finished book somewhere nearby.

That’s why when I heard about a program called Booksicals I was immediately intrigued. Booksicals is the brainchild of Los Angeles based writer, composer and producer, Susan Chodakiewitz, and the name comes from combining her two loves – books and musicals. (I can’t help wondering if she, too, used to rummage around the library at an early age searching for adventures in the pages of a good book.)

Both the children’s books Chodakiewitz writes, Booksicals, and the accompanying live program called Booksicals on Stage, provide a creative, interactive, fun and musical way of inspiring kids with a love for reading.

Theatrical performances of the company’s debut book Too Many Visitors for One Little House are currently being done at schools, libraries, theaters and special events around LA. Too Many Visitors tells the story of three crabby neighbors, a new family on the block, a big family reunion, and the need to be included. The 4-character musical show is brought to life by the members of the Booksicals Repertory Company. They are Jesse Lee, Cindy Burnett, Niketa Calame, Sarah Phillips, Booter Griffin, Elizabeth Mehdtiach, Nick Rutherford, Brittney Kalmbach, DeReau K. Farrar, Alice Sherman and Tara Hunnewell.

Each program consists of an introduction by the author followed by a musical performance with audience participation, and a question and answer period with the author and characters. The program is geared for 4 - 8 years old, kindergarten through second grade.

If you’d like to experience Booksicals on Stage live, you can see a free musical performance on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at Baby Gap/Gap Kids at The Grove. Showtimes are 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Barnes and Noble at The Grove will also feature a performance on Sunday October 25, 2009 at 1:00 pm followed by a book signing. For more information about the programs, additional dates and even upcoming contests, go to http://www.booksicals.com/.

I know first hand that books have the power to open up the world for a child. It gave me access to ideas, dreams and interests I might never have had without the experience of reading a book. Booksicals is a fresh approach to reading - and theatre - that is sure to inspire children everywhere.

1 comments

<< Home

1 comments

<< Home

<< Home