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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

All The World's A Stage

Have a budding actor in your family?  We may be off-off-off Broadway, but Bridgewater Library offers many ways you can introduce your kids to plays and theater right here in central NJ!  

@ The Library: Programs  -- check out our calendar to get more details & register online.

Monday Sept. 20 at 4:30 p.m.: All the World's a Stage: Reader's Theatre Folktales for Grades 2-6 (Registration Required) 

In addition, we also have these upcoming programs:
  • Tuesday Sept 14  at 7 p.m.:  Evening Family Story Time for ages 3+  
  • Saturday Sept. 18 at 10:30 a.m.:  Super Silly Songs with Kurt Gallagher for ages 3+ 
  • Tuesday Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.: Talk it Up Book Discussion for Grades 5-8 (Registration Required)  This month's book is Sent by Margaret Petersen Haddix.
  • Wednesday Sept. 22 at 4:30 p.m.: Chapter Book Club for Grades 3-4 (Registration Required)  This month's book is Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary.
  • Thursday Sept. 23 from 7-8:30 p.m.Getting the most from your school for your child with special needs. (Registration Required) 
  • We also offer weekly storytimes, toddler times, and infant lap-sits -- details can be found in our calendar.

@ the Library:  Materials & Displays

Have a struggling or reluctant reader?  Reader's Theater is a great way to build children's reading fluency -- they become better readers without even noticing it!  -- and reading a play out loud together is a wonderful way to build reading skills and fun family time together.  Search our online catalog for "Reader's Theater," check the non-fiction shelves under 812 & 822, and browse our display "All the World's A Stage"  for books, videos, and DVDs.   There are also numerous websites (listed below).

Want to give your kids early exposure to Shakespeare?  Bridgewater Library owns  Shakespeare: The Animated Tales -- these 12 tales were abridged by a noted Shakespeare scholar and beautifully animated by a collaboration of several international film studios.  We have many of the accompanying scripts (perfect for home acting sessions!) at 822.33 GAR in our non-fiction section.  The Shakepeare Theater of NJ offers touring productions in the summer which are clever, inventive, and fast-paced and offer a great way to get a first taste of the Bard!

Out & About -- Around the Community:


Paper Mill Playhouse Presents a Free Community Event in Downtown Millburn to Celebrate the Opening of Hairspray
WHERE: Main Street and Taylor Park in Downtown Millburn
WHEN: Sunday, September 19, from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
Hairspray's Blowout Bash will feature rides, games, live entertainment, contests, give-a-ways, food, a special appearance from members of the Hairspray cast and more. Hairspray's Blowout Bash is a rain or shine event. Here are details and a timeline for the event.

(Thanks to Ruth Ross of njartsmaven.com for this information.)

Many local theaters offer a children's theater series -- 
  • Raritan Valley Community College offers a host of programs -- their Sampler series is geared to preschool & elementary-aged audiences, while their Family series is more for the upper elementary/middle school crowd. Middle & High Schoolers may also enjoy Tuesdays with Stories, inventive one-person interpretations of books --this year's lineup includes  "Three Cups of Tea" on Oct. 19th & "The Giver" on Nov. 16th -- both books often on school reading lists!  For home-schoolers or school field trip managers, RVCC also offers a great School Time Performances lineup.
  • The Villagers Theatre in Somerset offers a Kidsvill lineup opening with "The Jungle Book" from Sept. 25-Oct.3.  Some of their mainstage productions are suitable for kids as well.
  • The Growing Stage Theater in Netcong opens with a play based on Richard Scarry's "Busytown" series from Sept.24th - Oct 24th. 
  • Paper Mill Playhouse offers a fun lineup of family-friendly musicals as well as a specific children's series opening with Happily Ever After: A Cinderella Story on Oct. 16th. 
  • Circle Players in Piscataway opens their season with the family-friendly musical "The Fantastics" and also has two children's shows.
  • Interested in more information about "what's on" on NJ stages?  Here are some useful sources: njartsmaven.com is (as it states on the site) "your go-to spot for reviews, announcements and information about northern and central New Jersey theater, music, dance, museum exhibits and activities for adults, kids and their families,"  njartstix.org offers discount tickets to NJ professional performing arts venues, and njtheater.org provides links to many of the community theater groups playing around the state.
Let Your Fingers Do (More) Walking:

"Reader's Theater proved to be almost a magic solution for Griffith: In just 10 weeks of using RT, every child in her class had gained a full grade level in reading. After a year, the children's gains had jumped to three years of growth." Quote taken from The Power of Reader's Theater, Scholastic Instructor

There are lots of wonderful sites for Reader's Theater on the web.  Two of the best-known are: Teaching Heart: Reader's Theater Scripts & Plays and Aaron Shepard's Reader's Theater Page.  You can find many additional scripts by googling "Reader's Theater."

Comments, suggestions, queries:

Know a local theater featuring children's shows we've overlooked?  Have a comment, question or suggestion for a future column?  Email us at bwljuv@sclsnj.org.

Safety First:

Wegmans has announced a reusable bags recall of their green peas & 2009 holiday designs.  They say it is not a safety concern for children but that the bags should be returned to the stores for disposal.

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