07/08/13 — Library will sponsor children's programs

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Library will sponsor children's programs

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on July 8, 2013 1:46 PM

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Bright Star Children's Theatre will perform "The Bully of Bookmark Park" Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at the Pikeville Community Center, sponsored by the Pikeville Library.

This summer Wayne County children can visit a secret garden, learn about bullying and find out about ancient Greece. They can also hear some tall tales and even be part of an old time band.

And it's all possible at the library during July.

Starting off the adventures will be the Bright Star Children's Theatre, a professional touring theater based in Asheville.

"All of their programs are geared toward children about elementary age," said library public relations coordinator Melissa Sheldon. "They travel around and are excellent."

Ms. Sheldon said the group has performed at the library in the past.

"They go into schools during the school year, and do libraries and community festivals and other things like that," she said. "They do interactive shows with the kids."

This year, Bright Star Theatre members will do three different shows.

The first will be "The Bully of Bookmark Park" Thursday at 10:30 a.m., sponsored by the Pikeville Library at the Pikeville Community Center.

"It's puppets and it's about a chipmunk and a dog who are learning about bullying and also learning the tools to stop bullying," Ms. Sheldon said. "They're also learning about working and playing together and friendship and that type of stuff."

"The Bully of Bookmark Park is an original Bright Star Theatre production.

"Greece Lightning" will be performed Thursday at 1 p.m. at Steele Memorial Library in Mount Olive.

"It's based on Greek mythology," Ms. Sheldon said. "It tells about the beginning of the Olympics, Greek gods and ancient Greece."

Lastly will be "Secret Garden" Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Wayne County Public Library.

"It's based in India and is the story of a girl who is ignored by her parents," Ms. Sheldon said. "So she has this fantasy land in the garden that she goes into. The story is about the child and her imagination and the friends she meets in the garden and the tea parties they have.

"We hit it all this summer with history, literature and character attributes."

All of the Bright Star Children's Theatre performances are free and open to the public. Seating is limited. Tickets are required for shows at the Mount Olive and Pikeville libraries.

Also in July, Sharon Clarke, Story Lady, will visit the libraries with her routine.

She's a storyteller and folk musician based in Chapel Hill, who's been doing storytelling about 15 years, Ms. Sheldon said.

"She combines the storytelling and the music and streams it all together," she said. "She also plays a guitar and a banjo. She'll sing part of her story, tell the story and act it out. It's kind of like a one-woman drama."

This year's show is a country farm theme, with old time country tales and tunes.

"She will do an interactive portion with the children and have a band of old time instruments with a washboard and buckets and stuff like that," Ms. Sheldon said. "The kids will have their own little band and will play and sing."

The Story Lady will perform July 25 at 10:30 a.m. at the Pikeville Community Center, sponsored by the Pikeville Library, at 1 p.m. at Steele Memorial Library in Mount Olive and at 4 p.m. at the Wayne County Public Library.

All of these special events benefit the children by exposing them to a different form of art, according to Ms. Sheldon.

"Yes, we are a library and we love reading books and want children to learn to appreciate those things," she said. "But things like a theater company and a storyteller expose children to a different type of art. Maybe the children have a creative personality and seeing 'Secret Garden' sparks them to read the book.

"Or maybe you've got a child who's struggling with dealing with a bully at school or maybe the child is the bully at school and this play might be a way that sparks that conversation with their parents or a teacher, or in their own minds makes them think, 'Hey this isn't right.' And it teaches them tools to deal with that.

"We want to be all inclusive and help children in all aspects of life, not just those books. We truly want to be a community center area for our kids to come in and learn the skills they need as they grow."

And Ms. Sheldon has seen the interest in reading that special events have sparked.

"Last year had a magician come and after he left, we could not keep our books about magic tricks and illusions on the shelf," she said. "They were just flying out the door. We didn't even have time to get them back on the shelves before someone else wanted to check them out.

"So we know these programs are having an impact on the children. Kids' minds are like sponges and they see something and are naturally inquisitive and want to learn and want to see more. That's what we like to do, teach them those things. We always say there's a book for everything. Just come to the library and we'll find it for you."

For more information about the Bright Star Children's Theatre or Story Lady events, call the library at 919-735-1824.