ECO Discovery! Managing Director Maureen Schell, center left, talks with Molly Mouch, 11, while friends Riley Keel, 7, center left, and Sarah Hazel, 8, center right, joke together during practice for the Reader's Theater program.
Children connect with the words on the written page through Olander Park’s annual Reader’s Theater.
The theater emphasizes the written word having children vocalize a story, with expression, rather than memorizing lines which is called for in performing plays.
Maureen Schell of ECO Discovery! is heading up the nine-week program with the help of Heidi Yeager, children’s librarian at the Sylvania Branch Library.
"It is an opportunity for the kids to perform a reading," she said. "They perform the stories as readings. It is an opportunity for kids who don’t have acting experience to try it. And they also improve their reading skills."
PHOTO GALLERY: Sylvania Reader's Theater
Ms. Schell and Ms. Yeager assist the children in setting up the stage and picking out costumes.
About seven children are participating this year. They held some of the first lessons at the library picking out books for the vocal performance, Ms. Schell said.
Two students are reading from the book titled Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It is a novel about a young man who is born with a facial deformity, she said. Others are still looking for books that fits a dragon or bird interest.
The lesson, hosted from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, will take place at Olander Park’s Gorman Nature Education Center for the remaining days. Ms. Schell said Feb. 6 is the last lesson where children can register.
After that the readers will be practicing for their show day. It is set for 3 p.m. March 16, Olander Park, 6930 Sylvania Ave. Performers will hold a dress rehearsal at 10:30 a.m. March 15, followed by a pizza party.
To register visit olanderpark.com.
Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or email@example.com, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.