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Summer storytelling program and libraries partner to inspire

Summer storytelling program and libraries partner to inspire

Imaginations, check. Engaging original story, check. Free summer activity, check.

As the Authentic Community Theatre, Inc. (ACT) takes its “Storytelling in the Parks” and “Library Storytelling Programs” on the road, local children and adults will be treated to free performances throughout the county’s parks and libraries this summer.

The program is sponsored by The Nora Roberts Foundation. Nora Roberts is a bestselling author and Washington County resident.

The goal is to encourage children to read and be transported by their imaginations as they get lost in a book, comic book or other reading material.

ACT has been presenting “Storytelling in the Parks” since 2009, in partnership with the Washington County Recreation Department and the Hagerstown Parks and Recreation Department.

This is the first year they have partnered with Washington County libraries.

ACT was created to “both explore and encourage the application of the performing arts as a catalyst toward responsible social change and enhanced community cohesion,” according to a press release from ACT.

“We liked the idea of partnering with the library for their summer reading program,” Shalisha Nason Kerr, ACT Storytelling program manager, said in a phone interview.

This year the original script is based on the theme of the reading program, “A Universe of Stories.” The outer space theme includes astronauts and a character similar to a popular comic book character.

The scripts are based on or feature well-known books and children’s stories.

“This summer we will boldly go where no kid has gone before as we defy gravity and go on an extraterrestrial adventure into space,” according to the press release.

The four actors, script writer, musician and planning committee are all local residents.

“I think it’s one of the most fun things we’ve done. Even though they’re in a library or a park, the performance will take them to outer space. It’s just using their imaginations and going on this journey together,” Kerr said.

She said there is “definitely a lot of creativity” involved and children of all ages should be inspired by the live interactive performances.

“We came up with this entire thing out of our heads,” Kerr said.

There will also be performances at Boys & Girls Club, Meal Machines and other charity venues.

The performances are approximately 30 minutes long and open to the public.

“Imagination, creativity, reading, exploring parks and libraries, that wraps it all in one,” Kerr said of the summer programs.

Top photo: The cast for the Authentic Community Theatre Inc.’s summer storytelling program. From left, are Zane Oberholzer (as Boomer), Rachael Hey (as Miss Swizzle), Renee Emanuel (as Swoboda) and Nicholas Graves (as Louie Lightspeed). (Courtesy of Douglas Gomez)

Storytelling 2019 Dates and Locations

  • Monday, June 17 — 3:30 p.m. Boonsboro Free Library
  • Tuesday, June 18 — 1 p.m. Hancock Veterans Memorial Library
  • Wednesday, June 19 — 11 a.m. Williamsport Memorial Library
  • Wednesday, June 19 — 1 p.m. Leonard P. Snyder Memorial Library, Clear Spring
  • Thursday, June 20 — 11 a.m. Washington County Free Library, downtown Hagerstown
  • Thursday, June 20 — 3:30 p.m. Sharpsburg Library
  • Friday, June 21 — 11 a.m. Smithsburg Library
  • Monday, July 8 — 10:30 a.m. Pangborn Park Lake Pavilion
  • Tuesday, July 9 — 10:30 a.m. Boonsboro Shafer Park Pavilion #3
  • Wednesday, July 10 — 10:30 a.m. Smithsburg Veteran’s Park Pavilion #1
  • Thursday, July 11 — 10:30 a.m. Williamsport Byron Memorial Park Pavilion #1
  • Friday, July 12 — 10:30 a.m. Hagerstown City Park Bandshell
  • Monday, July 15 — 10:30 a.m. Cascade Pen Mar Park Dance Pavilion
  • Tuesday, July 16 — 10:30 a.m. Doub’s Woods Park North Pavilion
  • Wednesday, July 17 — 10:30 a.m. Fairgrounds Park South Pavilion
  • Thursday, July 18 — 10:30 a.m. Maugansville Ruritan Park Pavilion
  • Friday, July 19 — 10:30 a.m. Hagerstown Marty Snook Park Pavilion #1
  • Click here for more information. 

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