Wild things roam at library
Interactive story captures imaginations of youngsters
by Joseph Passantino
Reporter staff writer
Dec 01, 2013 | 4568 views | 0 0 comments | 102 102 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ANIMATED – Tyler Lemise, 2 1/2, is virtually hypnotized by the movements of the Tempest Production's Cynthia Mazzant at the library program.
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Scary but interesting creatures were captivating local kids when the Secaucus Public Library's Children's Department presented “Where the Wild Things Are,” an interactive story, on Nov. 16.

“Wild Things” was performed by the Tempest Production's Storybook Theatre program, which brings professional actors from the Hudson County-based, not-for-profit theater company into schools and libraries with the purpose of bringing familiar books and stories to life, according to Children's Department Supervisor Ceil Mucciolo.

The show was based on Maurice Sendak’s popular picture book, in which a young boy imagines an adventure after he’s sent to bed without dinner.

As the Tempest Players recreated the tale, the children became an integral part of the story by singing, dancing, whistling, and humming along with the characters.

The theater troupe also led the chidren through a pantomime exercise. It included having the children show the performers their faces of various feelings, such as sad, hungry, angry, happy, scared, and shy.

The children also deisgned and cut out masks to wear.

Great reviews

Suryakant Sharma was there with his daughter, Adwita, 5, who was also thoroughly entertained.

She likes art and dance.

“I read about Storybook Theatre, and I liked it,” Sharma said. “So I told her about it and she liked it. It’s very, very interesting and very nice.”

“It’s not just storytelling; they have so many activities here,” he said. “They did arts and crafts. They did reading, singing, expressions, storytelling, and acting.”

Sharma said Adwita is very shy, so the interactive event helps her and other children open up and express themselves.
“She’s having a good time. She’s really enjoying it.” – Ginny Butler
Ginny Butler, attending with her granddaughter, Ciara, 3, said her little one thought the performance was great.

“She’s having a good time,” Butler said. “She’s really enjoying it.”

Ciara “loves to read books, loves to act out stories,” so this was the perfect program for her.

Renee Rivard was there with her youngest child, 3-year-old Jen, who was enjoying the Sendak tale immensely.

“We come all the time,” she said. “The library has many programs for the kids.”

The basics

In addition to “Wild Things,” the Tempest Production Players performed interactive story time programs of “The Magic Hat” during the Secaucus Library’s Summer Reading Program and “Alice in Wonderland's Journey Through a Storybook” at the library's 10-year anniversary celebration in June.

All three performances were made possible through funding from the New Jersey Council of the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts, administered by the Hudson County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, County Executive Thomas A. DeGise, and the Board of Freeholders.

For information about future events, call the library's Children's Department at (201) 330-2085, email splyouths@gmail.com, or visit the facility’s calendar at secaucuslibrary.org.

Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.

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