Children become a part of story at library program

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 19, 2010

By David Vitrano


RESERVE – Traditional storytelling conjures images of campfires and moonlight and hushed tones just before bedtime.

Frank Levy’s visits to St. John the Baptist Parish’s public libraries this week were anything but traditional.

Levy’s Stories in Motion literally pulled children who attended the summer reading activity at the Reserve branch Thursday out of their seats and into the action. A handful of the children had full-on roles in the story, and others were in charge of key sound effects, but everyone got to take part in the fun.

At Levy’s urging, the participants delivered lines and performed actions, and together they told a story that was both entertaining and stimulating. By the tale’s conclusion, the children had utilized their brains and their bodies in ways traditional storytelling never could. After bows were taken Levy congratulated the unwitting thespians for putting on a show with absolutely no preparation.

Frank Levy has been bringing his unique brand of storytelling to audiences of all ages for three decades, albeit in varied forms.

He has taught writing, speech and dramatics from the elementary to the university level. His professional performing career got its start with an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show when he was 18.

Nowadays, he spends much of his time working with or heading up local theater activities, many of which are based around the concept of instant theater, which lies at the heart of Stories in Motion.

Next up for the Summer Reading Program are a visit from storyteller Donald Lewis as well as the Wetlands Wildlife Van during the week of July 5-9.

Contact the central branch at 985-652-6857 for more information.

Also, starting Monday the Reserve branch will close for renovations. It is scheduled to reopen in October. Patrons may go to the next most convenient branch for them for library services.

Additionally, the central branch will be closed tomorrow in observance of Father’s Day.