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Family : 'Reader's Theatre Project' Bring Books to Life Downtown

November 15, 1994|LYNNE HEFFLEY

It might seem so from all the buzz about CD-ROM and the information superhighway, but books aren't passe yet. To encourage children to explore reading for knowledge and pleasure, the Los Angeles Children's Museum is taking the stage with its "Reader's Theatre Project," opening today.

"As part of our mandate from our trustees," said project director Candace Barrett, "we were asked to do something about literacy, so we looked at a number of ways to do that."

"One was to feature (November) as Book and Reading Month and do activities in various exhibits such as book-making, illustrating and having authors read from their books," Barrett said. Another was to "get kids turned on to books by presenting them in a theatrical way."

In the four different shows--"Wow!," "Really?," "Celebrate Me" and "Everything Counts"--made up of four stories each, "the book remains central," Barrett said, "physically as well as philosophically. The book itself is always on stage."

Some shows are geared for preschool and early elementary, others for upper elementary.

"We're working with Scholastic (Inc.) on this," Barrett said. "They have sent us a great series of wonderful books, so that every child will walk out of the theater with a (free) book."

* "Reader's Theatre Project," Los Angeles Children's Museum, 310 N. Main St., Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. and noon; Saturday-Sunday, noon and 2 p.m. Free with $5 admission. (213) 687-8800.

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