Thursday, July 14, 2022

Hoosier Bookshop actors know their stuff

I have to admit, when I was writing The Enchanted Bookshop, I was worried that a lot of kids wouldn't know the characters.

I mean everyone knows Dorothy Gale, Tom Sawyer and Sherlock Holmes from the movies, if not the books. But even my own daughters didn't recognize a giant Robin Hood figure at a miniature golf course when they were kids--and I consider them to be well-educated (maybe I didn't expose them to enough Daffy Duck cartoons!).

As for Heidi and Pollyanna--well, there hasn't been a movie about them in a long time!

Of course, I didn't have much choice. Short of paying millions of dollars in licensing fees, I was forced to limit my characters to those in the public domain, many of whom were big in their day but are now largely forgotten.

I shouldn't have worried. At least not when it comes to the Jackson County Community Theatre of Brownstown, Indiana. Their Youth Artists group is performing my book-centered comedy this month and their local paper just gave them a great write-up.

"I like how it promotes how important books are and how important it is to read," said director Steve Deweese. "Growing up, if you're a reader, if you're bookish, you're a nerd, you're not cool, but this really shows that reading is an adventure, it's fun, it's exciting."

His biggest surprise? Many of the young actors already new the characters.

"I was really, really pleased that I have a cast of what appears to be readers who really in touch with the work," said Deweese.

Destiny Long, who plays bookshop owner Margie, had her own thoughts on the matter. "I really love how it's all characters that kids or adults even grew up reading about, and I love how this story kind of brings them all to life and puts them all together and they have to save a bookstore."

Long went on. "One of my lines is 'Oh, no, books are wonderful. They fill your imagination. They teach you about other times and other cultures.' It's really true, and so I really love how my character is literally what I would tell people."

Break legs, all! And keep on reading. That world of adventure is only a page turn away.