Snippets is our series of staged readings. Special guests read children’s books while we animate them with “snippets” of puppetry, drama, and music. Thanks to the Community Foundation of Ottawa, we’ve been presenting these events for free at The Irving Greenberg Centre, in partnership with GCTC, since the summer of 2014. Snippets has become so popular that we’re now able to present more than one performance of each one. In 2015, we received a grant from the ARTicipate Foundation to also repeat some of them at the Shenkman Art Centre. In all, we’ve presented 11 readings, with the following guest artists:
Snippets of Mice and Moles, with GCTC director Eric Coates, August 2014
Snippets of Fairy Tales, with puppeteers Mat Kelly and Vic Thepmontry, September 2014
Snippets of Happy Families, with actors Nicole Milne and Chris Ralph, October 2014
Snippets of Snow, with OYPTS director Kathi Langston January 10, 2015 at GCTC
Snippets of Valentines and Velociraptors with actor Robert Bockstael, at GCTC, February 13 and 14, 2015
Snippets: Free as a Bird, with musician Russell Levia, September 12 at the SAC and September 19, 2015 at GCTC.
Snippets of Knights and Night-Time, with musician Ainsley McNeaney, October 9 and 10 2015, at GCTC and October 11, 2015 at the SAC
Why do we do Snippets?
The staged readings are a lot of fun for us. We love working with new people. We like trying out new books and stories, and sharing old favourites with new audiences. It’s great to be able to show the audience how important and fun it is for families to read books together. But Snippets is also great way for us to shake things up in our work for young people. Our own Rag & Bone shows can take two years from start to finish – writing the script, making the puppets and props, rehearsing with the music, and memorizing everything. We’re very proud of those shows, but sometimes it’s fun to throw something together in a week, and improvise. And it can be really fun to get people up from the audience to participate!
How do we find the books?
At the library, of course! Although some are our own books, or borrowed from friends. It’s usually one book that inspires the theme. The idea for Snippets of Paper came from a book about paper dolls. Then we searched the library website for books about books and paper. We thought of cutting out paper crafts, and folding paper. Our daughter, Rosemary Nolan, loves origami. And our friend Doreen Cowin, of the Child Care Provider’s Resource Network, suggested “Cut and Tell Stories”. Russell Levia, our guest, came up with songs that worked around the theme. And before we knew it, we had a show!
Where do we get all the puppets and props?
From our basement, mostly! We store all the props and puppets for our shows in our garage, but the basement is full of, well, other stuff. Puppets that people have given us. Toys from when our kids were young. Sewing supplies, woodworking supplies, costumes and hats. Also we love to find treasures at second hand stores wherever we travel. (Then we have to find a place for them in the basement . . . and remember where we put them!)
Snippets of Paper: 1:30 on January 10 at the SAC, and January 22 and 23 at GCTC with guest Russell Levia. Reserve your free tickets here.