This summer is going to be Super fun! Over the years, prior to my work with Markus, my former theatre companies (Krackerjack Theatre Co. and Driftwood Players) specialized in creating plays just for schools and libraries. These shows were based on classic literature for children, and held broad appeal to kids from pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade...and especially were popular among teachers, librarians, and parents.
Since Markus and I began working together in 2003, we loved to build upon both our "skill sets" and created wonderful shows that incorporated the magical arts into themed programs that also proved to be extremely popular among libraries and schools. Some of our Summer Reading Program themed shows are pictured here.
However, over the past few years our summer season has been SO jam-packed with performances out of state, for family resorts and other groups, that it has not been practical for us to try to create a specially-themed magic show for libraries. We've missed some really fun themes.
For Summer 2015, the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) has selected the theme of "Every Hero Has A Story", loosely based upon superheroes, real-life heroes, and heroes/heroines of literature and history...what an intriguing theme that is guaranteed to spark the interest of kids, whether of reading age yet or not! (Look at the popularity of comic book characters in today's films, for instance.)
Many magicians, storytellers, musicians, and variety performers are having a field day with this theme, and offering shows for libraries this summer that fit the "Every Hero Has A Story" theme. This year, so are we!! In the past, Markus and I have performed an actual Superhero Magic Show here and there for other groups, which drew upon Markus' extensive (and I MEAN extensive!!) knowledge and love of classic comic book superheroes! With a totally tongue-in-cheek style and presentation, those shows were hilariously funny and involved magic in ways that reinforced our over-the-top "superhero" characters.
For libraries this summer, our focus for this show is going to be on the library itself as a source of "super powers". If you think about it, what seemingly "impossible" things can you NOT learn if you know where to look and how to process the information you find? We'll still be campy and funny, but with a focus on how kids can find their own "super powers" within the library.
Markus is a magician; as such, his first taste of magic happened when he was 8 years old and read a book about legendary magician/escape artist Harry Houdini. The book, which he still has to this day, is "Houdini's Fabulous Magic" by Walter Gibson and Morris Young. Not long after reading it, Markus soon had read every book in his school library that had anything to do with magic or magic tricks. He learned his first magic tricks from books--this was decades prior to the Internet, and he maintains that that is still the best way to learn magic. So although he does not have "super powers" per se; to an audience, his magic tricks can still be viewed almost as if they are super powers. This power/ability has also led to him being able to make a living for the past four decades as a magician...so although he is not able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, he is able to make mortgage payments on a small house every month. :-)
Science, technology, artistic endeavors, individual talents, psychology, engineering...there's a wealth of "power" to be discovered just by knowing where to look and how to use it. The library is a terrific source of that knowledge and power.
We're going to have a great time visiting libraries in Southern Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts this summer! Caped Crusaders we are not, but be on the lookout for The Steelgraves in whatever guise they choose to adopt for this year's Summer Reading Program family magic shows!
Contact Us anytime.