SELINSGROVE — Children are invited to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday with a special event at the Rudy Gelnett Library on Saturday.
The Valley Players Community Theater Organization is hosting the free event from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the library, located at 1 N. High Street.
Kids kindergarten age and older are welcome and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
This event is unique, said Valley Players member Tara Deljanovan, because it’s the first time the group has done something focused on younger children.
“This is actually our first event focussed on young children since I've been a Valley Players member,” said Deljanovan. “As far as older children, we have established two scholarships for both Selinsgrove and Shikellamy graduating seniors who have been involved in theater arts.”
Their involvement in the community isn’t limited to children’s events, though.
“Last year, several Valley Players members performed at the Selinsgrove Market Street Arts Festival, singing a variety of Broadway tunes to entertain the public,” she said. “We are hoping to do more community-based events for both children and adults to get the Valley Players name out in the community.”
The Valley Players have been around more than 40 years, but Deljanovan said she still meets people who seem surprised to learn that Valley Players exist.
“Thus, raising community awareness about our organization is something important we will be working on in the future,” she said.
The Valley Players theatre troupe is made up of a variety of ages and backgrounds. Specifically, the board consists of both professionals and retirees who are passionate about the arts.
“Our general members, who end up cast in or do backstage/technical things for our shows, are blue-collar, white-collar and everything in between,” said Deljanovan.
Members ages range from 20-70 and they are "always looking for new people to add to our group.”
At the library, members will be sharing readings from classic Dr. Seuss books including "The Cat in the Hat," "Fox in Socks," "Green Eggs and Ham" and "There's a Wocket in My Pocket."
There will be a fun and easy craft that goes along with each book as well as a door prize drawing of a basket of Dr. Seuss books, movies and other fun items.
“This event is the first time we've done something to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday, but it is certainly not the first time it's been done otherwise,” she said. “The first week of March is Read Across America Week, which always coincides with Seuss's birthday, and all throughout the United States, Read-a-Thons, assemblies, and guest speakers help students to recognize Dr. Seuss and the importance of reading.
Joyce Hendricks, a member of the Valley Players, taught art for 34 years, and has come up with a paper bag puppet project based on Fox In Socks, a Wocket in my Pocket figure, a Cat in the Hat paper plate project and also will provide bookmarks for the kids to color.
“I tried to design projects that would work for our target age group-kindergarten and up,” said Hendricks.
The Valley Players began in 1970 and to date have produced more than 140 shows -including dramas, comedies, musicals and musical reviews — throughout the Susquehanna Valley. They are currently based in the Packer House in Sunbury where they produce dinner theater. Next up on the schedule is “Five Tellers Dancing in the Rain,” and will be produced in August.
The organization has more than 150 members and is led by a dedicated board of 11 directors elected by the active membership.
“Our board meets three or four times a year,” explained Hendricks. “Members submit potential scripts for us to consider and we decide on what we will produce based on marketability, our venue and viability of casting.”
Like any community theater group, the Valley Players are always in need of a few good men (and women).
“Personally I have been a member since 1971, have served on the board in just about every position and I am currently treasurer for the group,” said Hendricks. “I have acted, directed, produced, worked tech and just about any other job that was needed to get a show on the boards.”
The Valley Players is open to anyone, novice or experienced, who might be interested in any aspect of community theater. Find them on Facebook to see how to become involved.