Youth across Lake County will be transported to the world of ancient Greece as part of the Summer Reading Program Thursday, July 16, when families will be able to access “Legends and Myths from Mount Olympus” performed by the Traveling Lantern Theater Company based in Portland.
KB Mercer, managing director, said that normally the company would perform in person in the Lake County Library, but with crowd size restrictions and a long lead time the company decided to record the plays they were going to perform and to then release them to schools and libraries across the country.
“We decided to put the summer shows on tape, and will probably continue to do that for shows that go through the fall,” said Mercer.
She even said that when they can travel to different locations they will continue to put shows on tape to help expand their reach.
The story that children of Lake County will be watching is about ancient Greek myths and legends, exploring the world of Icarus, Midas, and Ceyx. It tells the story of a distant relative of the Greek poet Homer who is struggling to write a play for a festival honoring Zeus. Homer then asks Zeus to send him down so that he can help him write the play and get over writer’s block.
Mercer said that children will not only learn about ancient myths and their stories, but also how plays are developed and written.
Normally each performance would feature interaction with the audience, and bringing children onto the stage. This element will be missing from the recorded performances, though the actors have made the effort to speak directly into the camera and to engage with their audience. The performance lasts approximately 45 minutes, which Mercer believes is the perfect length for their target audience – elementary school children.
Starting July 16, families can call the Lake County Library and request an electronic key to access the performance. They then have unlimited access to the performance for a week. It is free to the public.
For more information call the Lake County Library at 541-947-6019.