OCL presents Stages Festival at 10 branches

TOMS RIVER –  New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s “Stages Festival”  will present seven programs at 10 Ocean County Library branches in March. These programs will mark the 16th anniversary of the library’s partnership with the Alliance.

The Festival brings professional, Broadway-quality programs to communities throughout the month, and Ocean County Library presents them to the public free of charge.

Throughout the years the performances have touched people of all ages and this year will be no different.

Preschoolers can enjoy programs like “Stone Soup and Other Tales” and “Frog and Toad.”  Seniors and families will be entertained by “Victorian Magic” and “IRL.”

“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” presented by Centenary Stage Company, is an adventurous, fun-filled performance complete with slap-stick comedy. In this family program an innocent milk-and-cookie snack time goes from mishap to calamity to catastrophe faster than the twitch of a whisker.

The performance will be held:

Tue. March 5 at 6 p.m. in the Manchester branch, (732) 657-7600

Sat. March 9 at 11 a.m. at the Pt. Pleasant Borough branch, (732) 295-1555

Tue. March 12 at 6 p.m. at the Pt. Pleasant Beach branch, (732) 892-4575.

“IRL: In Real Life,” presented by George Street Playhouse, examines the perils of cyber-bullying when four students encounter anonymous text message, secret photos, and threatened online conversations. The program, for teens (ages 11-17) and adults, investigates how students can take an active role to end cyber-bullying.

The performance will be held Tue. March 19 at 7 p.m. at the Jackson branch, (732) 928-4400.

“Schoolhouse Rock, Live!” by Surflight Theatre, is a pop culture phenomenon that has come to the musical stage. The Emmy Award-winning 1970s cartoon series that taught history, grammar, math, science and politics through clever songs comes to life at the Toms River branch, (732) 349-6200, Sat. March 9 at 2 p.m.

“Stone Soup and Other Tales,” presented by Pushcart Players, is a charming blend of carefully selected folk tales from around the world. Supporting the literacy movement’s emphasis on the joy of reading, this dynamic and participatory program is not to be missed by young viewers and families.

The performances will be held:

Fri. March 15 at 3:30 p.m. in the Lakewood branch, (732) 363-1435

Sat. March 23 at 2:30 p.m. in the Long Beach Island branch, (609) 494-2480.

“Let Freedom Ring,” presented by Pushcart Players, is a robust musical review that celebrates our nation’s birth and development. It is a compilation of authentic folk songs and vignettes that will appeal to children ages 5 and older.

It will be performed Sat. March 23 at 10:30 a.m. in the Little Egg Harbor branch, (609) 294-1197.

“A Year with Frog and Toad,” presented by Surflight Theatre, follows two friends, the cheerful and popular Frog and the grumpy Toad, through four fun-filled seasons. Neighboring squirrels, birds, moles and even a snail-with-the-mail all help to make this theatrical adventure a treat for children of all ages.

It will be performed at the Barnegat branch, (609) 698-3331, Sat. March 23 at 2 p.m.

“Victorian Magic,” presented by East Lynn Theater Company, brings actor Robert Aberdeen to the stage where he will delight audiences of all ages with his magical sleight-of-hand. Be careful, this family performance includes audience participation!

The performance will be held Sat. March 30 at 2 p.m. at the Stafford branch, (609) 597-3381.

Registration is required for the programs.  To register telephone the branch or go to the library Web site www.theoceancountylibrary and click on “Events and News” then on “Calendar of Events.”

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