You've heard of spin-off television shows, but ever hear about a spin-off organization? Now you have, as Making Books Sing — a program the begun as a program of the Vineyard Theatre — becomes its own full-fledged non-profit theatre organization starting in July.
The program which was founded in 1996 by Barbara Zinn Krieger, specializes in providing new plays, musicals and operas for young audiences of New York City. The new company will continue to draw upon notable children's literature works under the tutelage of its founder Krieger who will take on the position of artistic director. Expansion on local, regional and national levels is expected from its home in NYC.
Making Books Sing has been enjoyed my many public schools through performances and other programs. The very first production by the program in 1996 was an opera based on the Brooks McNamara book "The Merry Muldoons." Since then an estimated 20,000 students and teachers from over 70 schools have taken part of the performances.
Other staffers who join Krieger include co-founder Debra Sue Lorenzen who takes the managing director position and Kenneth Martin who will serve as general manager.
The new Making Books Sing will unveil its first production as an independent organization in Jan. 2003. The New York debut of "Bird Woman: The Story of Sacajawea" — a play with music by Ric Averil — will inaugurate the new company. For more information on Making Books Sing, call (212) 573-8791.
— by Ernio Hernandez