January 2017 Family Friendly City Guide

4-H announces award recipients

This year’s 4-H Member of the Year was awarded to Emma Jezek. Emma was recognized for her incredible dedication to the 4-H Program through her service on the 4-H Council, helping to create and establish the Junior 4-H Council, and leading the Manes & Tails 4-H Club with her mom. This Year’s 4-H Club Leader of the Year was awarded to Tess Jezek. Tess was recognized for her service as the 4-H Council Secretary, the Junior 4-H Council Advisor, and leading a growing 4-H club. Many other awards were given out during the event. For more information about how to get involved in 4-H, contact Liana Graves at the MSU Extension office, 315-2663. (Photo courtesy of 4-H)

Westwood Shakespeare Company starts 2017 with The Tempest

The Westwood Shakespeare Company will present Shakespeare’s The Tempest at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 11, at 7 p.m., on Wednesday, January 18, at 7 p.m., and as part of the second semester’s Sea Change show at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15, Thursday, February 23, and Wednesday, March 1.

“Seeing these young people working with classical literature, really makes Shakespeare tangible and real to the folks in our community,” said Westwood Shakespeare Young Company Director, Jamie VanEnkevort.

VanEnkevort said the show is filled with action, turmoil and lots of comedy, but has an overall theme of redemption.

“We’ve got great young character actors,” VanEnkevort said. “Come out and support these kids! They’re doing amazing work.”

Student director Mariah Cardoni added, “It’s a rare thing for high schoolers to have the opportunity to work with Shakespeare.”

Cardoni said The Tempest is definitely family friendly and emphasized that the play is an especially significant play among Shakespeare’s great works because it is the last he is believed to have written alone.

Westwood Shakespeare Company Artistic Director and Founder B.G. Bradley added that Shakespeare is believed to have played the main character Prospero on several occasions.

“So in Prospero’s final speech, you get to hear Shakespeare saying goodbye to his audience. It’s a rare moment in literature and drama to be able to experience such a thing,” Bradley said.

Bradley added that he couldn’t be prouder of the work VanEnkevort and the students in the Young Company are doing.

“This is what it was all about when we started in 2001—getting kids excited about Shakespeare,” Bradley said, adding that seeing the first Shakespearean production in the all new Patriot Performing Arts Theatre, will be a highlight for audiences. “The new light and sound, the trap doors, the gorgeous wooden stage and curtains all add to the experience. The acoustics are great and the seating is wonderful.”

Bradley added that the Sea Change productions of The Tempest, during the second semester, will be a unique experience for audiences as well.

“They’ll get to see the play again, with a somewhat altered cast, and with some previews of coming attractions from The Westwood Shakespeare Company.”

Sea Change will include a look at the upcoming Westwood Improv shows and this summer’s Westwood Shakespeare Company Community Theatre’s production of Hamlet.

Bradley explained that the WSC is actually a three-tiered program which includes the Young Company composed of students in grades 9 through 12, The Westwood Improv Troupe, also for high school students, and the Community Theatre which is open to actors of all ages and produces a major Shakespearean work each summer at the PPAT, at Lake Superior Theater, and in past years at other venues as well including Negaunee’s Vista Theatre, and the Peter White Community Room.

Bradley explained that the program is still expanding and always open to anyone interested in participating as part of the company or part of the audience.

“The whole goal is to make Shakespeare live in Marquette County,” Bradley said, adding that in the last few years the WSC has been aided in that goal by the work of the Upper Peninsula Shakespeare Festival. “We’ve shared lots of actors, including my sons and me.”

Tickets for The Tempest are available at the PPAT Box Office 45 minutes before showtime: $10 for adults, $8 for students, and $5 per seat for any group of 5 or more. Children under 10 are admitted free. For further information contact VanEnkevort at 485-1023

— Nice Community Schools

Open auditions for Hamlet set for January 8

The Westwood Shakespeare Company Community Theatre is holding open auditions for this summer’s production of Hamlet for actors and technical crew of all ages at the all-new Patriot Performing Arts Theatre.

Auditions will take place at noon on January 8.

According to WSC Artistic Director, and Founder B.G. Bradley, who will be directing the production, the company is looking for variety.

“We want folks who can play all the ages presented in Shakespeare,”  Bradley said. “And that’s all the ages.”

Bradley said actors of both genders will be considered for most roles.

According to Bradley, the company has a solid core of adult veteran talent from around the Marquette County area which includes many who participated in the high school or “young company,” while at Westwood High School, along with local professional actors.

“But in recent years we’ve had students from area high school, middle schools, and even elementary schools join the fun,” Bradley said. “These kids learn a lot from working with these wonderful veteran actors.”

Bradley said the production was adapted by WSC veteran actress Shannon Miller and gives a very modern spin to Shakespeare’s classic.

Bradley said those wishing to audition can come with a prepared piece, or do a “cold read” from the script for their auditions. Sign up forms are available on site. Scripts will be featured on the Westwood Shakespeare Company’s Facebook page in the not-too-distant future. Copies will also be available through email at bradleybg@nice.k12.mi.us

For further information contact Bradley at the same email address.

— NICE Community Schools

Sharing ‘language of love’ with children

One of the greatest pleasures of reading to children is reassuring them that we love them speaking the words out loud.

According to Dr. Gary Chapman, counselor and author of the series of books the The Five Love Languages for all members of the family, we can never say the words enough. He writes about all the ways we can say the words so others will understand and be reassured they are loved.

Although each child is a distinct individual with a distinct personality and individual love languages, one or more might be more powerful than the others.  The key, according to Chapman, is finding out the love language that works best for each of our loved ones and then communicating our love in their language.

Love languages

Dr. Gary Chapman’s five love languages are affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.

If a child thrives on words of affirmation here are a few ideas from Dr. Chapman. Post encouraging words, praise, or other kind words on your children’s door, in their mittens, or lunch. Compliment your children in front of others.

Catch your children doing well or something good and thank them. “Thank you for doing your chores today without be reminded.”

Look for strengths and notice their strengths. Cut up an uplifting note into pieces so your older children can put the words together. Text message words of affirmation to your teens, twenties, and older children often. Let them know when choices are intelligent, kind, and thoughtful, rather than only speaking out when there is a need to correct.  Say, “I love you” often.

Love books

When families read out loud to children starting with babies we share all five of the love languages.  Here are some beautiful books that help us speak the language of love.

Take Heart, My Children: A Mother’s Dream by Ainsley Earhardt; That’s Me Loving You by Amy Rosenthal;  Love You Forever by Robert Munsch; I Love you, Stinky Face by Lisa Mccourt; Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney; The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams; Juggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton; The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Martin; Molly Spreads Love Wherever She Goes by Suzanne Marshall; Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse; What Do You Love About You? by Karen Lechelt; I’m Wild About You by Sandra Magsamen; You Belong to Me by Mamoru Suzuki; This is Our Baby, Born Today by Nancy Paulsen; Sometimes We Think You Are a Monkey by Johanna Skibsrud; Everyone Says Goodnight by Hiroyuki Arai; and At Night by Helga Bansch.

For more ideas to prepare children for school and a lifelong love of learning,  see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com  and wnmufm.org/LearningThroughthe Seasons live and pod casts.

— Grandparents Teach, Too

Children’s museum offers special activities in January

The Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum in Marquette is hosting special activities throughout the month of January.

On Monday, January 16, the museum will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., NMU students will help guests with themed crafts, activities and special readings to commemorate the day.

On Thursday, January 19, Americorps volunteers will help present Family Literacy Night at the children’s museum. From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., participants can join in on a night of reading and fun centered around the theme of “Midwinter Bedtime Stories.” There will be prizes, crafts, refreshments, free books and more. This is a free event sponsored by the Literacy Legacy Fund of Michigan.

The museum will be closed on Sunday, January 22, in preparation for its 16th annual Culinary Journey fundraiser, an adults-only event that features the area’s talented chefs and their culinary creations around the world. Tickets are $70.

Little Art Lab begins January 12 in Marquette

Kids ages 4 to 8 can participate in the City of Marquette’s Arts and Culture Center’s Little Art Lab from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Thursdays, beginning January 12 and running through March 2.  Donations for supplies are welcome. Each Little Art Lab will take place at the Marquette Arts and Culture Center in the lower level of the Peter White Public Library. Pre-registration is recommended. To pre-register for the Little Art Lab, call 250-1996.

Game Day at MRHC returns

Back by popular demand, the Marquette Regional History Center will once again host “Saturday at the Center Game Day” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 21. A variety of games will be available, from pioneer games to table top hockey, a checker tournament, antique board games, floor games and more. A great family event. Included with admission.  Call 226-3571 or visit marquettehistory.org for more information.

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