recess radio program

Chicago Children's Humanities Festival
    by John Cech


Brief sound clip

That's the opening from The Magic Lion, an animated film by Charles Githinji, from the National Film Board of Canada, which has a long tradition of producing some of the most original animated movies in recent times. The National Film Board is once again one of the participating organizations in Chicago's Children's Humanities Festival that will begin this coming weekend and run through November 14th. This major gather of talent, now in its fifteenth year, is dedicated to bringing some of the best writers, artists, and performers to young people in the Chicago area.

The theme this year is Time, and the many ways in which it is understood, experienced, and represented in the arts. Audiences at the festival will see one kind of time enacted in the highly compressed fantasy of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, in which a little boy named Max has an extraordinary journey that only takes a few minutes of actual time. This new production of Sendak's classic will be brought to the stage in a world-premier by the Emerald City Theater. On the other end of the spectrum, for older readers, Clive Barker will be exhibiting the art for and discussing the second of his Abarat novels that show through the adventures of Candy Quackenbush how boredom really is the dream bird that hatches the egg of the imagination.

Other performances at the festival include Anne Shimojima's "Timeless Stories from the East," the Mermaid Theater of Nova Scotia's dramatic production of three Eric Carle stories for young children, Michael Heralda's presentation of Aztec tales, and concerts from the Fulcrum Point New Music Project, with world premiers of music to accompany the picture books of David Wiesner and Eric Rohmann. David Gonzalez will be mixing South American creation myths with Latin jazz. The Encore Chamber Orchestra will offer an interactive program about musical time, called "Tempo!" Alas, there isn't enough time to list everything here, but take my word for it -- this is a festival that is second to none in its bringing togther the highest level of creative work being done to day by and for young people -- time after time.

Copyright 2004 John Cech

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Friday, 01-Oct-2004 11:20:28 EDT

"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."