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‘Imagine U Storytime’ continues with new stories through July 19

Northwestern theater students, faculty and alumni share weekly stories on video

Imagine U Storytime with E. Patrick Johnson
Imagine U Storytime with E. Patrick Johnson premieres June 28, 2020 on the Wirtz Center YouTube channel

E. Patrick Johnson, professor of African American studies and performance studies, shares “Precious and the Boo Hag,” a children’s fairytale by Patricia C. McKissack and Onawumi Jean Moss, as the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts at Northwestern University “Imagine U Storytime series continues.

“Imagine U Storytime” launched April 16 on the Wirtz Center YouTube channel. New videos, each lasting 15 minutes, are posted Sundays at 6 p.m., and remain posted for streaming.

Rives Collins, chair of the theatre department at Northwestern’s School of Communication, said the series provides engaging content for families during this time of social distancing, as well as highlight the talented students in the department’s Theatre for Young Audiences training program.

“In the midst of the unknown, it is important to remember the power of the arts to connect us as a community,” said Lynn Kelso, Imagine U founder and creative mentor. “We are very excited to give this gift to our families in these challenging times. We don’t want to forget the children as creative artists. They are our most open and joyful audience.”

The lineup of stories and storytellers includes:

Sunday, June 21, 6 p.m. CDT
“A Frozen Dance Lesson,” performed by Eugenie Morton (’20)  (Paused from June 7 to honor the life of George Floyd.)

Sunday, June 28, 6 p.m. CDT
“Precious and the Boo Hag,” by Patricia C. McKissack and Onawumi Jean Moss, read by Northwestern African American studies and performance studies professor E. Patrick Johnson.

Sunday, July 5, 6 p.m. CDT 
“Elephant and Piggy,” by Mo Williams featuring Northwestern alumni Sam Shankman (’17) and Phoebe Moore (’17).

Sunday, July 12, 6 p.m. CDT
Northwestern professor of theatre Henry Godinez and daughter Lucy Godinez (’18) share stories and song. Selections include “Pelitos,” from Sandra Cisnero’s best-selling “The House of Mango Street” and the “Last Stop on Market Street,” by Matt de la Peña and Lucy sings, “American Mariachi.”

Sunday, July 19, 6 p.m. CDT
“Winnie the Pooh,” by A.A. Milne, presented by MFA Directing Candidate Nate Cohen and Jane Emma Barnett ‘20, Elam Blackwell ’22, Juliet Huneke ’22, Ruchir Khazanchi ’21, Felicia Oduh ’20, Bennett Petersen ’22, Jay Towns ’22, and Olivia Worley ’20.

“Imagine U Storytime” is inspired by the popular Imagine U performance series geared toward families with young children. The frequently sold-out productions take well-known children’s classics and adapt them for the stage.

The program is part of Wirtz Center’s ongoing #sharethearts effort, as well as Northwestern Arts at Home, a digital roundup of high-quality music, art and theater offerings available for audiences to stream at home while Northwestern’s arts venues remain closed.

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