Newton Performers to Present Story of Empathy, Kindness
This weekend, the performers will give a 10-hour, marathon staged reading of R.J. Palacio's "Wonder."
Sometimes kindness takes a back seat in our busy lives.
This weekend, a local group hopes to change that.
A cast of Newton residents will present a marathon staged book reading of "Wonder" on Sat., March 16 at the Newton Cultural Center at 225 Nevada St. The performance begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 7:30 p.m., according to a press release about the event.
"Wonder," by R.J. Palacio, tells the story of 10-year old boy who enrolls in fifth grade. The story deals with bullying, empathy, kindness and acceptance.
“This is a hopeful story about friendship and acceptance,” the press release reads.
The Newton "Wonder" performance is made up of 14 actors and 55 community readers. Chapin Galowitz, a sixth grader at Oak Hill Middle School, will play the lead role of Auggie. Galowitz’s real parents, Pamela and Adam, will play his stage parents.
“Not since being in middle school myself have I acted in a production, so I feel this is almost a first for me. The real reason however that I’m doing this is that I think the themes of the book are great for the community: the themes of tolerance and acceptance,” Adam Galowitz said in a statement.
Local student Dalia Bernstein came up with the reading idea last year during her fifth grade class at Zervas Elementary School. At the time, her teacher had been reading the book to her students.
“Dalia kept talking about how great the book was and told me to read it. I had never heard her so enthusiastic about a book before. After I read it, I understood why,” said Bernstein’s mother, Melissa. Melissa Bernstein is the director of the marathon reading and founder of the Newton Players Foundation.
The staged reading will take place throughout the day Saturday and will be broken up into five acts. The public is welcome to attend the whole event, or just the portion that has their favorite parts of the book. (See schedule below).
"Wonder"-inspired artwork submitted by local students will also be on display during the event.
Admission to the performance is free, but donations are welcome. Patrons are encouraged to bring a donation for the Newton food pantries.
The estimated schedule for the staged reading:
- Act I: (Part 1) - 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
- Act II: (Parts 2 & 3) - Noon – 1 p.m.
- Act III (Parts 4 & 5) - 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
- Act IV: (Parts 6 & 7) - 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
- Act V: (Part 8) - 6 p.m. - 7:30pm.