CHAMPAIGN — Some of Champaign-Urbana's best actors will offer two presentations this year of "Words in the Wind" — concert-style readings of children's books.
The first will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at Faith United Methodist Church, 1719 S. Prospect Ave., C. The actors will present a more casual encore performance at 7 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Station Theatre, 223 N. Broadway Ave., U.
Organized by Tom Mitchell, a University of Illinois associate professor of theater, both shows raise money for Illinois Public Media's Book Mentor Project.
A suggested donation of $10 per person or $20 per family will be requested at the door.
"The performances are created for adults, but children might enjoy them as well," Mitchell said in a release from WILL."It's a chance for grown-ups to take secret pleasure in enjoying the concise stories and playful language in books that we only get to read when we are kids or parents with kids."
As in past years, he said, the performances will feature surprisingly funny and sometimes profound children's books performed by actors and musicians.
The performers include Kent Conrad, Gary Ambler, Barbara Evans, Cara Maurizi, Christine Sevec-Johnson, Mindy Manolakes, Cameron Cornell, Angela Marcum, David Butler and Kay Holley. Also, Book Mentor Project volunteers Barbara Ridenour, Jessica Holmes and Joe Murphy will present "Caps for Sale" by Esphyr Slobodkina.
Among other books to be "performed" are "How to Make a Night" by Linda Ashman, "The Man Who Lived in a Hollow Tree" by Anne Shelby and Cor Hazelaar and "Cool Daddy Rat" by Kristyn Crow.
Illinois Public Media's Book Mentor Project recruits and trains volunteers to visit Head Start and early childhood classrooms, where they read a book and do a related activity with the children. Each child takes home a copy of the book, with about 5,000 books provided to 720 families yearly.
The project also reaches children and families through online games and videos, DVDs, mobile apps, classroom math and science kits and family nights.