The inspirational tale of Tomás Rivera's childhood is poignantly captured in José Cruz González's Tomás and the Library Lady, Jan. 25 - Feb. 10 at The Rose Theater. Tickets are now on sale and a $5 discount is being offered to all Omaha Public Library cardholders.
Based on the best-selling children's book by Pat Mora, González brings both the real and imaginary worlds of Tomás Rivera to life on stage. In the play, Tomás travels with his family from Texas to Iowa, to find work in the fields. When the Rivera family arrive
in Iowa, they discover that their new home is little more than a chicken coop.
On a trip to the Post Office, Tomás discovers the Carnegie Library, where a librarian invites him in and introduces him to a world of books. Tomás enthusiastically shares the new stories that he has found with his family. Tomás teaches the Library Lady some Spanish, while he becomes more confident in English and realizes that he doesn't need to be afraid of his teacher in Texas anymore who chastised him for speaking Spanish.
To create the distinct worlds of young Tomás, director Cindy Melby Phaneuf and scenic/lighting designer, Brad Carlson took a minimalist approach that will provide rich results. Together, they devised a set that easily transitions between Tomás' real life in small town Iowa and the fictional world of his nine-year-old imagination. Front, rear, and overhead projectors will be used to incorporate images that represent the Rivera's home and the Carnegie Library.
Actors will interact with the overhead projectors during the show similar to shadow puppets or sand art that can fluidly set a sense of place. Other images will be static storybook illustrations for an imagined reality. The show will be presented in English, but a scattered use of Spanish adds authenticity.
Tomás and the Library Lady will be presented Jan. 25 - Feb. 10 on The Rose main stage. The 55-minute show is best for ages 5 and older. Performances will be offered Fridays at 7 pm, Saturdays at 2 and 7 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm. The 2 pm performance on Feb. 2 will be interpreted for the hearing impaired.
Tickets are available at www.rosetheater.org for $18 each. All Omaha Public Library cardholders receive a $5 per ticket discount on reservations placed in person at The Rose Box Office or by phone at (402) 345-4849. Discount ticket vouchers are available at all area Hy-Vee Food Store for $14 each.