ALTON - At Alton Little Theater they are celebrating people, books, tolerance and civil discourse in the Month of March, with an important new play that hopefully people will talk about! The cast of ALABAMA STORY had a little fun looking at the New York Times Best Seller List of books for 2023 while still learning their lines for a play set in 1959 about a children's book that sets off a maelstrom of fear, forbidden love, courage and debate.

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Yes, ALABAMA STORY is on stage at ALT March 15, 2024, through 24, 2024, with a stellar cast and a touching story; Director, Lee Cox hopes that people will enjoy the dramatization (and humor) of ALABAMA STORY and perhaps pick up a book, any book l soon!

Artist and local Educator, Jamie Orban, helps incorporate large book renditions into the unique set design. The story is produced with love and dedication from Gail Drillinger, Malcolm Kraft, Jake Tenberge, Sean B.T. Williams, Jess McCawley, Hal Morgan, Dr. James Lieber, Josh Sarver and making his debut at ALT, Actor Dennis Frymire (recently relocating from Chicago) and taking on the pivotal role of Garth Williams - the illustrator of many children's books like LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, STUART LITTLE , CHARLOTTE'S WEB and many more...but it is his authorship and illustrations of " THE RABBIT'S WEDDING" that sets off a National debate about the " appropriateness" of certain books, that still exists in today's political climate. ALABAMA STORY is not preachy; it encourages thoughtful examination of others' concerns and wants to honor all those who "protect" the enjoyment of the adventures, dreams and affirmation that reading fosters.

A Collection of William's Children books, a biography, and a large gift certificate for local bookstores and quiet spaces to read -- will be auctioned off in the theater's traditional raffle basket, with $1 Chances to win $375 worth of merchandise!

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The play was not written with the intent to focus on the resurfaced issue of banning books, although the actors were shocked to learn that over 10,000 books have been banned in various states in the USA in the last 100 years. As a group, they only hoped that on-going discussions would continue to prevail in evaluating the merits of and cautions against labeling anything as " unfit" fodder for minds, young or old. It seems important that we all become discerning readers who make up our own minds of what we find merit in.

Of course, Parents must be the stewards of their children's education and become even more watchful of media exposure and become ever watchful of on-line consumption and hours spent in isolation. Parents should read and invest time in everything their children are interested in - for then, together, we become more literate, wiser and closer to understanding each other. The lessons of " forbidden fruit" have already shown us that knowledge, not restriction, lead to character development, especially when adults model quality in their own choices of hobbies and language. Many studies have confirmed that parents who love to read, foster children who also cherish books.

So, Lee Cox asks everyone to " please come and see ALABAMA STORY (based upon a TRUE) story and PLEASE, PICK UP A BOOK AND READ! "

The play runs for eight performances from March 15, 2024, through 2024, and certainly offers an alternative to the traditional March " Madness"!

For tickets, click here: https://altonlittletheater.org/upcoming-shows/

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