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Whooo’s at the Swan Theater?

The Wild Swan Theater has been delighting audiences for close to three decades. Their productions are geared toward young people and are performed by a troupe of adult actors, musicians and dancers. Sign Language performers will also bring to life many children’s classics and provide young people with their first introduction to theater. Their latest endeavor is a collection of stories brought to the stage based on the popular children’s book Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel. He also wrote and illustrated the well-loved children’s books, Frog and Toad and Mouse Soup. The performance, part of the Kid’s Classic Series, is appropriate for children ages three to nine.

Thursday, January 23 at 10am and 1pm, Friday, January 24 at 10am and 1pm and Saturday, January 25 at 11am. Towsley Auditorium in the Morris Lawrence Building on the Washtenaw Community College campus, 4800 E. Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor. Tickets $8/youth and senior and $12/adults. A $3 “lap pass” is also available for children two and under. Call the Wild Swan Theater office at 734-995-0530 or online at wildswantheater.org.Tickets are also available 30 minutes before curtains open, depending on availability.
For additional information email, wildswan@wildswantheater.org.

Happy New Year to the Trees

The Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater Ann Arbor is hosting a family Tu B’ Shevat program. The holiday traditionally celebrates the “New Year” for trees as they wake from their winter slumber in Israel to once again bear fruit. Today the holiday is regarded as a day of ecological awareness in Israel and in the United States. The JCC Tu B Shevat family celebration will begin with a dinner. Following the meal, children will have an opportunity to participate in games and activities relating to nature and of course giving a shout out for trees and all that they provide. While the children are busy with activities, adults will hear a lecture by Dr. Raymond Young, from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment. The evening will include a chance to purchase  trees to be planted in Israel in honor or memory of loved ones. “This program is very exciting because it is an opportunity for families to study and learn about the environment together,” says Noreen DeYoung, JCC of Greater Ann Arbor program director, “and to become more ecologically aware.”

Thursday, January 16. Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor 2993 Birch Hollow Dr. For more information on this public event, contact Noreen DeYoung at 734-971-0990,
email noreendeyoung@jccfed.org or visit jccannarbor.org.

Recycling Family Fun

Kids will look at garbage in a whole new way. The Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and its Ecology Center education team are offering a free day of family-friendly fun courtesy of the city of Ann Arbor. Make your own unique “robot” or other artistic creation with recycled colorful scraps. Materials will be provided onsite, however visitors may bring their own used materials for constructing their “robot”. “The robot recycling craft is a new one this year,” says Laura Holladay, education director and coordinator of the MRF Ecology Center, “and we hope that the imaginative use of simple recyclable objects will inspire some great ‘robot’ sculptures.” Adults and kids can gear up in safety vests, hard hats, and safety goggles for a behind-the scenes guided tour of the recycling plant to answer questions during the visit. When you throw something away, it has to go somewhere — and we have important choices to make about where it goes.

Saturday, January 11 from 10am-noon. The MRF is located with
Ann Arbor's Compost Center and closed landfills at 4150 Platt Road, Ann Arbor.
Groups of five or more please pre-register. For additional information or to register,
visit ecocenter.org/education/mrf-open-house or call 734-369-9272.

Big Bully: A Rock Musical

Unfortunately, bullying is everywhere–at school, on the bus and, in the school-aged generation, online. How can kids react to bullies?  An engaging rock musical performed by the Children’s Theater Network demonstrates for kids and parents how to avoid bullying behavior. The Children’s Theater Network brings educational performances directly to school auditoriums thanks to a collaboration between Ann Arbor public schools, Linda Sprankle, and an anonymous donor. Big Bully: A Rock Musical uses laughter and catchy, toe-tapping music to demonstrate lessons of how to combat bullying. The musical journey teaches kids the four important steps in battling a bully: Set a good example, help them get away, tell a trusted grownup and be a friend. “This is a show that teaches kids preventative measures for bullying behavior, while they enjoy excellent music,” says Marissa Kurtzhals of the Performance Network Theater.

Saturday, January 25 at 1pm. Geared for children K-8, tickets are $10, under age 16, $7. Children’s Theater Network  at the Performance Network Theater, 120 E. Huron St.., Ann Arbor. Advance ticket orders call 734-663-0681 or visit performancenetwork.org. Tickets are also available at the door.