This show will be interpreted for the hearing impaired on Saturday, Feb. 2nd at 2 pm.
Going to The Rose Guide
It’s almost time for our next production, “Tomás and the Library Lady.” We’ve assembled some special information to help you and your family to get ready. Before you go to the show, you might want to take a few moments to review this guide so everyone will know what to expect from the performance.
The Story You Will See
To find work in the fields, Tomás and his family travel from Texas to Iowa, where the only home that awaits them is a chicken coop. And on top of that, Tomás can’t stop dreaming about his nightmarish teacher who demands he speak English.
Tomás’ life is changed when he meets a librarian who introduces him to books. The stories enrich the lives of Tomás’ family and instill a love for literature that help Tomás overcome the hardships of migrant life.
This is an inspiring true story of a scared little boy who grew up to become the celebrated Chicano poet, author and educator, Tomás Rivera.
The Characters You Will Meet
• Young Tomás – A nine-year-old boy who loves stories, but is struggling to speak and read English.
• Apá – Tomás’ father who is migrant worker trying to provide for his family.
• Amá – Tomás’ very supportive mother who is concerned with providing her children with an adequate home and education.
• Papá Grande – Tomás’ grandfather, a great storyteller, who believes Tomás will grow up to be a great writer or painter.
• Enrique – Tomás’ very inquisitive younger brother.
• Nightmare Teacher – Tomás’ teacher in Texas who appears in Tomás’ dreams. She has little patience with Spanish-speaking students.
• Library Lady – A kind-hearted German librarian who befriends Tomás and teaches him how to read in English.
• Adult Tomás – A famous writer who is devoted to helping migrant workers receive a free and equal education.
Things to Know Before You Go
• Tomás is worried about going back to school because of a teacher who once yelled at him for not speaking English well. It causes him nightmares, which younger viewers might find slightly scary. Eventually, Tomás learns to confront his fear, which could provide a great teaching moment for your child.
• This story is about a migrant worker family. Throughout the play, the actors speak in both Spanish and English to bring the characters, settings, and story to life. Make sure your ears are ready for some new and interesting words – you might even enjoy researching some Spanish words on the internet!
Topics for Dinnertime Discussion
One of the best ways to enjoy a show is to talk about the story and the characters with others who attended. Below are some topics you may want to discuss.
Before the Show
• In this play, Tomás and his teacher do not speak the same language. How would you communicate with someone who speaks a different language? Try using only your body and facial expressions to say something to a friend. Do you think it is more difficult to get along with people who are different from you? Why or why not?
• Tomás’ parents are migrant farm workers. What do migrant farm workers do? Why is this job important? Do you think this would be a hard job? Why or why not?
• All of the actors in this show play multiple characters. If an actor does not change his/her costumes, what are some ways you can tell they are a different character?
After the Show
• Review some of the Spanish words presented in the play: elotes (corn on the cob), carne (meat), libros (books), tigre grande (large tiger), carbón (coal), lápiz (pencil), pájaro (bird), gato (cat), perro (dog), mañana (tomorrow), pan dulce (sweet bread). What other Spanish words do you know?
• Tomás and his family move from Texas to Iowa to find work. How might different members of the family feel about moving? If you had to move, what would you miss most? Is there anything you would be excited about?
• Tomás used to have nightmares about a mean teacher who forced him to speak English. Have you ever had a nightmare? What was it about? What did you do, or could you do, to make the nightmare go away?
• The library Lady is very helpful to Tomás. How can you help a student who doesn’t speak English well? How can you help a student who doesn’t read as well as you?
• As a child Tomás enjoys reading stories and he grows up to be a famous writer. What do you enjoy doing? What do you want to be when you grow up?
Awesome Aftershow Activities
After your family enjoys the show, you might want to try these fun activities at home to extend the experience!
•Tell Your Own Tale – When Tomás says goodbye to the Library Lady, she gives him a book with blank pages and tells him to write his own stories in it. You can do this as well. Start with a blank notebook. Decorate the cover and then fill it with your own stories. You can write about real life adventures or whatever you like!
• Double Cast – Did you know the same actress played both the Nightmare Teacher and the Library Lady? All the actors in this play used their imaginations to become more than one character! Try using your body and voice in different ways to create two different characters from a favorite story.
• Bake Bread – Ask a parent or a grown-up friend to help you make Tomás’ favorite treat, pan dulce! Recipes are available online.
• Build Your Own Biblioteca – Tomás spends a lot of time in the library. Be a set designer and draw a picture that depicts where Tomás and the Library Lady meet and form their friendship. What things would you see there? What would the shelves and reading area look like?
While at The Rose
• Stay for the Post-Show Q&A – Our actors end each performance with a 5-10 minute Q&A session conducted from the stage. The Q&A offers a wonderful opportunity for children to ask questions and learn more about the scenery, costumes, special effects, and more!
• Meet the Cast & Get an Autograph – Select actors from the show will be available after the show to sign autographs. Meet them on the mezzanine outside the entrance to the balcony level seats.
• Grab a Class Brochure – If you like what you saw on the stage and think you would like to be a part of it, try taking a class at The Rose Theater. The Rose offers a wide variety of classes for every interest and experience level.