The Little Theatre of New Smyrna Beach is putting on five upcoming performances of an original play as part of Volusia County’s NEA Big Read program. “Without Shoes” was written by Karen Poulsen – a local resident and activity project manager with Volusia County Library Services.
The play contains adult subject matter, as it’s designed to shed light on the serious subjects of the recovery of missing children and efforts to prevent child abductions. The performances will take place on Jan. 29, 30 and 31 and Feb. 1 and 2 and are free of charge to the public. The first four performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. The last one on Sunday, Feb. 2 will start at 2 p.m.
The play features an entourage of talented local performers, including a Volusia County library staffer and several library volunteers and local actors – Heidi Ackerson, Sophie Gonzalez, Janie Hale, Ellen Shaw, Emily Sowell and Terence Van Auken. Its central character, Macy, is in a resource center for missing children and adults. She sheds light on several abductions to raise awareness and in hopes of finding victims.Macy had lost her own child many years ago, and during a television broadcast, discovers a lead to her missing daughter. This full-length drama is a special community event in partnership between Volusia County Library Services and The Little Theatre, located at 726 3rd Ave. in New Smyrna Beach.
Poulsen wrote “Without Shoes” specifically for the Big Read, a five-week effort intended to encourage community reading through programs designed around a single book. The Volusia County Public Library system received a $15,000 NEA Big Read grant and selected the Celeste Ng book, “Everything I Never Told You” for its title. The Volusia County Council matched that grant with an additional $15,000. The library system’s branches and other venues are hosting more than 130 programs such as book discussions, author talks, concerts and informative presentations based on the novel. The Big Read program runs from Jan. 25 through Feb. 29. A complete list of local events can be found at www.volusialibrary.org.
Like “Without Shoes”, Ng’s novel deals with intensely traumatic family events and also raises the specter of a possible child abduction.