5 instructors + 50 students = ‘In the Library’ in Walla Walla

Artwork plays a role in the production, too.

Artwork plays a role in the production, too. Photo by Michael Lopez.

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WALLA WALLA — Five instructors and 50 students at Walla Walla Community College will come together to pay tribute to libraries through song, dance and art.

“In the Library” is an operetta composed by music instructor Kristin Vining and directed by vocal instructor Julie Jones.

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Vocalists rehearse for the upcoming "In the Library."

If you go

"In the Library”

March 18-19 at WWCC’s China Pavilion, 500 Tausick Road.

Preshow begins at 6:15 p.m., with art gallery open for browsing and story time in the Library Lobby corners.

Show begins at 7 p.m.

Admission by donation, to fund the next operetta. Appropriate for all ages.

Through a series of choreographed songs and a few stand-alone dance numbers, the show pays tribute to the world of imagination, discovery and possibility WWCC students associate with libraries.

“I thought it might be more literary feeling, but it’s way more about the human connection to libraries,” said Vining.

Vocal performance students attended a one-day workshop with Seattle University drama professor Ki Gottberg, who guided students as they wrote about their memories of libraries, books and reading. Those words became the text for the show, which Vining set to music.

In rehearsal, students sang an ensemble piece about the worlds opened up by reading: “Words dancing across pages into imaginations/where you can be/whatever you wish to be!”

Students of dance instructor Vicki Lloid will be part of the operetta for the first time this year, performing stand-alone dances to original music composed by Vining. Lloid choreographed the pieces, using the theme of libraries to inspire props ranging from books to library cards.

“If you start thinking about just about anything, you can come up with ideas for movement,” she said.

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Artwork stands ready for the show, which goes up March 18 and 19.

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Vocalists practice for the show.

Art students have also contributed original paintings and sculptures. Some depict individual books and scenes from them, while others are made from their pages.

Art student Maressa Trunkey is overseeing a series of paintings illustrating Peter Pan, while other students have created a 6-foot long dragon made of wire and recycled books.

“They told us it was library-themed, but not to limit ourselves,” said Trunkey.

These pieces come together in the performance, giving the audience a series of vignettes. Jones said for many students, libraries meant a connection to childhood. Students used words like “safe,” “comfortable” and “relaxed” to describe their early memories.

“What surprised me is how passionate all of these students are about libraries,” she said.

The show will run for two nights and is appropriate for all ages.

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