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National Library Week kickoff features Shakespeare

April 02, 2006|By ROBERT SNYDER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va.

National Library Week kicks off today in Berkeley County not with a bang, but with the bard as the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Public Library welcomes dramatist Hubert Rolling for the first in a series of events at the library's central branch in Martinsburg.

Rolling will perform a show he developed called "This Huge Stage," a selection of soliloquies and monologues from characters who personify one of the Seven Deadly Sins in a number of William Shakespeare's plays and sonnets.

The title of his performance, originating from the writer's 15th Sonnet, echoes Shakespeare's belief that his plays were a vehicle for writing about the world at large, Rolling said.

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"That's something that keeps coming up in his writing, this obsession with the idea that the stage is just a reflection of life on this great globe of ours," Rolling said.

Rolling, who performs dressed as Shakespeare, said he has more than a thousand characters to draw from, which helps keep the material fresh, but the memorization can be daunting.

The two-hour program begins today at 2 p.m.

Other events scheduled as part of the weeklong celebration include an after-school photography program Wednesday by Pat Murphy, who leads a class on the subject at the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Boys & Girls Club. The class begins at 3:30 p.m.

On Thursday, the library will host a seminar at 1 p.m. on genealogical research by reference librarian Keith Hammersla. The two-hour program will explain how to use online resources to track family information.

Thursday also will include a program by Brian Taylor, who uses listening dogs, Groover and Velma, to show how dogs can help adults and children improve their reading skills. That presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.

On Saturday, the library will host a puppet workshop and performance by local puppeteer Joe Santoro, and a Meet The Authors reading by a number of local authors beginning at 1:30 p.m.

National Library Week began in 1958 by the National Library Association to address declining library use and raise awareness about programming, said Carolyn Leporini, the library's head of support services.

"The library is more than just about romance novels," Leporini said. "You can learn a lot by going to the library."

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