"The Nightingale" will delight families on Saturday January 15 at 11am and 2pm at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in Johnson City.

"The Nightingale" at Firehouse Stage

Parents with fond memories of “The Muppet Show” and “Sesame Street” can now bring their children to experience the joy of puppets, up close and personal.

The Goodwill Theatre will present “The Nightingale”, featuring the Robert Rogers Puppet Company, on Saturday, January 15, at 11 am and 2 pm at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in Johnson City.

Set in ancient China, this magical tale by Hans Christian Andersen - the world's greatest writer of stories for young people - is about the special friendship between a mighty emperor and a little bird. When a mechanical nightingale is sent to him as a gift, the emperor's affections shift, and the real bird is shunned. Darkness falls upon the palace and the emperor becomes ill. The only cure is true friendship.

The show is part of the Goodwill Theatre’s 2010-2011 Story Time Theatre Series, sponsored by Senator Libous’ BOOKS Program, in partnership with Morrisville State College; and Bates-Troy Quality Dry Cleaners. Each show in this series relates to a storybook that families can read before and after attending the show. Each Story Time Theatre performance also include a pre-show activity, such as coloring or a craft project, that relates to the story.

“Using puppets and music to tell a story is a great way to introduce children to the wonderful world of live performance,” says Goodwill Theatre CEO Naima Kradjian. “Robert Rogers’ shows are very amusing for children of any age, and the puppets are a visual delight for the adults in the audience, too. We schedule performances at convenient times, before and after lunch, so families can enjoy their Saturdays together.”

Robert Rogers established his touring repertory puppet theater in 1980. Since then, the Robert Rogers Puppet Company has performed throughout the United States and abroad. Rogers received his B.F.A. from the School of Arts of New York University, and he continued post-graduate studies at the University of Iowa. He has received grant support from the New York State Arts Council, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, the New England Touring Foundation, the Danbury Cultural Commission, the Meserve Memorial Fund, and the Puppeteers of America. His puppets have been exhibited at the Scott-Fanton Museum, the Roberson Museum and Science Center, the Discovery Center of the Southern Tier, and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts Gallery at Bradley International Airport.

“I've been a professional puppeteer for over 30 years,” said Rogers. “In that time, I've worked on productions specifically for children, some for adults, concert pieces with orchestras and even opera.”

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens and children. Reservations, and information on all shows, are available by calling the Goodwill Theatre Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 1. Tickets, if still available, will also be sold at the door. Doors open 45-60 minutes before show time. The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage, located at 46-48 Willow Street in Johnson City, accepts cash, checks and all major credit cards. General Seating is based on a first-come; first-served policy. Refreshments will be available for sale.

The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage is the first performance venue of the Goodwill Theatre Performing Arts Complex & Professional Training Facility. It is located on the corner of Corliss Avenue and Willow Street. Patrons are advised to enter the facility through the parking lot on Corliss Avenue. Parking is available in a small lot at the theatre, on-street, and in various Village municipal lots within two blocks of the theatre. For more information, interested persons can visit: www.goodwilltheatre.net

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