Book-It Theater comes to town in April

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  • Courtesy photo The Book-It Theater will tell the story of Lonnie Johnson, engineer and inventor of the Super-Soaker water gun, in libraries across the region in April.

  • 1

    Courtesy photo The Book-It Theater will tell the story of Lonnie Johnson, engineer and inventor of the Super-Soaker water gun, in libraries across the region in April.

  • Courtesy photo The Book-It Theater will tell the story of Lonnie Johnson, engineer and inventor of the Super-Soaker water gun, in libraries across the region in April.

  • 1

    Courtesy photo The Book-It Theater will tell the story of Lonnie Johnson, engineer and inventor of the Super-Soaker water gun, in libraries across the region in April.

MOSES LAKE — The Book-It Repertory Theater will be performing live in Moses Lake, Soap Lake and George during the first week of April. The performances are sponsored by the North Central Regional Library. Admission is free.

The company, based in Seattle, performs dramatizations based on books. Performances are stripped down to three or four actors, who bring their own props and minimalist staging.

The company’s April performance will feature “Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions.” The play is based on the book by Chris Barton.

Performances will be April 5 at the George Public Library, and April 6 at the libraries in Soap Lake and Moses Lake.

The company has made previous trips to the region in partnership with NCRL, and has performed in Moses Lake, Ephrata and George. The traveling troupe focuses on works for children; the company also performs plays for adults at its Seattle theater.

The book and the play tells Johnson’s story. Born in Alabama, Johnson was described as a “tinkerer” as a child, interested in how things worked. He built robots and rockets and his own go-kart. He graduated from Tuskegee University, as well as earning graduate degrees from the school in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering.

He worked for NASA, one of the scientists on the Galileo project to Jupiter, and helped develop the stealth bomber. But kids know him best as the inventor of the Super Soaker water gun.

The Super Soaker is an example of serendipity, at least according to legend. Johnson was working on developing a cooling method for refrigerators when he accidentally sprayed water all over his bathroom – at least according to the legend.

Johnson owns two companies and currently is working on projects to use heat to make electricity, according to his biography.

The Book-It Theater’s traveling troupe takes a minimalist approach – actors change costume while the action is going on, props are in boxes that also double as scenery when necessary. People who want more information can contact their local library or the NCRL office in Wenatchee, 509-663-1117.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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