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The Gloucester theatre event for kids celebrates Fiesta with a live performance of a local author’s book.

Gloucester Stage Company, on June 27, will put on a special Playtime Stories event celebrating St. Peter’s Fiesta. A live performance of Gloucester resident Laura M. Alberghini Ventimiglia’s NONNA, WHAT IS ST. PETER’S FIESTA? will take place at 10 a.m. this Saturday at Gloucester Stage. 

An engaging combination of children’s stories and live performances for ages 2 and older, Playtime Stories offers young children the opportunity to experience the fun and magic of live theater as they watch their favorite books come to life onstage. To celebrate Fiesta on June 29, the Playtime Stories Company will also read and perform Tomie dePaola’s STREGA NONA. Following the performance, audience members will be invited to join the Playtime Stories Company in fun and interactive workshops and crafts relating to the story. On June 30, audience members can craft their own Seine boat and participate in Playtime Stories Seine Boat Races at GSC and make their own Fish magnets. 

Playtime Stories welcomes special guest author Laura M. Alberghini Ventimiglia to sign copies of her new book which will be available for sale. “We are honored to have Laura at this Playtime Stories special event to celebrate Fiesta for the second year in a row,” said Youth Acting Workshop Director and Teacher Heidi Dallin. “She is an inspiration to our audiences and the young performers in the Playtime Stories Company. Last year’s Fiesta Playtime Stories was standing room only – the biggest audience we have had in Playtime Stores history! The actors and I could not wait to bring Laura’s story back this year. NONNA, WHAT IS ST. PETER’S FIESTA? is now a Playtime Stories tradition.” 

Each Saturday from June 29 through August 17, the Playtime Stories Company, consisting of veteran members of the Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshop (YAW) program and special guest narrators, perform a children’s story against the backdrop of the story’s illustrations as well as create a dynamic weekly series of interactive events related to the story. “We have had a great response to the Playtime Stories program over the past four summers,” said Dallin. “It is a terrific way for YAW to reach out to younger audiences to spark their excitement in live performance. Many of the veteran YAW students in the Playtime Stories Company have been involved in the program since they were 5 years old and now they will inspire the next generation of YAW students!” 

Playtime Stories explores works ranging from classic fairy tales to new stories to pieces by local authors. Here is this season’s lineup. July 13: MAGIC 101: The Magic Tree House: Stage Fright on a Summer Night and The Magic School Bus: Inside a Beehive; July 20A DELIGHTFUL DAY of Dr. SEUS: The Lorax and Horton Hears a Who; July 27MYSTERY MAYHEM: Scooby-Doo and Where’s Mommy?; August 3: FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO READ ABOUT THEM: Where the Wild Things Are and Pegasus, the Flying Horse; August 10: BONJOUR! ADVENTURES IN FRANCE: Madeline and The Little Prince; and August 17: SUMMER FINALE: Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Very Quiet Cricket; and Judith Viorist’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. 

All Playtime Story performances are held at 10 a.m. at Gloucester Stage located at 267 East Main Street in Gloucester. Admission is $5 for one child (includes one free adult). Free coffee and donuts are provided by Jim’s Bagel and Bake Shoppe. For more information or tickets, call the Gloucester Stage Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visit