Rives Collins and Lynn Kelso of Northwestern University’s department of theatre today announced the debut of “Imagine U Storytime,” a weekly video series presented by the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts at Northwestern. The program will debut April 19.

Collins, department chair of theatre at Northwestern’s School of Communication, says the series will provide engaging content for families during this time of social distancing, as well as highlight the talented students in the department’s theatre for young audiences training program.

“In the midst of the unknown, it is important to remember the power of the arts to connect us as a community,” said Lynn Kelso, Imagine U founder and creative mentor. “We are very excited to give this gift to our families in these challenging times. We don’t want to forget the children as creative artists. They are our most open and joyful audience.”

Imagine U Storytime videos can be accessed on the new Wirtz Center YouTube channel as part of the center’s ongoing effort to connect audiences with high-quality arts experiences across its digital channels. The weekly video installments, each lasting 15 minutes, will premiere Sundays at 6 p.m., and will remain posted for streaming after their premiere date.

Imagine U Storytime programs will include:

Sunday, April 19, 6 p.m.

“Who Knows the Name of the Story” and “Fill Up the House,” songs and stories featuring father-daughter duo Rives and Caitlin Collins and a special appearance by Lacie the dog.

Sunday, April 26, 6 p.m.

“Strong Girls in Stories,” a selection of stories performed by Hannah Hakim.

Sunday, May 3, 6 p.m.

“The Velveteen Rabbit and Cindy,” excerpts from the children’s classic by Margery Williams performed by Northwestern theatre professor Cindy Gold.

Sunday, May 10, 6 p.m.

“Knuffle Bunny,” by Mo Willems, performed by Adam Brody, Lucy Panush and Mia Nevarez.

“Imagine U Storytime” is inspired by the popular Imagine U performance series geared toward families with young children. The frequently sold-out productions take well-known children’s classics and adapt them for the stage. The program includes an opportunity to meet the cast, participate in workshops and receive a take-home program with activities related to the production themes.

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