"The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats," opens this weekend at the National Museum of American Jewish History, the first major United States exhibition to pay tribute to the award-winning author and illustrator. Keats' ground-breaking book, The Snowy Day, was published during the height of the American civil-rights movement and featured the first African-American protagonist, in an urban setting, in a modern, full-color picture book. Keats is credited with introducing multiculturalism into mainstream American children's literature, having drawn upon his experience of anti-Semitism and poverty in his youth to create pieces that reflect universal concerns of children. Explore over 80 of the artist's original works, from preliminary sketches to final paintings that recall his tenement childhood, a brief survey of African-Americans in children's literature, Keats' most popular and most introspective work, as well as a display of his palate, brushes, and materials used in collages, through October 20, 101 South Independence Mall East, Philadelphia. A family guide is available along with related programming and events.
The Writers' Room, Arden Theatre Company's Playwright Residence Program, presents "At the Old Place," by Rachel Bonds, onstage through July 28, directed by Edward Sobel. Following her mother's death, a literature professor returns to her family home in Richmond, Virginia only to find two young people camped out on her lawn. The funny, poetic tale features Kristen Bailey, Aubie Merrylees, Kathryn Petersen and William Zielinksi, 40 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia. Bonds' readings have been performed at McCarter Theater in Princeton and Manhattan Theatre Club in New York.
Please Touch Museum hosts "Star Wars Day," Sunday, July 21, 11am-5pm, with iconic toys from the 1970s to today from the museum's collection, Star Wars-themed story times with favorite characters, galactic art activities, dancing and more, Memorial Hall, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia.
Shakespeare in Clark Park returns for an 8th season with the Bard's final play, "The Tempest," July 24-28, 7pm. The cast includes Catharine Slusar as Prospero, is directed by Adrienne Mackey, and features original music by Sean Hoots of Philadelphia's Hoots and Hellmouth, at "The Bowl," 43rd Street & Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia. Free. Bring chairs and blankets and flashlights! Rain location at St. Francis De Sales School.
Enjoy some down home fun at the Annual New Jersey Peach Festival and Gloucester County 4-H Fair, Thursday, July 25 through Sunday, July 28, 4 days of peach activities for all ages along with live music, carnival rides, animal shows, craft fair, and much more at the 4-H Fairgrounds south of Mullica Hill, on Route 77, Bridgeton Pike.
- Public Radio