The Thunders Have a Passion for Books

by Molly Gilmore for OLY ARTS

In “Playback Theatre,” the action on stage comes, not from books or scripts, but from the minds of audience members who are invited to tell their stories and see them come to life on stage. But at a Playback performance Feb. 10, books and personal stories will share the spotlight. The Heartsparkle Players and the Thunders will perform Stories of Our Passion for Books, presented in collaboration with De Colores Bookstore. The story behind this collaborative tribute began 19 years ago, when the Heartsparkle Players shared the playback form with a group of young adults who were, as founder Debe Edden put it, “on the spectrum of ability and disability.”

That group, dubbed the Thunders, has continued to learn from and perform with the actors of Heartsparkle. Each February, the Thunders train with the players and join their monthly public performance at Traditions Café. Some also act in the players’ Compassionate Action Project, which performs stories of love and compassion at schools and senior centers.

Though the Thunders’ membership changes from year to year, Simon “Si” Perretz-Rosales has been with the group since the beginning, performing nearly every February. “It’s really important to him,” said Robert Perretz-Rosales, Si’s father. “It’s something that he counts on each year. He loves all the people who are part of it.” Si also loves books—he’s a regular volunteer at Lincoln Elementary School, where he reads to students—and foreign languages. The Perretz-Rosales family owns De Colores, where Si serves as proprietor. The family was excited to be chosen as the partner for February’s performance. Each month, partnering organizations and businesses get a donation and a chance to talk about their mission. “What we’re trying to accomplish is really similar to what Debe and the Heartsparkle Players are trying to do,” Robert said. “We have a lot in common.”

Si shares his love of language at Playback performances. “He basically interprets what happens,” his dad said. “When people say things, he’ll say them again in French or Spanish, or if it’s an expression he happens to know in Swahili, he’ll throw that in.”

What: Stories of Our Passion for Books

Where: Traditions Café & World Folk Art,
300 Fifth Ave. SW, Olympia

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10

How much: $5-$10 suggested (no one turned away)

Learn more: 360-705-2819 | Traditions

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