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Storybooks Come To Life At Library
The Dancer, center, argues with the Troll who had come from beneath the bridge to answer her wish in a performance by the Story Theatre group at the county library Florence Bessac Branch in Riverbank. The traveling duo presented their folk tales at library branches across Stanislaus County this month. Ric McGinnis/The News

The Stanislaus County Library system took advantage of local students’ time off for spring break last week to bring a live show to the Riverbank Branch.

Presented by Activated Story Theatre, a traveling husband-wife duo, the two stories kept their audience enthralled with colorful costumes and interesting characters. The event was hosted on Tuesday, April 18, at the Florence Bessac Branch, 3442 Santa Fe, downtown.

The first story pitted the Gingerbread Man, portrayed by Kimberly Goza, against the wiles of the Fox, played by her husband, Dennis. Turned out, the Gingerbread Man needed help from the Fox in crossing the river, because his feet would melt off if they got wet.

In the second story, the dancer (Kimberly) pulled one over on the Troll (Dennis) by using her “twin” to help beat him in races between his bridge and the rock over yonder. Together, they beat him every time, and collectively won the day over a sinister contract she signed in exchange for a pair of ballet slippers.

The troupe specializes in physical comedy and involving their young audience in the stories. They also feature a bit of sign language to go along with the action.

Based in Burbank, the pair spends most of the year traveling up and down California, then across the country, performing these skits. Kimberly commented, when asked about their home base, jokingly, “We’re there about four hours a year.” But she did say they got their mail there, as well.

The pair gets around in an RV, pulling a trailer that contains their props, costumes and sets, designed like the pages from a storybook. They were headed to Oakdale later that day and were to perform in Ceres on Monday, April 24, and at Waterford on Tuesday, April 25.