Thursday, March 1, 2012

"Titanic" reenactment at Jackson Hole Middle School on March 14

From the Teton County Public Library:

Teton County Library invites the community to come aboard the "Titanic" for a fun, historical reenactment and discussion of the fateful night this famously "unsinkable" ship hit an iceberg a century ago and the unthinkable happened.

On Wednesday, March 14, beginning at 7 p.m., would-be passengers may come to the Jackson Hole Middle School Commons where they will be greeted by the Titanic's crew. The Titanic's Captain Smith will be reenacted by the-one-and-only Terry Yazzolino, a Jackson musician and storyteller. Yazzolino's sons, Miles and Gabe, will serve as the ship's First Officer and Third Officer, and crew members will greet arriving passengers. The community party and reenactment is open to everyone who participated in the One Book One Family project by reading a Titanic-themed book and to anyone interested in being part of a fun, educational reenactment and discussion of this fateful event.

Participants will be assigned the identities of real Titanic survivors and be escorted to the ship's classes where those real survivors would have been assigned. The various classes of passengers will participate in small-group discussions of books they have read about the Titanic and the historical event itself. Then all passengers will gather in the first-class dining lounge for light refreshments, further conversation and a few surprises! Costumes are encouraged.

"We hope to draw on all ages and types of readers to attend just as the Titanic had such a diverse representation of passengers," said Debbie Schlinger, the library's Youth Program Coordinator. "Although we don't want to make this a celebration in any way due to the horrific consequences of that night, we do want to provide a happening that will be both memorable for the One Book One Family project as well as memorable of that historic night."

The reenactment and community discussion is the culmination of One Book One Family, a community-wide reading project to promote family literacy and community discussion. Families and local book clubs were invited to read a selected book about the Titanic and watch related films, marking the 100th anniversary of this historic event.

"We've all read different books about the sinking of the Titanic, but that said we can still have a conversation," said Lynn Wegner, who leads the Teton County Parent-Child Book Clubs.

"This ship was supposedly unsinkable. What went wrong? Human error? Arrogance? Was somebody asleep at the switch?" Wegner asked, giving a sampling of questions participants might discuss during the reenactment. "What must people have felt between the moment the ship was struck at 11:50 p.m. and the time it sank at 2:20 a.m.? There are so many questions, which might be why people remain fascinated by this event a hundred years after it happened."

One more Titanic event is planned for the anniversary of the sinking of the ship, which occurred on April 15, 1912. The community is invited to a free screening of the classic Titanic movie, "A Night to Remember" (1958) at the Middle School Commons from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, April 15.

One Book One Family is a collaboration of Teton County Library, Teton County School librarians, Teton Literacy Center, Lynn Wegner and Teton County Parent-Child Book Clubs.

"I'm excited to see the interest and energy so many folks have invested in this community-wide project from the school librarians to adult book clubs in the valley," Schlinger said.

One Book One Family events are free, and free book checkouts are made possible by a generous donation from the Rotary Club of Jackson Hole and District #5440. The Titanic reenactment evening and discussion also is being supported by the Friends of the Library, Teton County Parent-Child Book Club members, Persephone Bakery, Bistro Catering and High Country Linens.

For information, visit or contact Youth Program Coordinator Debbie Schlinger, 733-2164 ext. 118,

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