NEW YORK — A children’s theater company in Turtle Bay will tour the city this summer with a production that blends cute and cuddly polar bears with the more serious subject of climate change.
Making Books Sing, which uses theater to promote children’s literacy and social development, will present “If You Really Love Polar Bears” at 22 New York Public Library branches in The Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island.
The musical follows Patchy, a little boy who loves polar bears, as he learns what he can do to help save the earth and what climate change could mean for animal habitats.
“Kids can sometimes feel like [climate change is] such a bigger topic than they are," said Brooke Boertzel, director of education at Making Books Sing and the show's co-author. “We try to take an empowering slant that there actually is a lot kids can do to contribute and to be environmentally conscious.”
The show aims to highlight the various small ways children can change their habits and conserve energy. It has been performed at the Bronx Zoo and at several schools throughout the five boroughs, and Boertzel said the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive.
In one instance, she received an email from the father of a 6-year-old girl who came home from the show and gave her neighbors a talking to after seeing all the lights in their apartment switched on.
“She started yelling out, 'You’re hurting the polar bears! You need to turn off all your lights!” Boertzel recalled with a laugh. “There is a link there that it is connecting.”