Tales & Scales hopes act is music to the eyes

Musical theater group bringing its interactive artistry to Columbia


Howard Live

October 16, 2003|By Marc Peters | Marc Peters,SUN STAFF

Tales & Scales, a musical theater group based in Indiana, is coming to Columbia.

The group, performing Sunday at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre, is one of six featured in the Candlelight Concert's Performing Arts Series for Children this season.

From its beginning in 1986, Tales & Scales has used minimal sets and costumes; its musicians act out each play as they perform on their instruments. The group, whose members range in age from 24 to 35, will present its version of The Arabian Nights. The interactive troupe attempts to get children involved.

"The style of performance Tales & Scales uses is called `musictelling' - it is this particular performance style that engages both children and adults alike," said Deborah Moore, artistic director of Tales & Scales. "The musicians also function as actors, using their instruments as props. We help [the children] see with their ears and hear with their eyes."

Candlelight Concerts' mission is to enrich Howard County residents with world-class concerts and educational programs. Toba Barth, coordinator of the Performing Arts Series for Children, said she booked Tales & Scales because of its universal appeal.

"I was impressed by their musical training, knowing they are all conservatory trained - in addition to their enthusiasm on stage and consistency in providing a great show for the audience. They relate to the children and bring the audience to them. ... It is all very inviting," Barth said.

Tales & Scales works with teachers and students from primary grades to the university level through workshops: Children concentrate on creativity, and artists focus on how best to engage youths during performances.

Tales & Scales will perform at 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway. Tickets, available at the door, are $9. Information: 410-715-0034.

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