Words enhanced through multimedia performances in ‘Bringing Books to Life’

Take the "Literal" literally.

Uttering that evergreen expression, "Do you see what I’m saying?" they mean "Do you see what I’m saying?"

"People don’t like to read books, but if we can give them a picture, inspire them through the arts, maybe they’ll say, ‘Hey, maybe I should read that book,’ " says Michelle Thompson — aka "Ms. Michelle" — director of "Literal Drama," in which spoken-word excerpts delivered by local authors will be backed by depictions in dance, drama, mime and music Saturday at the West Las Vegas Library.

"It’s like a birthing vehicle to help inspire others to read books and even write books."

The Christian-themed "Literal Drama" — subtitled "Literally Bringing Books to Life" — features performers recruited by Thompson, who also bills herself as "The First Lady of Gospel Theater." An author/playwright, Thompson penned the comedic play, "Is That Man Your Husband," which has toured nationally. Writers who will read from their work, embellished by brief sketches and dance interpretations, include Las Vegans Arletia McInnis, Brenda Ward and David K. Williams.

"It’s art administering to people’s souls," says Williams, who will recite passages from his first book, "Before Our Very Eyes: The Abandonment of God’s Law On Our Watch," published last August. "Before cable TV and newspapers, arts was a way to let people know what was going on in their communities, and it touched people more than today, where you have remote controls and instant this and instant that."

"Before Our Very Eyes" blends spiritual and political topics, the latter inspiring Williams’ segment. "He brings the reader from the basement, sort of speak, to a place where they’re saying, ‘Oh, I see how something from the government reaches all the way down to my neighborhood and affects me if I don’t vote’ — it brings it right home to you," Thompson says. "We’ll do a dramatic piece where people go to the polls, and you’ll see people contemplating whether they should vote and then seeing the reward."

Ward, author of the self-help book "Improve Thyself," will participate in a segment set up as a psychological counseling session, in which she dispenses advice to a stressed college student. "We’ll dramatize that, and then I’ll give the solution," Ward says. "This is an excellent way to allow new authors like myself to get known and get out there."

Borrowing her play’s theme, Thompson will explore relationships, aided by the show’s entire artistic complement. "I’ve got dancers, actors and singers bringing out the piece I’m doing," Thompson says. "It will affect both men and women, both married and unmarried, to bring them to a place of understanding that marriage is a wonderful thing — just make sure it’s for you."

You see what she’s saying?

Contact reporter Steve Bornfeld at sbornfeld @reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0256.

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