Traveling troupe shows kids importance of reading

Flip’s dad is a disaster at fixing things, her mom is a terrible cook and her best friend is always in a bad mood.

What gives?

Well, that’s the norm when you live on Planet Nobuk, where there’s not a book to be found. Now pronounce it slowly — no-buk. No book. Get it?

Lucky for Flip that Playmakers of Baton Rouge’s Touring Company is bringing New Orleans playwright Morrey McElroy’s “Planet Nobuk” to local libraries, where her home not only will be surrounded by reading material, but also plenty of kids who will help plant the alphabet in her brain.

That’s when Flip will realize that a planet without books is a planet without information.

This is why Dad is clueless when it comes to basic repair, and Mom doesn’t know how to follow a recipe.

“A character named Booklight comes down to Planet Nobuk and starts pulling books out of a backpack,” says Danielle Adams, Playmakers’ education and tour director. “Booklight can’t believe that the people on Nobuk can’t solve these problems.”

This is where Booklight asks the audience for help.

“Kids love this play,” Adams says. “They call out the alphabet to help Flip. And when she learns the alphabet, she learns to read, and she’s able to help her dad fix things and help her mom learn to cook good food. And she makes her best friend happy by reading to her.”

Sofia Hurtado plays Flip, while Mirands Rozas takes on the dual roles of Chap and Booklight. Wil Thomas plays Mom and Dad.

“Since ‘Planet Nobuk’ takes place in outer space, there’s a lot of fun space language in it,” Adams says.

Language that includes such words as “kerflooey,” which happens to be the perfect description of Nobuk before the arrival of Booklight.

“The play lasts about 40 minutes, and our target audience is ages 3 to 10,” Adams says.

But don’t count out adults. They’re also welcome on Planet Nobuk, which will land at the Jones Creek Regional Branch Library at 2 p.m. Friday.

Ready to face a collection of kids armed with the alphabet.