Thursday, December 29th, 2011
By Janie Southard
Ways of the theater explained in kids' book
  Silly Billy, a kid who thinks he knows it all, is the main character in St. Henry author Meghan Koesters' book on backstage technical theater. Born from an assignment at Bowling Green State University, the book on theater could be one of the first written for kids, according to the author.
"Our assignment was to create an educational picture book on a topic of our choosing. After some research, I found there were little to no children's books on the subject," said Koesters, a 2007 graduate of St. Henry High School who recently received a degree in arts and communication.
Koesters has always been interested in writing and has had several poems published. A playwright as well, a couple of her plays have been performed at the university. She also illustrated her latest book, "Silly Billy's Guide to the Theatre."
"It was tough last August to get through the initial process of working with the editors (at AuthorHouse, a self-publishing company). By this past November, they finally began printing and shipping my book," she said.
A little uneasy at first about self-publishing, Koesters said she's pleased with the outcome.
"For a reasonable fee, AuthorHouse provided print-on-demand, all shipping and marketing. Plus I get paid royalties for as long as the book is selling," she said.
Silly Billy is a kid who goes with his father to learn about theater before seeing a show. Silly thinks he knows everything there is to know, but his dad proves things aren't always what they seem. The boy and the reader get a basic education on backstage terms like fly system, grid, ghost light, green room and catwalk.
Koesters said the book includes a glossary, discussion questions, games and a how-to-behave in the theater section.
"My hope is that this will help educate kids and the adults who read to them about what goes on behind the scenes and hopefully will spark an interest in technical theater," she said.
"Silly Billy's Guide to the Theatre" is available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AuthorHouse.
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