Schools and home-school families from Wayne and surrounding counties are invited to attend two daytime children’s shows coming to the area on nationwide tours.

Mermaid Theatre is performing “It’s OK To Be Different” at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, at Civic Hall Performing Arts Center, 380 Hub Etchison Parkway, Richmond.

The 60-minute educational production is based on stories from New York Times bestselling author Todd Parr. It offers messages of self-confidence, understanding and acceptance that are geared for preschool through third grade.

Sponsorship from Wayne County Foundation reduces the ticket price to $3 per seat for each daytime field trip.

Civic Hall’s second 60-minute children’s show is offered at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16. “Cross That River” is geared toward students in upper elementary and middle school.

It mixes history and fiction to share the life and struggles of a cowboy during slavery and early Reconstruction years. Blue, a runaway slave, escapes to Texas to become one of America’s first Black cowboys. Creator Allan Harris says the show represents a significant moment in American history, and tells a story that’s never been told.

A full-length version of “Cross That River” will be offered for all ages at 6 p.m. Feb. 16 as part of Civic Hall’s Proudly Presenting Series for the public. It will include a presentation from the Levi & Catharine Coffin State Historic Site in Fountain City. Tickets for that show are $45 for adults and $37 for students.

For more information or to make reservations, call 765-973-3350.

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A version of this article appeared in the October 11 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.