Rockingham Library presents Modern Times Theater

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – The Rockingham Free Public Library kicks off the 2021 Summer Reading Program with Modern Times Theater in “The Perils of Mr. Punch: That’s the Story of My Life” Wednesday, July 7 at 5 p.m. at the Rockingham Rec under the open-air pavilion. In case of inclement weather, the rain date for this program will be July 15 at 5 p.m. also at the Rockingham Rec. Check in with the library at 802-463-4270 or for updates. This all-ages program is free and open to the public and is presented with financial support from the Vermont Dept of Libraries.

This updated classic follows the troubles and travails of puppetry’s favorite loudmouth, Mr. Punch. The skillfully operated hand puppets are made of garbage and upcycled materials, and are chock full of surprises and tricks, as is the elaborate stage. It’s a low-tech, old-time spectacle, entertaining to children of all ages. By taking the best from the long tradition of Punch and Judy shows, and bringing the art form into the 21st century, this classic remains alive, vital, and hysterical to both children and adults today.

This year the Rockingham Library Youth Department is looking forward to a more traditional summer reading program with a twist. Youth Services Librarian Sam Maskell says, “We’ve learned a lot in the last year about providing safe programs for all ages. So, most of our programs will be outside or virtual and masks will still be required to protect unvaccinated youth.”

Other programs scheduled to take place outdoors at the Rockingham Rec include “Wild Animal Tales” with the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum July 22 at 5 p.m., and Michael Caduto’s “Earth Tales from Around the World” July 29 at 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday morning storytimes at 10:30 a.m. will take place outdoors at the library, weather permitting, or online. Call the library, go to, or check the library’s Facebook page for current updates.

The library also has weekly online book groups for middle grade readers, Friday night Teen Gaming through, and in August a Teen Mini-Art Show. Teens can register now to receive a 3×3 mini-canvas and easel to paint and decorate to include in the exhibit in August.

Sign your kids up for the reading part of the program. Stop by the library to register or go online to to keep track of summer reading, then bring your kids to the library once a week to pick a free book off of the summer reading prize shelves.

The following week, the library will be hosting the 12th Annual Stuffed Animal Sleepover. What would your stuffed animal do if it spent the night at the library? Find out by bringing one of your dolls, figures, or stuffed animals to the Youth Department anytime between Monday, July 12 and Wednesday, July 14. We’ll create a video of how your stuffed animal spent the night in the library. Find the RFPL Youth Department’s YouTube channel online to see videos from previous years. Don’t forget to pick up your stuffed animal July 16.

This program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the library at 802-463-4270, email, go online to, or stop by the library at 65 Westminster St. in Bellows Falls.

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