Can you imagine a world without reading?
That’s the question Lucas Myers asked himself when he set out to write his touring children’s show Captain Future Saves the Word, in which a nefarious character named Dr. SamGoogApplesoftsung-mart has enslaved society to his addictive social media app The Game of Life.
In this dystopian universe, people’s imaginations have withered and nobody reads. It’s up to Myers’ intrepid hero to save the day.
“Captain Future has come back to save reading and the imagination,” Myers told the Star. “And he does this by going through the history of reading with his time machine, which looks like a big old-fashioned radio.”
Myers takes his audience on a journey through the ages, making stops in the Paleolithic era, ancient Sumeria, the Dark Ages and Shakespeare’s time.
“Coincidentally, when researching this, I found out about this work being done at the University of Victoria. They didn’t used to count cave paintings as literacy, they were just considered images, but now they’ve matched those symbols to early forms of communication,” said Myers.
That means he can include them in the show, as he wants to celebrate literacy in all its forms. When he reaches the point in history when the Greeks invent vowels, Myers’ plays an anthropomorphic version of the useful letters.
“Shakespeare shows up too, of course, because it wouldn’t be a show about literacy without him.”
Myers’ celebration of the Bard involves a rap, which his daughters have already begun to memorize. He shared some of the lyrics with the Star. (See below.)
Myers has already performed the show in Salmo, Grand Forks, Invermere and Golden. His two upcoming shows are at the Tiny Lights Festival in Ymir on June 13 at 2 p.m. and at the Kaslo Jazz Festival in August.
Myers said it was a pleasure to create a children’s show for a change.
“It’s not dumbed down, and adults will get a kick out of it too. But part of this was me wanting to do something my kids could come see and enjoy.”
An excerpt of “Shakespeare Rap” from Captain Future Saves the Word
I am William Shakespeare, don’t ask me how I got here,
Words brought me fame but there is more to this game,
Than just putting words to paper and saying see you later,
If you wanna leave your mark and be cool as Don Draper,
You can’t let the words hide inside your head…
Swing before you serve to give words what they deserve,
Don’t hold it in, that’s a literary sin,
Say it loud, say it proud, say it to the crowd
Get out your book and read aloud!