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Liu reads to boro youth at Queensboro College

Liu took the stage at the Queensborough Community College Performing Arts Center Saturday and read Monica Gunning's "A Shelter in Our Car" to a packed house of children and adults. The reading was part of the college's Children's Book Club Series, which has been bringing children's books to the stage for more than two years. The reading was followed by a musical interpretation of the book by Making Books Sing, a theater company which takes popular children's books and reinterprets them as musicals. Both Liu's reading and the musical performance were accompanied by sign language translators, who translated the performances for several hearing impaired children and parents in the audience. Susan Agin, the managing and artistic director for the performing arts center, said it employs the translators for several of its performances and noted that the college is the only city arts center outside of Manhattan to do so. "The nice thing about having the children's shows interpreted for the hearing impaired is it gives families where either the children or parents are deaf, a chance to enjoy something together," Agin said, adding that the hearing impaired are often left out in the cold when it comes to arts programs. "It's up to us to include this under-served group of people." Liu himself has been helped secure city grants for the translation program, and Agin said she was excited to have him take part in a performance he partially made possible. "It really was a great thrill for us to have him participate," she said.Agin said the Children's Book Club series will close out this year's performances with a musical presentation of E.B. White's "The Big Adventures of Stuart Little" on March 25 at 2 p.m. Tickets for the event are $10 each and can be purchased online at www.visitqpac.org or by calling the box office at 718-631-6311. Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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