Star Trek, Reading Rainbow's LeVar Burton to Read Stories Live During Coronavirus Quarantine
The Star Trek: The Next Generation crew is doing its fair share to help provide comfort to those in self-quarantine. Patrick Stewart is reciting one of Shakespeare's sonnets every day. Now Next Generation's Geordi La Forge and former host of Reading RainbowLeVar Burton is bringing his storytelling skills to you during this period of isolation. Burton hosts the LeVar Burton Reads podcast. Each week during a season of the show he reads a piece of short fiction. Now LeVar Burton Reads is coming to Twitter as a live-stream three times a week to help people cope with being stuck at home. The videos begin this Friday and will continue on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule thereafter. Each day will focus on a different age range. Mondays will be for kids, Wednesdays for the YA crowd, and Friday for adults.
Burton announced the news via Twitter but did not reveal what stories he's selected to read. In a previous Tweet, he let fans know that he as trying to figure out an easy way to find stories he can read without infringing on anyone's copyright. "I’ve been busting my brain for about a week now trying to figure out how to do a live-streamed version of #LeVarBurtonReads," he tweeted. "I figured that during this difficult time I could contribute by reading aloud to folks who could use some diversion for themselves and their families. In order to avoid legal complications, I’ve gone down the rabbit hole searching through volumes of short stories in the public domain for appropriate content for families and have come up empty."
He tweeted again later, indicating he'd gotten some solid suggestions from fans. He also got the permission of American Gods author Neil Gaiman to read anything he's written on the show. "You have my blanket permission for any of my stories Levar,” Gaiman replied to Burton. HarperStacks also responded to Burton's tweets, replying "We are granting permission for online readings of HarperCollins Children’s Books titles through May 31, 2020."
In 2019, ComicBook.com spoke to Burton. He shared with his mission statement for the LeVar Burton Reads podcast.
“If I had a mission statement for LeVar Burton Reads, it would be to remind the Reading Rainbow generation how important reading is in their lives, and their imaginations,” Burton says. “I guess more than anything else that's the message that I want. I want people to engage with their imaginations, with these stories. Because, especially as adults now, you guys are adulting. I don't want you to stop using your imaginations because you're going to need them going forward. Because there's a whole lot of shit we're leaving for you to clean up. I'm sorry about that. I apologize, but I am trying to encourage some of the skills and talents you're going to need going forward.”
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