Glen Kinnaird loves the theatre and he really loves sharing that passion with others.

In 2010, Kinnaird went along with a friend to watch as they put together a Broadway show, with his little dog, Tony, in tow. Kinnaird watched as Tony interacted with the actors and others who were working on the show.

In 2016, Kinnaird brought his love of theatre to Gardendale, using local children to put on a show and, at the same time, teach them about how the theatre works.

When he saw how hungry the students were to learn about the inner workings of the theatre, an idea formed. He could teach the students in front of him about costumes, lighting and production, but he could teach many more about the inner workings of the stage by using his dog.

During the summer theatre camp in Gardendale, Kinnaird met Livvy Porrill, a student at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. Porrill showed Kinnaird her sketches and he knew she was the perfect person to bring his dream of Tony and the stage to life. Porrill illustrated the book, which she said took about two years to complete.

In the book, Tony and his other dog friends overcome a conflict with a group of cats, with the help of some friendly mice, all while learning about what goes into making a theatre production work. The group then puts on a show together.

The book, Tony the Theatre Dog, can be purchased at the website tonythetheatredog.com or on Amazon.

Rachel Davis is the editor and general manager of The North Jefferson News. She can be reached at editor@njeffersonnews.com or by calling 205.631.8716. 

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