Monroe County's One Book One Community started with smooth instrumental jazz.
Every year the community chooses a book to read together, and this year's choice is "Station Eleven." The OBOC committee then plans events throughout the month that relate to the book for members of the community to enjoy.
The kick-off event this year was a Shakespeare performance, but the opening hour was filled with conversation and smooth jazz being played live while the people enjoyed some light refreshments.
The crowd was filled with both community members and college students, some coming for discussion, others for extra credit, but all enjoying the event.
"I'm glad that they're having this event because it's nice to learn and talk about the book," student Marion Martyres said.
"I like what she said, I like hanging out with her, I like the music, this is a really chill environment," her friend Tristan Rogaczewski said.
After an hour, the audience filed into the Meyer Theater to watch the main attraction, a performance of select scenes of Shakespeare that are closely connected to the book.
The Pigeon Creek Shakespeare company of Michigan performed the skits.
The traveling theater group primarily performs in Michigan, member Katherine Mayberry said.
Some of the plays performed include "A Midsummer's Night's Dream," "Henry V," "The Merchant of Venice," "King Lear," "Macbeth," and "The Tempest."
During the performance of Merchant of Venice, Kathleen Bode, who played Portia, incorporated members of the audience as suitors for her hand.
"The amount of work put into it is really impressive," student Daydeon Baron-Galbavi said.
Though some of the students came simply to receive extra credit in their class, that didn't stop them from enjoying themselves.
"The Shakespeare and theater ties in well with the class," Jessica Marimpietri said.
Other One Book events:
Landfill Harmonic film featured