Attend The Bones of Butterflies, a Dia de los Muertos–Topeka event

Break out the sugar skulls and paper mâché flowers. Topeka is holding its first ever Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Festival.

The library is hosting one of the festival’s signature events, a concert reading of the play The Bones of Butterflies by Marcia Cebulska (its debut performance!) on Oct. 28 at 3pm in Marvin Auditorium. Cebulska traveled to Mexico on a grant from the Center for Kansas Studies to visit the Monarch butterfly sanctuaries there. The reading is produced by Martin Tanner Productions of Kansas City and directed by Richard Alan Nichols. It contains some adult language and is 90 minutes long.

The Bones of Butterflies is an exploration of forgiveness and the circle of life. Zoe, who studies the migration of monarch butterflies, is searching for her missing father. When she kisses a stranger in the rain, patterns emerge, secrets unfurl, and butterflies fall from the sky. Do monarchs fly thousands of miles to Mexico because of some magnetic force or is it, as the locals say, that they are the souls of the departed returning for the Day of the Dead?

Día de los Muertos is an ancient celebration and remembrance of the deceased loved one’s life. This is done not in a morbid and sad way, but one that is joyful, bittersweet, playful and creative. In Mexico, the entire family is involved in planning for their deceased loved ones during this important holiday. This holiday is also observed around the world, including many Latin American, Asian and European cultures. Source:

In Topeka, there will be events throughout the week. A full schedule of events can be found at The week culminates Nov. 2 at the Brown v. Board National Historic Site with a Día de los Muertos photo exhibit by Denis Defibaugh, Washburn University.

For more information, contact Marcia Cebulska at or

Lisa is a former employee and shared the library story in many of her posts.