Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States. The ALA releases a list each year of the top ten most frequently challenged books as reported to their Office of Intellectual Freedom.
Books on the Chopping Block is our annual 60-minute performance of dramatic readings of short excerpts taken from these books. City Lit has teamed up with the ALA in celebration of Banned Books Week since 2006, performing at special events, libraries and bookstores in and around Chicago.
City Lit Artistic Director Terry McCabe believes that concert readings of excerpts from challenged books actively celebrate the books most at risk and call attention to the would be censor's threat to an educated democracy. “Our focus is literate theatre, so we are naturally concerned by attempts to keep books away from people,” McCabe says. “We are privileged to continue our alliance with the ALA in this important work.”
2011 cast: Jim Morley, Katy Nielsen, Lindsay Madison & Gordy Andina
City Lit’s 2012 Books on the Chopping Block performance series took place at the following locations this year:
Chicago Public Library: Austin-Irving Branch on Saturday, September 29th @ 2:00 pm
Glencoe Public Library on Sunday, September 30th @ 2:00 pm
Chicago Public Library: Bezazzian Branch on Monday, October 1st @ 5:00 pm
Chicago Public Library: Roosevelt Branch on Tuesday, October 2nd @ 3:30 pm
Chicago Public Library: Near North Branch on Wednesday, October 3rd @ 6:30 pm
Chicago Public Library: Harold Washington on Thursday, October 4th @ 2:00 pm
Fleetwood-Jourdain Center at 1655 Foster St., Evanston, IL. on Saturday, October 6th @ 3:00 pm
Come join us. All events are free to the public!
"The programs have been top notch and audiences have appreciated both the dramatic interpetations and the spotlight on what type of material gets challenged in the United States. Our patrons enjoy this thoughtful, thought provoking program."
- Mark Kaplan, Branch Manager, Bezazian Library Branch