Banned Books Event Set for Sept. 26 at Muhlenberg College
Muhlenberg College Banned Books Week events include improvisational dance and dramatic readings from censored works.
An event, commemorating the 31st anniversary of “Banned Books Week,” will feature an artistic, improvisational dance performance as well as dramatic readings from banned books. This year’s focus will be on the graphic novel Persepolis, which was also made into a 2007 French animated film. The story is about a young girl who comes of age during the Iranian Revolution.
The presentation will be Thursday, Sept. 26, at 12:30 pm and 7:00 p.m. in Trexler Library on the Muhlenberg College campus.
“The program will portray the dangers of censorship and the ongoing battle facing librarians, publishers, booksellers, authors and teachers,” says Cathy Leiber, co-founder of Judith’s Reading Room in Bethlehem.
Started in 2010 by Scott and Cathy Leiber, Judith’s Reading Room is a non-profit literacy organization dedicated to getting books into the hands of those who do not have access to books. The organization has donated nearly 60,000 books around the world, worth more than $600,000. The Leibers founded Judith’s Reading Room in honor of their cousin Judith Krug, a champion of First Amendment rights and founder of Banned Books Week.
Susan Creitz, a professional dancer in New York City for more than a dozen years, will direct a group of Muhlenberg College dance students. Creitz is a part time lecturer at the College and director of Six Meters, the Muhlenberg Improv Ensemble. The group will feature Persepolis, but also incorporate 40 banned books in the performance.
As part of the event, several books will be highlighted, including who banned them, reasons they were outlawed, and where and when they were banned. Some of the banned books highlighted will be The Great Gatsby, Lord of the Rings, The Grapes of Wrath and Gone With the Wind.
Judith’s Reading Room was one of seven national organizations to be awarded this year’s Banned Books prize by the American Library Association. The organization worked with Marissa Bottino, a recent Muhlenberg College graduate, to win the grant, enabling the Sept. 26 performances.
This event is free and open to the public, although space is limited.