30 Days of Teen Programming: Empowering Teens Through Theater

I can take no credit in the creation of my library’s longest-running teen-led program (teen programming guideline 3), and only a little for it’s continued existence since I took it over in 2007. Project Playbill is an intense, 5-week summer theater program. Teens meet together at the library three days a week to write, produce and perform an original short play. Besides the inherent value in their participation, we also entice them with volunteer service credit.

In 2008, My then-supervisor told me that I could cancel Playbill if more teens didn’t participate, because it sucks up a tremendous amount of time. In fact, because Playbill depends on teen leadership and labor to run, the fewer teens who show up, the more work I end up doing. That’s one of the reasons why no teen is ever turned away: you can’t host a teen-led program without teen participation. For the first couple of years I ran it, attendance hovered around five teens. I seriously considered putting Playbill out of its misery.

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Steve Martin Play Banned in La Grande

Steve Martin’s play Picasso at the Lapin Agile, was recently banned from production in a La Grande, OR high school, because parents objected to it’s adult content.’  The play is about an imagined meeting between Picasso and Einstein in Paris.’  ALA’s’ Office for Intellectual Freedom reports that over 420 books were challenged in 2007 (this is the most recent data available).’  ‘ If only every book could have a celebrity in’ it’s corner, writing’ a letter to the editor in the community newspaper, as Steve Martin did.
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