A fierce librarian comes to the defense of a challenged children’s book by a beloved American illustrator in the fact-inspired new play "Alabama Story," receiving its world premiere by Pioneer Theatre Company in Salt Lake City, Jan. 9-24, 2015.
"Alabama Story" puts isolated State Librarian Emily Reed — and the very idea of the freedom to read — in the spotlight as she faces challenges from the same politicians who fund her job and library service in 1959 Montgomery, Alabama. Kenneth Jones' highly theatrical play leaps from pages of history, exploring the moving story that earned Emily Reed international headlines (and a commendation from the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Foundation) when she squared off against a state senator in defense of "The Rabbits' Wedding," a new book by Garth Williams, best known for his illustrations in "Little House on the Prairie" and "Charlotte's Web." PTC artistic director Karen Azenberg directs this world premiere production.
Utah librarians and their friends, families and colleagues are invited to take advantage of a special group discount offer during the play's run, which includes a special Saturday, Jan. 17 post-show discussion exploring topics of librarianship and the Freedom to Read immediately following the 2 PM matinee. Special guests will include the playwright, director, actors in the production, Wanda Huffaker (Chair of the Utah Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee) and a representative of the ACLU of Utah, which has defended the right to read in multiple cases in Utah.
Emily Reed was a charter member of the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Foundation, which is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2015. In 2000, she received The Freedom To Read Foundation’s Roll of Honor Award. In commemoration of these events, the Freedom To Read Foundation is hosting a reception following the post-show discussion, 5-7pm on Saturday, January 17, in the S.J. Quinney Law Library, across the courtyard from PTC. Jonathan Kelley, FTRF Program Officer, will host and present on FTRF’s current litigation and education activities, and the importance of FTRF given the censorship challenges libraries are facing in Utah and across the country. Utah theater, library, and civil rights VIPs will be in attendance and will offer brief comments, as well.
In addition to these events, Martin Garnar, chair of the ALA Committee on Professional Ethics and board member of the Freedom to Read Foundation, will offer a free half-day training workshop to Utah librarians, library staff, and friends of the library members on Thursday, January 8, 1-4pm. Both the Library Bill of Rights and the ALA Code of Ethics had their 75th anniversary in 2014. Can principles that were first espoused in a time of printed books and radio programs still be relevant in the age of YouTube and Kindles? Join Martin Garnar for a lively discussion of how these timeless values apply to not only to today’s challenges, but also to tomorrow’s trends. Registration details are available by visiting: https://uslintellectual.eventbrite.com
These events are co-sponsored by Freedom to Read Foundation, J. Willard Marriott Library, Pioneer Theatre Company, Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake County Library Services, Utah Library Association, and Utah State Library.
“Alabama Story” Performance Details
January 9 through January 24, 2015
Mondays - Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday matinees, 2:00 p.m.
Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre
300 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City
$25 - $44 in advance; $5 more when purchased day of the show
Kids in grades K - 12 are half price on Mondays and Tuesdays
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT:
$5 off the cost of Main Floor and Loge seating for the first seven performances, when tickets are purchased on or before January 2, 2015.
Box Office: 801-581-6961
Open 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Mon - Fri
Utah Library Association (ULA) Discount Tickets
The Utah Library Association has made arrangements for discounted ticket prices at the January 17, 2015, 2PM and 8PM performances for ULA members and their guests. To get details and to purchase these discount tickets, visit http://www.ula.org/content/january-17th-alabama-story-ula-discounted-group-tickets
Anyone interested in arranging group-rate discounts for other performance dates may do so by visiting http://www.pioneertheatre.org/tickets/group-tickets/
In order to receive a group discount, an individual or organization must order
all the tickets at one time, pay for them, and distribute them to the members of their group. Group rates are not available by calling the box office and identifying yourself as being a part of a group.
Freedom To Read Foundation Reception
The American Library Association’s Freedom To Read Foundation will host an hors d'oeuvres and wine reception from 5:00-7:00 p.m. — between the two performances of “Alabama Story”— on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at the S.J. Quinney Law Library, located across the courtyard from Pioneer Theatre Company. A $25.00 contribution is recommended to attend, with a discounted contribution rate of $20 for FTRF members, Utah Library Association (ULA) members, and anyone with a ticket to either January 17 performance of the play. Contributions to the FTRF reception can be made in advance online www.ftrf.org/event/FTRF45_SLC, or at the door.