In 2005, playwright Adam Rapp was surprised to learn that his young-adult novel The Buffalo Tree, about a boy in a juvenile-detention center, had been banned from the 11th-grade reading list by the Muhlenberg School Board of Reading, Pennsylvania, for its graphic language and sexual content (apparently, a boy who becomes sexually aroused in the center’s communal shower was the primary culprit). Now, writer-director Rapp, a 2006 Pulitzer finalist and Obie winner for Red Light Winter, has written The Metal Children, which concerns a New York City author (played by Billy Crudup) who travels to a small Midwestern town to defend his censored work. Naturally, his visit (based on Rapp’s own trip to Reading) sets off a battle over religious beliefs and First Amendment rights. Obie winner David Greenspan, Guy Boyd, and Betsy Aidem are in the cast.
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 3 p.m.; Tuesdays, 7 p.m. Starts: May 5. Continues through June 13, 2010