The Library (play) at the Public Theater


I went to see the play the Library at the Public Theater with my friend the other night.  It is the directorial debut of Steven Soderbergh.  

The play centers around a young girl, Caitlin, who survives being shot in a Columbine-like shooting at her high school.  Caitlin lives in a community that is very much tied to the church.  A young man who was at the library when the shooting takes place points out Caitlin as the person who pointed out to the shooter where a bunch of students were hiding.  Caitlin says it was not her but another girl who was praying at the time of the shooting.  This incident is the main theme of the play.

Caitlin sticks to her memory that she was not the person who said something.  Tragedy pulls people apart. Barriers are built.  Sides are taken.  Even her parents who are having problems of their own that began before the shooting believe her. Yet they just want her to say I pointed out the hidden people to the shooter so that all the anger against them will go away.  Eventually police reports have the real truth come out.

It is an interesting play about an unfortunate reality that takes place more than it should in communities across this country.  High school kids are not adults and what parents learn about their secret ongoings has been part of growing up as far back as we can remember.  Of course why people have such easy access to guns is and will always be beyond me.  The play stayed with me for a few days.  Caitlin is a strong girl for her age.  She sees things for what they are where everyone else seems to have a blind spot.  Blind spots can be lies that just help us move forward instead of dealing with the truth.

The play lasts 90 minutes.  Going to the Library at Joe’s Pub afterwards is always worth the price of admission.