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.

Comments (Archived):

  1. AG

    Just yesterday I got into a conversation about gun control. It was an offshoot of a conversation on abortion, and I was challenged to make a compelling argument for restricting the freedoms of individuals who want guns, when I so staunchly support all other freedoms. Nothing new here and naturally the typical arguments come to mind. But it did make me think more yesterday about whether I am okay with saying, “no you cannot have X because I think the dangers outweigh the costs.”

    1. Gotham Gal

      You cannot have X because the dangers outweigh the costs. It is a huge point.Although this is a different subject I was talking with someone who lives in Washington State about an hour south of the tragic mudslide. He said that there is an area in Washington that was on the water where the Gov’t basically bought everyone out and forced them to move from that area. Needless to say there was a lot of brouhaha around that. Who is the Govt to get involved in how we want to live our lives, etc. Nobody lives in that area anymore and because of that it is safe. There were countless warnings about the mudslide area but again who is the Govt to get involved. Fast forward a tragic mother nature accident happens that not only costs millions of dollars in relief efforts but countless heart-aching tragedy for the community and relatives left behind.Are guns the same? Doesn’t it make sense to have a different set of laws in place so that the dangers of putting a gun in anyones hands just walking freely through the street outweighs the costs?

      1. AG

        I agree and am for gun control. It’s especially a no-brainer when it comes to assault weapons and the like. But I do think these issues raise concerns about freedoms and where and how we draw lines. There’s always a line drawing problem and at some point one must acknowledge that the acorn is an oak tree. How we draw these lines, though, is interesting, and it’s made more interesting when we consider the fact that the people drawing these lines are often not trusted by a large portion of society.

        1. Gotham Gal

          absolutely. love the acorn analogy.