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Obie Award-winning playwright Adam Rapp, along with Joan E. Bertin (Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Censorship) and Brett Gary (Associate Professor at New York University) will discuss "The Real Story Behind THE METAL CHILDREN: Censorship and Literature" at a public forum presented by the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Vineyard Theatre and Barnes & Noble Booksellers on Friday, June 11 at 6:00pm at Barnes & Noble Union Square (33 East 17 Street - 4th Floor) in Manhattan. Newsweek's Jeremy McCarter will moderate.

The event is free and open to the general public.

Using Adam Rapp's personal experience as a starting point - Muhlenberg High School's school board confiscated and removed his young adult novel "The Buffalo Tree" from the curriculum in 2005; an event that became the inspiration for his play, THE METAL CHILDREN - Joan E. Bertin of the National Coalition Against Censorship, NYU Professor Brett Gary and Mr. Rapp himself, with moderator Jeremy McCarter of Newsweek, will discuss the larger implications of censoring literature both in the classroom and beyond.

The panel discussion at Barnes & Noble is being presented in conjunction with Vineyard Theatre's world premiere production of Adam Rapp's play THE METAL CHILDREN - which can be seen at The Vineyard (108 East 15th Street - between Union Sq. East and Irving Place) through June 13th.

THE METAL CHILDREN is a timely drama about a New York writer and his explosive encounter with a small American town to which he travels in order to defend one of his young adult novels, which has been banned by the local school board. The controversy ignites heated emotions over religious beliefs and censorship.

Directed by Adam Rapp, the cast of THE METAL CHILDREN features Betsy Aidem, Connor Barrett, Susan Blommaert, Guy Boyd, Billy Crudup, David Greenspan, Halley Wegryn Gross, Jessy Hodges and Phoebe Strole.

Billy Crudup made his professional stage debut at Vineyard Theatre in 1994 in Chiori Miyagawa's play AMERICA DREAMING, directed by Michael Mayer. He won a Tony Award for his performance in Tom Stoppard's THE COAST OF UTOPIA, and also starred on Broadway in THE PILLOWMAN, THE ELEPHANT MAN and ARCADIA. The Obie Award-winning actor and playwright David Greenspan recently appeared Off-Broadway in THE MYOPIA and CORALINE (for which he also wrote the book). He has won Obies for SOME MEN, Goethe's FAUST, THE BOYS IN THE BAND, and received the Obie for "Sustained Achievement" earlier this year. Guy Boyd appeared on Broadway in AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, SEX AND LONGING and ROSE. Betsy Aidem appeared at Vineyard Theatre in Mary Rose, and elsewhere Off-Broadway in A LIE OF THE MIND, STEEL MAGNOLIAS, PERA PALAS and BALM IN GILEAD. Susan Blommaert has appeared on Broadway in the 2007 revival of GREASE and at The Vineyard in Mary Rose. Connor Barrett appeared in Adam Rapp's play FINER NOBLE GASES. Jessy Hodges has appeared in over a dozen episodes of "Anyone but Me." Halley Wegryn Gross has appeared on the TV series "The Book of Daniel" and several episodes of "The Good Wife," as well as Off-Broadway in THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE and HURLYBURLY. Phoebe Strole appeared on and off Broadway in SPRING AWAKENING and MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA.

About the June 11th Panelists:

Joan E. Bertin (Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Censorship) is a graduate of NYU Law School, where she was a fellow in the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program. After law school, she spent seven years representing indigent clients as a legal services lawyer, and more than a dozen litigating civil rights and civil liberties cases at the ACLU. She has taught at Columbia University, where she remains on the faculty, and at Sarah Lawrence College, where she held the JoAnne Woodward Chair in Public Policy, but prefers activism to academia. She frequently speaks and writes on legal and policy issues, and is the author of more than 30 chapters and articles in professional books and journals.

Brett Gary is a cultural historian and Associate Professor in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University. He is the author of "The Nervous Liberals: Propaganda Anxieties from World War I to the Cold War" (Columbia University Press), and is currently writing "Bad Books, Birth Control, and Bolsheviks: Morris Ernst and the Liberal Anti-Censorship Tradition." He lives in New York City.

Adam Rapp (Playwright and Director) is an Obie-award-winning playwright and director. He is the author of numerous plays, which include NOCTURNE (American Repertory Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop), FASTER (Rattlestick), ANIMALS & PLANTS (A.R.T.), FINER NOBLE GASES (26th Humana Festival, Rattlestick), STONE COLD DEAD SERIOUS (A.R.T., Edge Theatre), BLACKBIRD (The Bush, London; Edge Theatre), GOMPERS, (Pittsburgh City Theatre), ESSENTIAL SELF-DEFENSE (Playwrights Horizons/Edge Theatre), AMERICAN SLIGO (Rattlestick), BINGO WITH THE INDIANS (The Flea), KINDNESS (Playwrights Horizons), and RED LIGHT WINTER (Steppenwolf, Scott Rudin Productions at Barrow Street Theatre), which was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He has published seven novels for young adults, including "The Buffalo Tree" (Front Street Books, 1997), which was struck from the curriculum at Muhlenberg High School in Reading, Pennsylvania in 2005, and "Punkzilla" (Candlewick Press, 2009), which was recently named a 2010 Michael J. Printz Honor Book. He is also the author of the adult novel, "The Year Of Endless Sorrows" (Farrar Strauss & Giroux, 2006), and the graphic novel, "Ball-Peen Hammer" (First Second Books, 2009). His playwriting honors include The Helen Merrill Award, The 2006 Princess Grace Statue, a Lucille Lortel Playwright's Fellowship, and The Benjamin H. Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. This summer he will direct a workshop production of his new play, WELCOME HOME DEAN CHARBONNEAU, at Seattle Rep.

Jeremy McCarter is a senior writer for Newsweek, where he covers culture and politics. He is the editor of "Bite the Hand That Feeds You: Essays and Provocations" by Henry Fairlie, which was published by Yale last year.

Performances of THE METAL CHILDREN continue Tuesdays at 7 pm, Wednesdays through Fridays at 8 pm; Saturdays at 3 pm and 8 pm and Sundays at 3 pm at Vineyard Theatre.

For more information about Vineyard Theatre, call the box office at 212-353-0303 or visit

For more information about Barnes & Noble Booksellers, call 212-253-0810 or visit

"The Real Story Behind THE METAL CHILDREN: Censorship and Literature" takes place on Friday, June 11 at 6:00pm at Barnes & Noble Union Square 4th Floor Event Space (33 East 17th Street - Union Square North). The event is free and open to the public.

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