In celebration of Banned Books Week, the Lewes Public Library, ACLU of Delaware, and Groome Church welcomes Del Shakes Artistic Squad.
Libraries in every state are facing an unprecedented number of attempts to ban books. In 2022 the American Library Association documented 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources, the highest number of attempted book bans since they began compiling data about censorship in libraries more than 20 years ago.
When books are banned, the voices of the author and the characters are silenced and readers are closed off to people, places, and perspectives. By standing up for stories, the power that lies inside every book is unleashed, and the array of voices that need to be heard and the scenes that need to be seen are liberated. Join us in the library as members of Del Shakes Artistic Squad bring the strength and the beauty of banned texts to life through dramatic readings. Stay afterwards for a moderated discussion led by Dr. Adenike Davidson on the readings and the issue of banning books.
Professional actors Mariah Ghant and Eric Mills, both members of Del Shakes Artistic Squad, will highlight the evening. Mariah often works with DelShakes, playing the title role of Macbeth in their 2023 summer production in Wilmington. She also works as the Artistic Associate and Library Manager for the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia. Mariah developed and produced last season’s readings of Black Lucy, Redux for the Lewes Public Library’s Shakespeare Festival. Eric Mills is a member of Del Shakes Artistic Squad and an avid reader. He has worked as an actor with many regional and local theaters and in the distant past dabbled in TV. He recently directed Shakespeare’s Playground for DelShakes and teaches theater around the region. He is thrilled to be back on stage with the incomparable Mariah Ghant.
Adenike Marie Davidson is a professor of Literature and Gender Studies at Delaware State University and serves as the Board Chair for Delaware Humanities. Dr. Davidson is the author of the book, The Black Nation Novel: Imaging Homplaces in Early African American Literature. Her scholarship focuses on reclaiming lost voices and texts, understanding race and gender across texts and eras, and connecting canonical and non-canonical texts to further examine the American experience.