A St. Petersburg theater company is setting up a library of recently banned books that will debut Saturday at the Localtopia festival of local vendors. It’s a response, they said, to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Legislature that passed laws aimed at removing books deemed objectionable from schools.
The library will be set up by American Stage Theater Company, which also plans to host two drag shows on Saturday at 163 Third St. N in St. Petersburg.
They bought nearly 100 books, free for anyone to take. Though it debuts on Saturday, the library will be available indefinitely, organizers said. It will be set up in a nook under a staircase in the corner at St. Petersburg College’s Downtown Center.
The books include “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison, which was recently banned in Pinellas County schools, while others, such as “To Kill a Mockingbird,” are facing challenges across the state and country.
On that same day, the playhouse will host drag shows at 1 and 2 p.m. on the theater stage.
“American Stage wants to be at the center of artistic expression, and anytime artistic expression is threatened, we pay attention,” said Avery Anderson, American Stage’s director of marketing.
Localtopia is expected to have its biggest year yet in celebration of local makers, artists and vendors in Williams Park, with more than 300 vendors signed on. It’s free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at 350 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg.