Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Jeff Gottesfeld and Elizabeth Wong
Publisher: Dramatic Publishing Company
Estimated Runtime: 75 minutes
Number of Characters: 6
Cast Requirements: 1 woman, 5 either
Time Period: Present Day
Production Requirements: Modern day costuming, library and gym sets, video presentations if possible
Josh can bend frying pans in half! He can bench press and lift massive amounts and fly through push-ups, all to help control his Tourette Syndrome. Notwithstanding these feats, he’s a pretty rad librarian with mean storytelling skills. When he is not attending to other library duties or working on his video blog in the makeshift gym in the library basement, Josh helps a group kids with their homework, entertaining them with his own brand of storytelling, and even training them in the basement gym. Additionally, Josh takes “Mr. T,” a lonely boy who also has tics, under his wing. When news arrives that due to budget cuts the library will be closing, the kids decide to take a stand. They stage a sit-in style “read-in,” locking themselves in the basement gym, and gain media attention to help their cause. Their story grabs the attention of a fitness center, the library is saved, and Mr. T’s true identity is revealed.
Reader's attention will be instantly caught with Josh’s straight talk about life, books, and weights. Strong characters, engaging situations, and on-point dialogue keep the audience hooked to the end. Its themes of learning, book love, and working towards goals make it ideal for performance in educational settings. The library is celebrated throughout this play and shown to be a place where learning, friendship and magic can happen. Modern thoughts of libraries being irrelevant and archaic are faced and disproved. The young patrons take a stand to save the place that gives them opportunities that would be unavailable to them otherwise and work together to achieve their goals. Hard work and goals are also emphasized in Josh’s weight lifting and in the children’s fitness training. Through the character of Mr. T, we see a child with a disability learn to have hope and deal with his condition. This play is loosely based on the novel of the same name by Josh Hanagarne, some characters and situations are present but the mainplot line has been created for this TYA play.