Trailer - Books on the Chopping Block 2021

Full Video of 2021 Books on the Chopping Block

Scheduled Events

Banned Books Week 2022 is Sept. 18-24.  Books on the Chopping Block Dates Coming soon!



If you are a library and would like to schedule an online performance, please contact Katy Nielsen at

2021 Chopping Block

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.


Books on the Chopping Block is our annual 60-minute performance of dramatic readings of short excerpts taken from these books. City Lit has teamed up with the ALA in celebration of Banned Books Week since 2006, performing at special events, libraries and bookstores in and around Chicago...and virtually this year.

Funding for Books on the Chopping Block is provided by Illinois Humanities.


City Lit Artistic Director Terry McCabe believes that concert readings of excerpts from challenged books actively celebrate the books most at risk, calling attention to the would-be censor's threat to an educated democracy. “Our focus is literate theatre, so we are naturally concerned by attempts to keep books away from people,” McCabe says. “We are privileged to continue our alliance with the ALA in this important work.”

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