The Dramatists Guild (Ohio Region) has teamed with Cleveland Public Theatre and Cleveland State University to present a daylong symposium, "Holding Our Tongue: Censorship in the Theatre." The event, held free of charge, runs Saturday, September 25th, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cleveland Public Theatre, 6415 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland.

Headlining the program is Turkish playwright Ozen Yula, who is spending nine months in Cleveland as the first visiting artist of the Cleveland Foundation's Creative Fusion Program. Yula's comedy Lick But Don't Swallow was slated for a February opening in Istanbul but was closed after being declared blasphemous by a newspaper. Plain Dealer theater critic Tony Brown will interview Yula; Dr. Michael Mauldin will speak about Yula's work with his CSU theatre students; and CPT will present the first English language staged reading of Yula's banned script.

An afternoon panel will explore censorship issues closer to home. All are affiliated with the Dramatists Guild, America's advocacy organization of professional playwrights, theatrical composers and lyricists: Ari Roth, artistic director of Washington D.C.'s Theater J, addresses artistic concerns that arise by presenting controversial subject matter; Palestinian-American playwright Betty Shamieh deals with the economic realities of creating theatre that presents alternative perspectives in a time of war; and DG Director for Business Affairs, attorney David Faux, explains the legal ramifications of censorship. Raymond Bobgan, CPT's artistic director will moderate.

The program is made possible by a generous grant from the Cleveland Foundation, with additional support from the Dramatists Guild.

Reservations are requested but not required and are available by contacting fsholiton@ix.netcom.com