Neil LaBute Pulls Mohammed Play From Anti-Censorship Event

News   Neil LaBute Pulls Mohammed Play From Anti-Censorship Event
 
Anti-censorship event Playwrights For a Cause, an evening of panel discussions and plays, has found a new home at the New York Theatre Workshop on June 14, though with the noted absence of Neil LaBute's controversially titled Mohammed Gets A Boner

The announcement follows last week's report that the event was canceled by the original venue, the Downtown Sheen Center. The cancellation and subsequent media coverage prompted playwright LaBute to withdraw his play from the line-up.

"Unfortunately the event was starting to become all about my play and its title," said LaBute in a press statement. "I had hoped my work would be viewed on its own merits rather than overshadow our message or become a beacon of controversy. I am honestly not interested in stirring hatred or merely being offensive; I wanted my play to provoke real thought and debate and I now feel like that opportunity has been lost."

According to an earlier press statement from the benefit, the Downtown Sheen Center had made the decision that some of the speeches slated for the panel, along with LaBute’s play, were not acceptable.

The evening, which will benefit the non-profit National Coalition Against Censorship, will now showcase three world-premiere one-act plays: Israel Horovitz’s Breaking Phillip Glass and Erik Ehn’s Her Speech, both directed by Glory Kadigan; and Halley Feiffer’s A Play About New Mexico, directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch.

The panel discussion will attempt to build bridges between different religions, races, genders and sexual orientations. Speakers include this season’s Planet Connections playwrights Cecilia Copeland, speaking on the history of censorship of women in the arts; Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin, speaking on the censorship of environmentalists; Michael Hagins, speaking on the history of censorship of minorities in the arts; and Mark Jason Williams, speaking on the history of censorship of LGBT artists. Playwrights Ehn, Horovitz and Feiffer will also be present at the panel discussions.

Playwrights for a Cause marks the opening night of The Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, a socially-conscious theatre, music and film festival that runs June 15-July 12 at the Paradise Factory, located at 64 East 4th St. For more information on he Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, visit PlanetConnections.org.

All proceeds from the evening will benefit the non-profit National Coalition Against Censorship, dedicated to promoting freedom of thought, inquiry and expression, as well as in opposition to censorship in all its forms. For more information visit ncac.

New York Theatre Workshop is located at 79 East 4th St., New York.

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