The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund was pleased to co-sign a letter with the National Coalition Against Censorship objecting to the decision by the administration of Washington College to cancel a student production of Larry Shue’s The Foreigner after individuals in the college community objected to the portrayal in the play of members of the Ku Klux Klan.
The cancelation of a play, like the suppression or censorship of a book, would be troubling in any context. But on a college campus it raises the specter of a slippery slope in which the teaching of history itself may be censored in order to avoid disturbing images of racism and violence. How will America confront the most painful and problematic aspects of its past if those aspects are made invisible?
More speech is needed, not less. It's our hope that our letter, and the speech it represents, will contribute to a continuing conversation around this issue in the Washington College community.
President of The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund