Unique residency made possible by the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion International Artist in Residence Program
“For too long Cleveland has rested on the laurels of the 19th and early 20th century industry and culture that shaped our city’s historic identity and economy. The world has changed. Its perceptual size has shrunk while the impact of its creative and cultural diversity has greatly expanded.”
– The Cleveland Foundation
Creative Fusion, the Cleveland Foundation’s International Artist in Residence Program, is dedicated to fostering creative and cultural diversity and bringing new global perspectives to our communities. To that end, Cleveland State University and Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) are pleased to announce that their organizations have been chosen by the Cleveland Foundation to host the first Creative Fusion International Artist in Residence.
Creative Fusion is unique in the U.S. because the program is multi-year and brings artists of diverse cultures to the community for extended periods of time. Özen Yula, an internationally successful playwright and director from Turkey, will be welcomed by northeast Ohio’s theater and artistic community at a private reception on Tuesday, February 23.
Özen Yula is one of the world’s most daring, avant-garde playwrights and directors. His collected plays have been published in 5 volumes and translated into more than 10 languages, including Bosnian and Arabic. His work is characterized as dark, comical, visually daring and at the forefront of controversial issues of social justice and human rights facing our global society.
His other collected works, including novels, short story collections and essays, have been printed by several t publishing companies. He has written 8 books and his works have been performed around the globe.
During his 9-month residency in Cleveland, Yula will engage university students in theatre and the social sciences, at-risk teenagers, professional artists and the wider public. He will create two original works of theatre, one of which will be a world premiere professional production.
At Cleveland State, he will teach Dramatic Arts classes on creating innovative, original theatre, and serve as a guest lecturer for other departments. He will also create an original “Devised Theatre” piece with Dramatic Arts students based on issues of race and immigration that will premiere in April.
After his work at CSU, Yula will join CPT, where he will work with professional artists to create an original play with a world premiere in October at CPT. Yula will also engage in community outreach through education programs at CPT and The Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
“Creative Fusion’s goal is to raise awareness among Greater Clevelanders about the diversity of cultural experiences and expressions that are shaping our world, and to create opportunities for creative and cultural exchange for residents of our community and our own artists,” said Kathleen Cerveny of the Cleveland Foundation. “Özen Yula’s joint residency will engage students , the theater community and the public in a dialogue about global cultural issues and the role of the artist in furthering that dialogue.
“CPT brings to this project its experience of supporting artists, conducting exchanges, creating new work, conducting community outreach, and creating networks in the artist community,” she added. “CSU brings its strong community profile, engaged learning model, access to students, and extensive organizational resources.”
Creative Fusion is a multi-year initiative to bring accomplished artists from diverse cultures to Cleveland for extended periods of time. These artists will be embedded within existing cultural institutions to facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences across sectors, populations, ideologies and modes of creative expression.
For more information, please contact Kathleen Cerveny at the Cleveland Foundation at 216.615.7146, Raymond Bobgan at Cleveland Public Theatre at 216.631.2727 or University Marketing at CSU at 216.523.7279.
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