The 25th anniversary of the Afro-American Studies and Research Program is being celebrated with a symposium on a new genre of American theater. "The American Theater Giving Birth to a New Genre: The Documentary Performance and its Emergence Out of the Oral Tradition of the African Diaspora" will begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday in 180 Bevier Hall. The symposium will focus on the discussion and analysis of a new dramatic form that is neither history play, docudrama or one-person show, but rather "documentary performance," a term coined by Beverly Robinson, professor of theater and chair of the African Area Studies Program, University of California at Los Angeles. According to Robinson, who will participate in the symposium, the roots of this new genre can be traced to the oral tradition of African Americans, evidence of which can be found in the work of documentary performance artist and playwright Anna Deveare Smith, a Stanford University theater professor. Smith's most recent production, "Twilight," captures the many voices of the 1993 South Central Los Angeles riots, and her 1991 play, "Fires in the Mirror," is a searing account of two days of rioting in the Crown Heights section of New York City. The symposium will discuss the two Smith productions and "Passages of Martin Luther King Jr.," which uses unpublished materials drawn from the King papers project at Stanford. The author of the film, Stanford historian Clayborne Carson, and Victor L. Walker, Chancellor's Minority Postdoctoral Fellow in Afro-American Studies and theater, UI, who edited, directed and produced the film, will be among the symposium participants, as well as Marvin Sims, UI theater professor. Videotapes of the three performances are on reserve in the Media Center in the Undergraduate Library.