Thursday, August 7, 2008

School's Out in Sarajevo

An amazing article in The Guardian today by Kate Connolly on a Sarajevo production of Nigel Williams' 1978 play Class Enemy.

According to Connolly, Bosnian director Haris Pasovic has remade the play entirely to shine a light on the current epidemic of violence in Bosnia's schools -- another legacy of the war in that country:

While they were rehearsing Klasni Neprijatelj, as it is in translation, the actors of the East West Theatre Company followed crime reports in the papers. These stories, referred to in Bosnia as "black chronicles", focused on violence in schools, which involved knives, guns and even bombs. Most shocking was the attack last February on a schoolboy travelling home by tram, stabbed to death by three pupils. The attack prompted 20,000 Sarajevans to take to the streets in protest at the growing violence in schools. EWTC actors conducted their own research in the colleges and schools of Sarajevo. They found a frustrated generation of children from broken homes, whose parents were still suffering the devastating effects - psychological and material - of the 1992-95 war.

Pasovic made his name in former Yugoslavia and in some very heroic stagings of theatre in Sarajevo during the siege from 1992-1995. It's good to see that he's still provoking audiences there and elsewhere. Maybe bring this to New York?

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