September 27, 2010
The internationally acclaimed theatre company, DAH Teatar of Serbia, will present a series of free, public events during a four-day residency, October 11-14 at Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois.
The residency will include two performances of "Crossing the Line," a play that will be performed nationally by DAH Teatar this fall. The play is based on women's stories of violence and loss, courage and endurance during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia.
Named after a Serbian word "dah," pronounced dokh, that can mean breath or soul, DAH Teatar was created by a group of women in Belgrade in 1991, at the same time as the brutal ethnic conflicts that accompanied break-up of Yugoslavia. Directors Jadranka Andelic and Dijana Milosevic explain that they founded the theatre company to confront a central question: "What is the role and meaning of theatre... in times of darkness, violence and human suffering?"
Public events at Knox featuring members of DAH Teatar will include:
October 11, 7:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m., Workshop for Knox College students, focusing on dance and movement in the Auxiliary Gymnasium. The workshop is free and open to the public for observation. Seating is limited.
October 12, 4 p.m. Free, public lecture, "The Role of the Artist in Dark Times," by Dijana Milosevic, DAH Teatar artistic director, in the Round Room, Ford Center for the Fine Arts.
October 13, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Free, public performances of "Crossing the Line" by DAH Teatar, in Studio Theatre, Ford Center for the Fine Arts. Seating is limited.
October 14, 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Workshop for Knox College students, focusing on acting and voice, presented by members of DAH Teater, in the Auxiliary Gymnasium. The workshop is free and open to the public for observation. Seating is limited.
The work scheduled for performance at Knox College, "Crossing the Line," is drawn from the book "Women's Side of War," a collection of women's testimonies about the decade-long civil wars in the former Yugoslavia. DAH Teatar describes the work as "composed of personal confessions of mothers whose children were killed in front of their own eyes, raped women and witnesses of other war horrors... [which asks the question:] 'How is it possible to establish trust between people of once warring powers?'..."
The residency at Knox is one of several taking place through a consortium of colleges and professional theatre companies that have cooperated to bring DAH Teatar to the United States this fall.
DAH Teatar's residency at Knox is coordinated by Elizabeth Carlin-Metz, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance. "The work of DAH Teatar ties into the conversations that we have been having at Knox -- that if you're personally insensitive toward violence and violence against women, you leave yourself vulnerable at the global level."
While at Knox, members of DAH Teatar also will meet with students and faculty and visit several classes. "As a theatre department, we are interested in composing works, especially works on social and political themes, and DAH has dedicated themselves artistically to investigating those themes," Carlin-Metz said.
Carlin-Metz is collaborating with other colleges in the region to hold a faculty conference this fall on ways to enhance the performing arts curriculum by examining social and political issues such as those presented by DAH Teatar. The conference, planned for Oct. 22-24 at Coe College, is supported by a Faculty Curriculum Enhancement grant from the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This fall, DAH Teatar also is performing at Coe and Grinnell colleges, both members with Knox in the Associated Colleges of the Midwest; at several other colleges and universities throughout the country; and at professional theatres in Chicago, New York and Atlanta.
The Knox College residency of DAH Teatar is supported by the Office of the Dean of the College, the Office of the Dean of Students, the Fellowes Fund, the Greig Fund, the Karil Kirk Ortner fund, the Faculty Committee for Cultural Events, Students Against Sexism in Society, First Year Preceptorial, the Center for Community Service, and the Department of Theatre and Dance.
DAH Teatar's United States tour is supported by the Trust for Mutual Understanding, Associated Colleges of the Midwest, Arts Midwest, TCG and Ministry of the Republic of Serbia in association with Theatre Without Borders and LaMama Theatre, Brown University, Georgetown University, University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, Coe College, Chopin Theatre, Knox College, Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia College, University of Iowa, Grinnell College, Augustana College, and 7 Stages Theatre.
Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 45 states and 48 countries. Knox's "Old Main" is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.