Extra Credit

Hi, it’s Shirley. As the opening of HONEY BROWN EYES draws near I wanted to let everyone know about some of the ways in which you can enrich your experience of this play.

For those of you who don’t consider yourselves experts on the history of the Balkan region and the former Yugoslavia (and don’t worry, many of us do not) check out the “study guide” section of the website here.

We will continue to post supplementary materials and will also be including a section geared specifically towards young people (we would rate this production PG-13, defined as “Parents are strongly cautioned to give special guidance for attendance of children under 13 – some material may be inappropriate for children under 13 including potentially disturbing violence, cursing, and mature subject matter”).

I’ve been learning a lot about the part of my job that covers the most new territory for me, that is–the planning and implementation of our Artistic Director Round Table Discussions and Peace Cafes. It’s been fun and challenging, first honing in on the topics we want to cover for a particular play–then finding and amassing panel guests. It feels like something of a treasure hunt/sanctioned stalking with varying results. The woman I met at an engagement party who had done work in Bosnia examining the aftershock of the war on young people there turned out to be a total score, while my continued email campaign for Tom Gjelton proved to be less than successful.

That said, I am thrilled about the line-up of guests we currently have booked, which is likely to change and grow a bit as we get closer to each performance date. The complete list can be found here (again, keep checking back for updates).

Our first panel will take place on October 26, and we are calling it:

Women and Children in the Wars of Man: Giving Voice to the Unheard

Some interesting things about this panel. It was, by far, the easiest panel for me to find and book guests for. The people I approached (not intentionally, but interestingly, all women) were eager and receptive to speaking on this subject. It was during the Bosnian war that for the first time we read widely about the use of systematic rape as a tactic in the war, both to terrorize and injure women and as a tool in ethnic cleansing. The effect that this has on a population is harrowing and nearly impossible to quantify. It is no wonder that many women working in this field welcome an opportunity to speak about it.

October 26: Women and Children in the Wars of Man: Giving Voice to the Unheard

Moderated by Jessica Lefkow (Director, Honey Brown Eyes)

· Elmina Kulasic, Executive Director of the Bosniak-American Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina: Elmina Kulasic, born in Kozarac, Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a concentration camp survivor. Following the concentration camp in Trnopolje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ms. Kulasic and her family immigrated to Germany where they lived for about four and a half years. It was the cruelty of the war and their torturous experiences that compelled the Kulasic family to immigrate to the United States in 1997 in hopes to find a peaceful future. Ms. Kulasic received her B.A. degree in Political Science; minoring in International Studies, Women Studies, and Islamic World Studies; at Loyola University Chicago, IL. Ms. Kulasic’s previous political experience includes internships at Hon. Congresswoman Janice Schakowsky, Hon. Senator Barack Obama and Hon. Senator Richard J. Durbin. In collaboration with the Edgewater Community Council Youth Arts Program Ms. Kulasic established an after school program for Bosnian youth ages 6 to 13 in Chicago in hopes to educate them about Bosnia and Herzegovina. Currently, Ms. Kulasic is the Executive Director at the Bosniak-American Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

· Elizabeth Hammond, Institute for Global Leadership Fellow 2007: Elizabeth spent a year living in Bosnia on Fulbright scholarship that included teaching at the University of Sarajevo, the University of Zenica and the Sarajevo Medresa. Her interest in the country began long before, however, with field work on the long-term psychological effects of trauma in the current post-conflict setting. She is the author of, “Culture Smart! Bosnia,” a guide to Bosnian customs and culture, (to be released June, 2009). Elizabeth has a degree in Clinical Psychology and English and is currently a student of International Health at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

· Patty Pina, Grassroots Marketing Officer for Women for Women International: Patty Pina is responsible for incorporating multiple marketing channels with grassroots events throughout the world that benefit Women for Women International and raise awareness of a global community. As the Grassroots Marketing Officer, her work directly supports women survivors of war as they receive much-needed emotional support, direct aid, rights and leadership education, jobs skills training and access to capital to start businesses. She previously managed the day-to-day operations of the $9 million-plus Sponsorship Program that connects 41,000 women in a global community as the Sponsorship Program Manager. Her experience in gender, development and fundraising give her a valuable perspective about the power of an individual making a difference. She has been with Women for Women International for more than 4 years, and spent a month in Rwandawith the women that Women for Women International serves. Previously, Ms. Pina worked for Project Bread. She holds a BA in business administration from Northeastern University and is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish.

· Stefanie Zadravec, Playwright: HONEY BROWN EYES

One thought on “Extra Credit

  1. Shirley, congratulations on putting together your first Artistic Director’s Roundtables. I’d like to tell you it gets easier with every show, but each one is a new challenge, but a rewarding one. Have fun with it!

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