A play by: Milan Dragicevich
Directed by: Nikita Milivojevic
Music by: Tim Eriksen
World premiere at the UMass Fine Arts Center/Curtain Theater
Two sisters stare across an endless expanse of desert at the El Shatt refugee camp on the Sinai in Egypt during World War II. Five decades later we meet their grandchildren, dispersed across two continents—one in the hills of Southern Appalachia, the other on the gritty streets of Belgrade, Serbia. The story is loosely based on the historical sojourn of Dragina Kalanj, who came to El Shatt as a teenage girl, the beginning of an epic odyssey that thwarted a return to her native land—and family—until 25 years later. The play explores the memory of family, the search for identity and acceptance in a new land, as well as the myriad meanings of refugee and how that experience shapes one’s destiny—and creates generational aftershocks.
"REFUGEE is a unique generational drama that pulls together threads of displacement and migration into a stirring captivating tapestry of who we are and where we're from."--Chris Rohmann, Theater Critic, Valley Advocate
New England Public Radio (NEPR) radio interview with Milan Dragicevich at premiere of REFUGEE at UMass Fine Arts Center (2016)
Photos by Jon Crispin