Saturday, September 28, 2013

Theatre Department to present “Necessary Targets,” a story of the Bosnian War

By Kaeli Todd
Cardinal Staff

Rehearsals are in full swing for the first production of the year presented by the Saint Mary’s University Theatre Department.

“Necessary Targets” will be performed Sept. 25, 26, and 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Valencia Academy Theatre, and delves into the history of the Bosnian War by focusing on the lives of seven women who were affected by it. The cast is also entirely made up of women.

“Necessary Targets” tells the story of the interactions between two American psychologists and five Bosnian women in a refugee camp during the Bosnian War.

“The psychologists are assigned to these five Bosnian women that are trying to recover from a horrific war,” said Judy Myers, the show’s director. “The show is about trying to get the women to tell their stories and to come to terms with what has happened to them, and at the same time, both of the American women go through a transformation themselves.”

The characters in the show are not the only ones who have gone through a transformation; the actors have as well.

“The whole rehearsal process has been very intimate,” said Anne Colling, a sophomore at SMU. “It’s a very small cast, and we go through some dark material. Just in researching it we’ve come across some very ugly things. But the emotions of the characters have brought us closer as people.”

“The all girls cast makes that even more true,” said Katie Sapper, one of the two seniors acting in this play as part of a senior project. “These stories are based off actual women, so when you think about the connection that you as a woman have with these other women that had these experiences, it’s like you share that journey with them.”

While the cast was researching the Bosnian War, Myers had a Bosnian acquaintance attend rehearsals to help with the pronunciation of words, and to share her own stories of the war. According to Myers, when this acquaintance and her husband experienced the war, they were the same age as some of the actors in the play.

Another part of the rehearsal process has involved reading excerpts of the book “Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War” by Peter Maass.

“He visited the country and wrote down the stories and experiences in a real, journalistic sense,” said Taylor Marshall-Miernicke, the other seniors participating in the show as a senior project. “There was a rawness to it, he told their exact stories and experiences. It’s just very shocking, because we were growing up and we didn’t know anything about it.”

“I think everyone in college either wasn’t born or was a baby when this happened,” said Sapper. “But it was a war. It was a war that happened and it’s on the same scale as any of the wars we learn about in school, but you don’t learn about the Bosnian war. And that’s why I think it will be interesting for college students to come and see it.”

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