June 30th FRIDAY, 10:00 pm
Theatre Carte Blanche
JELENA PUZIĆ, OLLY OLLY OXEN FREE
June 30th FRIDAY, 10:00 pm
Theatre Carte Blanche
Ispad – Centre for Interactive Art, Belgrade
OLLY OLLY OXEN FREE
Based on the journal of Diana Budisavljević
Author: Nina Džuver
Cast: JELENA PUZIĆ
Pianist: Sonja Lukić
Composer: Matija Anđelković
Wig and make-up: Katarina Milošević
Executive producer and PR: Nataša Novaković and Stefan Uroš Tešić
Expert consultants: Ana Samardžić and Đorđe Mamula
Poster design and printed materials: Aleksandra Andrić
Diana Budisavljević is one of the greatest humanitarians of the last century, she rescued around 10 000 children from ustaša concentration camps in the Independent State of Croatia and practically saved a nation from extinction. Austrian by birth, Diana was married to a prominent surgeon from Zagreb, Julio Budisavljević. During the Second World War she lived in Zagreb. She was 50 years old at the time and had two grown-up daughters.
The humanitarian activities of Diana Budisavljević started from the moment she decided to launch a relief campaign named “The Diana Budisavljević Action“, up until OZNA took away her entire documentation. Her initial idea was to give money to charity, but it soon turned into saving children from concentration camps. Her Austrian origin helped, but so did her innate determination. The goal of her Action was to preserve the Serbian identity in an effort to save future generations and restore their identity, so that they could be reunited with their families after the war, relieving the consequences of the persecution and exile they endured.
However, after the hardships and turmoil she went through during the war and numerous diseases she contracted because of it, when the war was finally over, the children were never reunited with their families. It was as if the name and work of Diana Budisavljević never existed.
The monodrama Olly Olly Oxen Free tells us why Diana’s work was erased and her name never mentioned, detailing her work during the war. Taking upon herself the role of savior, Diana had no idea what kind of horrors she was facing nor the toll it would take on her own life. This piece raises questions about the involvement of the Communist party, as well as all others who lived during the war, or were born soon after and yet knew next to nothing about this woman.
This play is part of the repertoire of the Cultural Institution “Vuk Stefanović Karadžić“.
Theatre troupe “Moles“ (Krtice) started as a non-formal group in 2012, because of one play which originated from the Academic Theatre “Branko Krsmanović“. Soon there were some organizational changes in the theatre, which is why in 2013, the troupe continued their work at Academy 28. The Academy was kind enough to let us use their space for one year. We performed our play several times, once for a charity cause. We took part in “Urban Fest“ in Niš, where we gained favorable reviews.
In 2014 we were faced with new challenges, with trying to keep the play alive, as well as working on new projects and establishing a formal association. During 2014 the play won two awards, one for Best Play, and the other for Best Acting Performance at the International ’Stardust’ festival in Bulgaria. By the end of 2014 author and director Mladen Lukešević, together with Nikola Đurđević and Nataša Novaković established “ISPAD-Centre for interactive art“ and so we became a formal acting troupe. We continue our work as members of “ISPAD-Centre for Interactive Art“.
In Novembre 2015 our play Departure Terminal (Odlazni terminal) premiered at the stage of the Cultural Institution “Vuk Stefanović Karadžić“. It was done in a coproduction with “ISPAD-Centre for Interactive Art“. It was written by Jelena Paligorić, and directed by Tea Puharić. The play is still part of the repertoire of the Cultural Institution “Vuk Stefanović Karadžić“ and it has been performed in several cities so far, including Lazarevac, Kragujevac, Kostolac, Dimitrovgrad and Zagreb, as well as Belef. Cultural blog Belgrade Edt Culture included it on its list of best plays in 2015. In 2017 the play was chosen to be part of the competition programme at the 20th ART Trema Fest Ruma where it won the Golden Mask for Best Director, Bronze Mask for Best Authorship Project and the Award for Best Overall Design. The awards were given by an expert jury comprised of: Andraš Urban, Ana Sofrenović and Miroslav Radonjić.
In Novembre 2016 a new play produced by ISPAD premiered on the stage of Academy 28. The play is called A Man’s Guide to Planning a Wedding (Udaj se muški), credits for writing go to Dunja Petrović, and the director is Marija Lipkovski. After only two performances it was selected to be part of the festival “Days of Comedy“ in Jagodina by the theatre critic Ana Tasić. At that same festival actor Miloš Đorđević received the Golden Turkey Award for Best Acting Performance.
The play Olly Olly Oxen Free had its preview in Kragujevac at Days of Culture organized by students of the Faculty of Philology and Arts on April 4th 2017. The premiere was held on April 21st at Cultural Institution “Vuk Stefanović Karadžić“.
“ISPAD“ is one of the very few production houses who actually choose associates for new projects on castings thus giving a chance to young artists who otherwise have little opportunity of presenting their work to wider audiences and to their more seasoned and renowned colleagues, due to a distorted value system.