Alisa, Alice

Year of writing: 1999
This play by Draga Potočnjak is based on the Balkan disaster. Against the backdrop of a bloody war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a human story of torture and means of torture is exposed.
Total cast size: 5 (3 f, 2 m)
war and post-war years, violence, historical topic, trauma, sacrifice

The central character is a Bosnian refugee Alisa who, burdened with her troubles and distress, arrives to Slovenia as if it was Wonderland. Alisa, faced with the reality of the world takes justice into her own hands. As a dramatic character she embodies the searching of the boundary between acceptable and inacceptable.

Through the play Alisa, Alice, we ask ourselves questions about sacrifice. The webs of subconscious and conscious are emphasized as the play conveys discordances and misunderstandings. This is a cruel play, showing a confrontation of two worlds: the world of reticence and a world of openness, a world of trauma and a world seeking playfulness, calmness and spontaneity.

MAGDA: Your suffering wasn’t worth it, and neither was mine. Suffering has too low a value for it ever to have an end.

ALISA: Molim? I only pray for …

MAGDA: You go right on praying; I stopped a long time ago.

(After a while, bursting out.)

Why did you tell her to bring me chrysanthemums when you know I don’t like them?

(Gets up and goes over to the bunch of flowers that Irena brought her, and looks at them in disgust.)

They smell like death. I asked you a question!

ALISA: Because of the autumn, I can’t … Because of the winter I won’t see …

MAGDA: You won’t see the spring either, if you don’t start cooperating! We all pay for our ingratitude in the end! Kindness is an orphan …

ALISA: Until you put a knife in its hand.

MAGDA: What? (Sharply.) Why did you say that? What were you thinking about?!


MAGDA: Me? Really?

ALISA: Not about you, about my other you.

MAGDA: I don’t understand … What you?

ALISA: You … my … home.

MAGDA (visibly pacified. With relief.): You can’t go back again, forget it.

ALISA: Forget? Forgive? You?

MAGDA: Them! Not me! You haven’t anything to forgive me for!

ALISA: Only words … The same words … The same fear. Blood …

MAGDA: Stop laying the blame at my door. We’ve got nothing to do with that tribal warfare of yours. I’m not to blame for anything. Nobody’s died because of me!

ALISA: But they will.

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