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Fighting in Ex-yugoslav Republic Scuttles a Performance in Israel

May 21, 1992
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The annual Israel Festival, which began a 14-day run this week, had to scrub one of its biggest attractions because of the warfare in the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Obala Open Theater of Sarajevo had been scheduled to give four performances of its award-winning pantomime “Tattoo.”

But the group’s director, Mladen Materic, who managed to get out of the Bosnian capital three weeks ago, informed a news conference here Tuesday that he was forced to cancel because the two lead actresses and the sound man were trapped in Sarajevo by the heavy fighting.

He said arrangements to get the company out were made through Sarajevo’s Jewish community. But “connections which had worked during the first two weeks were broken.”

Similarly, arrangements with the U.N. force were abandoned after U.N. headquarters in Sarajevo was bombed, leaving the peacekeepers without transport for their own evacuation.

Although most of the cast and crew managed to reach Belgrade, the Serbian capital, where a plane was standing by to bring them to Israel, the trip was pointless without the stars.

Obala was invited to perform “Tattoo” at next year’s festival. Meanwhile, ticket-holders may exchange them for other attractions now.

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