Bosnian theatergoers politely break in to provocative play

AP News
Posted: Oct 10, 2016 10:06 AM

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Sarajevans politely but firmly persuaded organizers of a theater festival to allow them to watch a controversial play criticized by both Catholics and Muslims and threatened by violent groups.

Hours before the performance Sunday night, the MESS festival announced it would allow only the festival jury to see "Our Violence and Your Violence" by Croatian director Oliver Frljic, an award-winning director whose provocative plays often criticize nationalism and spark protests.

Organizers said Bosnia's Cardinal Vinko Puljic had raised criminal charges, claiming the performance offends Christians and Muslims alike. The church as well as Muslim non-governmental organizations said they respect artistic freedoms but had called for the play to be taken off the festival program.