(Kerry Reid’s article appeared in the Chicago Tribune, 12/14.)

In an essay in the Dec. 4 edition of the New York Times Magazine, Kenan Trebincevic, a Bosnian muslim who fled to the United States during the 1990s wars, recounts his recent visit to his homeland — and his encounter with the neighbor who stole furniture and clothing from Trebincevic's mother while the Serbian paramilitary swept his father and brother into concentration camps. "No one has forgotten," Trebincevic tells the now-elderly woman.

In Matei Visniec's stunning and searing "The Word Progress on My Mother's Lips Doesn't Ring True," now in its North American premiere with Trap Door Theatre, the lines between survivors, victims, and ghosts of a nameless Balkan war are impossible to draw with any kind of moral clarity. As directed by Visniec's fellow Romanian, Istvan Szabo K., it's a piece that unpeels and reveals itself bit by tantalizing bit, creating a series of poetic and nightmarish vignettes in which commonplace objects — broken plates, a white shirt — become stand-ins for those lost to war and genocide.


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