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Cut & Paste: Bosnian play highlights new generation more into technology than tradition

The generation gap is said to be narrowing as more millennials move back in with, and seek advice from, their parents. But in St. Louis, the chasm may be growing for one group of young adults.

Two decades ago, Bosnian genocide survivors arrived in St. Louis penniless and ravaged by war. In one generation, they’ve built businesses, bought homes and raised children who are succeeding at high school and college — and assimilation. A new Mustard Seed play, “Bosnian/American: The Dance for Life,”explores the lives of these young adults, weaving their story around a traditional Bosnian tale about a young sheep and a menacing wolf.

In our newest Cut & Paste podcast, we talk with director Adam Flores and actor Elvedin Arnautovic, a native of Bosnia who moved to St. Louis as a young man, about the Mustard Seed presentation, which runs through May 1.

Here’s some of what you’ll hear in the podcast:

  • What Arnautovic heard when his mother refused to let soldiers take him during the genocide: “The Serbian soldiers, they are debating, ‘Should we slash her throat, should we kill her?”
  • Flores, about focusing the play on the children raised in the Gateway city: “Their view of St. Louis and growing up here tells me something about us.”
  • Arnautovic on preferring people to think in terms of Bosnian-Americans’ success, not their survival:  “We don’t want to stay victims forever."
Cut & Paste

Look for new Cut & Paste (#cutpastestl) podcastsevery few weeks on our website. You can also view all previous podcasts, which focus on a diverse collection of visual and performing artists, and subscribe to Cut & Paste through this link.

Follow Willis and Nancy on Twitter: @WillisRArnoldand @NancyFowlerSTL

Please help St. Louis Public Radio find artists to feature on Cut & Paste. Tell us which artists and cultural themes deserve a closer look.

Nancy is a veteran journalist whose career spans television, radio, print and online media. Her passions include the arts and social justice, and she particularly delights in the stories of people living and working in that intersection.