About Palace of the Fields
Origin of the Project
One morning in the early 1990’s, I was drawn to a particular photograph on page two of my local newspaper. The image depicted two young people killed as they tried to escape Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, a city that was at the time in the middle of a three-year siege. The caption on the photograph stated the two were of different ethnicities, and therefore, were described as the "Romeo and Juliet of Sarajevo." Because of sniper fire, their bodies remained on the bridge for several days. Speculation continues as to who was responsible for their deaths.
As I learned more about the siege and the people of Sarajevo, I wondered about being an intruder in a very personal civil war. My purpose in creating Palace of the Fields was not to reopen wounds of the survivors but instead to assure them that the story had not gone unnoticed. In the process of writing the musical, I have come to have great respect and a genuine affection for a country I have never visited, people I have never met, and a language I cannot speak.
My hope is that Palace of the Fields will honor those whose lives were changed by this war.
~ Renae Angeroth
A grant from the Iowa Arts Council (IAC), a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, provided partial funding to record Palace of the Fields excerpts to be used to promote the musical. Thank you to the musicians who participated in making this compact disc: Neil Bubke, Emily Chafa, Ashley Cooprider, Loren Esse, Elisabeth Angeroth Franks, Joel Gettys, Elaine A. Hites, Jeremy Jorgenson, Barbara Martin, Frances Paterik, Michael J. Piper, Deborah Svec-Carstens, Tim Vermillion, and Lu Ann White.
Contact us to request a copy of the compact disc.
Zijo Suceska is a native of Sarajevo. He and his family left Bosnia during the war and now live in the United States. Mr. Suceska was able to provide helpful insights and advice on cultural details. His letter of support for Palace of the Fields can be read here (PDF, 16KB).
Palace of the Fields may be licensed for performance. It may also be used as a unique teaching tool about the Bosnian conflict, war in general, and our understanding of community and culture.
Contact us for more information about the production and licensing rights.