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Americans, being justly proud of their country, tend to think of immigrants and refugees as people who come to America for a better life. It’s supposed to be a permanent situation, too; why would anyone return to their former home country once they’ve experienced the possibilities of America? And yet Faris, a soon-to-be-college graduate who has lived in St. Louis since the age of five, is heading back to Bosnia on family business. The clan’s old apartment has been taken over by a Croatian, and he must reclaim it. America is his future and Bosnia is his past — and yet this is not the Bosnia of his memory. Or maybe it is, and the difficulty is that he’s not the same Faris that left it. The difficulties of negotiating personal identity are the subject matter at the heart of Christina Pippa’s play, Little Bosnia. Commissioned by Avalon Theatre Company and based on Pippa’s extensive interviews with members of St. Louis’ Bosnian and Croatian communities, Little Bosnia receives its world premiere this weekend at the Union United Methodist Church (3543 Watson Road; 314-351-6482 or www.avalontheatre.org). Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (April 10 through 20), and tickets are $20 to $25.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: April 10. Continues through April 20, 2008

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