Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition

Honorable Mention
Writers' Digest Playwriting Contest

William P. and Arlene R. Lewis Playwriting Contest




5m, 4f

Drazen Erdemovic faces the ultimate dilemma. A reluctant soldier, he's ordered to kill busloads of unarmed Bosnian Muslim men and boys -- or be killed himself.

The play begins on the eve of the sentencing for confessed war criminal Drazen Erdemovic. Erdemovic is a short, 24-year Bosnian Croat with a hip haircut and bad acne scars. He is known to his fellow soldiers as "the crybaby." Erdemovic managed to fight for three different armies during the Bosnian war and says he never killed a soul, until one July afternoon when he and his mates were sent to a cornfield near Srebrenica. There he was taught how to kill large numbers of people in a short period of time. Busses arrived, carrying Bosnian Muslim men. Erdemovic at first refused to shoot, but was told if he felt so sorry for the victims he could join them on the firing line. Erdemovic confesses to killing "no more than 70" of the twelve hundred people slaughtered that July afternoon.

Erdemovic is haunted by the ghosts of his vicims. His Serbian wife won't allow herself to believe his stories of the massacre, but his child sees the monster he has become.

Erdemovic feels compelled to tell his story to the outside world to exorcise the ghosts that haunt him.

The Theater of Genocide: Four Plays about Mass Murder in Rwanda, Bosnia, Cambodia, and Armenia
Includes A Patch of Earth.

 Pasadena Weekly article: When News Isn't Enough 

"raises questions that audiences will ponder on the way home, possibly long after" - Detroit Free Press

"an intense human drama of one person caught in a whirlwind of violence and hatred" - The Detroit Monitor

"serious, mind-absorbing theater, with dramatic power behind the conscience-reaming message" - Orange County Daily Pilot

"a drama of strong intent...fluid and dynamic, like a traumatic but all too real dream" - Buffalo Outcome

"three and a half stars" - The Buffalo News

"The overt visual and aural abstractions along with realistic dialogue create a sense of universality in identifying the human anguish in the context of historical events." - New England Theatre Journal

Roger Williams University 2011 production photos credit: Kylie Wyman

 Script Sample