The Enslavement and Liberation of Oksana G.
PROLOGUE: Kostychany, Ukraine, Asa’s Parlour, 9 November 1979
Sofiya and Yuri take their newborn daughter, Oksana to Asa, the village Tarot reader. Sofiya is upset when the card often called The Lord of Sorrow comes up, but Asa reassures her that there is no life without some sorrow.
ACT I, Scene 1: Kostychany, Ukraine, Town Square, 27 June 1997
As Oksana and two friends, Pavlo and Natalia celebrate the end of school, Konstantin approaches and offers the girls jobs cleaning hotel rooms in Greece. Oksana’s parents are weary but allow Oskana to go only if her friend, Natalia goes with her.
ACT I, Scene 2: A Forest in Romania, a few hours later
Konstantin leaves Natalia in the car with his two associates while he takes Oksana for a walk in the woods. When she insists on returning to the car, he tells her that his associates are teaching Natalia about love. She tries to run for it but, claiming he loves her, Konstantin rapes her.
ACT I, Scene 3: Kostychany, Ukraine, Asa’s Parlour, 17 July 1997 Oksana has been missing for three weeks. The police are no help so Sofiya asks Asa if she can see Oksana in her cards. Asa senses something is wrong. Sofiya blames herself for letting Oksana go.
ACT I, Scene 4: Kos, Greece, Atlas Bar, 1 August 1997
Oksana, Natalia and Lyuba are chained to a bar trying to figure out ways to either alert the local police or escape. Lyuba tells Oksana that she’s heard of a Canadian priest who runs a refugee shelter in Brindisi, Italy. When a Greek Immigration Officer warns Konstantin that police are planning to raid the bar later that night, Konstantin gives Natalia to him as a thank you gift, even though the Officer is known to be a cutter. When Oksana blasts Konstantin for his cruelty he starts the flesh auction. All kinds of people bid for Oksana, but Konstantin buys her for himself. Then Natalia returns, her face cut down the middle. When Oksana insists Konstantin get medical help for her, he refuses and instead offers Oksana to the crowd. Police sirens can be heard approaching.
ACT I, Scene 5: Kostychany, Ukraine, Oksana’s Family Home, 10 August 1997
Sofiya and Yuri fight and cry, blaming each other for letting Oksana go.
ACT I, Scene 6: Vlorë, Albania, Shore of the Adriatic Sea, late 24 August 1997
Oksana, Natalia and Lyuba wait with a small group of women…wondering how anyone will find them. Konstantin berates the Immigration Officer for damaging Natalia. When the Italian boatman appears, Oksana begs Konstantin to let them go but again claiming he loves her, he refuses…and the women are herded into a speedboat headed for Italy.
ACT II, Scene 1: Brindisi, Italy, St. Francis Refugee Shelter, 25 September 1997
Father Alexander’s shelter is full of women, men and even children…some fleeing the Bosnian War, many refugees are young women. After Alexander hands out donated toys to children he asks Clara, the administrator, for musical instruments. She urges him to be more practical. At this point Oksana enters, embittered – her leg damaged and spirit broken. Alexander welcomes her but when he mentions ‘God’, she reacts angrily and refuses his kindness. Then she notices Lyuba and softens. Oksana tells her that while crossing the Adriatic, she and Natalia jumped out of the boat to try and save themselves. Oksana was hauled back into the boat and Natalia drowned. Oksana was held captive in a hotel in Bari. After much abuse she jumped from a four storey window and managed to hitch hike to Brindisi. Clara warns Alexander that if he accepts one more refugee he’ll have to give them his room and sleep in the bathtub. He accepts Oksana.
ACT II, Scene 2: Kostychany, Asa’s Parlour, 26 September 1997
Sofiya is looking at the card The Lovers with disgust. She is still angry that the Ukrainian police blame the girls for leaving. Then Pavlo enters to say that a priest called from Italy…and that Oksana has been found. Sofiya prays and weeps with joy.
ACT II, Scene 3: Brindisi, Italy, St. Francis Refugee Shelter (Alexander’s Room) 5 October 1997
Oksana’s nightmares about Natalia drowning bring Father Alexander into the room. He tries to calm her with talk of forgiveness but she is restless and afraid. He reassures her with talk of love and courage. She looks out the window and when a flash goes off outside, she is afraid all over again. Alexander tells her it is nothing, kids with fire crackers. She asks him to stay in the room until she falls asleep. He does so.
ACT II, Scene 4: Bari, Italy, Outside a Hotel, 7 October 1997
Konstantin sings of his love for Oksana. One of his associates approaches and hands him a photograph of Oksana and that she’s in Brindisi. Konstantin says he is going to go there and get her…but his associate warns that the boss wants Konstantin to do a job in Rome. Konstantin pushes him away.
ACT II, Scene 5: Brindisi, St. Francis Refugee Shelter, 15 October 1997
This is party night with lots of donated food and in-house entertainment. Oksana and Lyuba teach everyone how to dance a Ukrainian dance. At once point during the dance, Oksana and Father Alexander whirl around together and suddenly become conscious of each other…not as a priest and a young girl in trouble, but as a man and a woman. But when Konstantin phones the shelter, Oksana decides that she wants to go back to her family, despite her shame of having been a prostitute. Alexander tells her that she is not a prostitute but a beautiful young woman. She is worried that she will never get to university and that she is damaged goods and no one will go out with her let alone marry her. He tells her she is smart and must go to university…he says that a man would be lucky to have her as a wife and a child would be lucky to have her as a mother. Moved by his words, she begins to feels human again. She realizes that Alexander has given her the courage to resist Konstantin’s threats. Alexander promises to get money to help get Oksana a new passport and a plane ticket but when he approaches Clara, she says there is hardly enough money to buy food and blankets. Frustrated, Alexander hears the phone ring again…probably Konstantin.
ACT II, Scene 6: Brindisi, St. Francis Refugee Shelter, 31 October 1997
Konstantin barges in demanding to see Oksana. Alexander tells him she is not there. When Konstantin catches sight of Oksana, he demands to buy her, throwing his money at Alexander and insinuating that the priest wants Oksana just as much as he does. Alexander kicks him out. After Konstantin leaves, Alexander notices all the money on the floor. He pockets it.
ACT II, Scene 7: Kostychany, Ukraine, Oksana’s Family Home, 3 November 1997
Sofiya is thrilled to get a letter from Oksana stating the details about her homecoming. She will fly to Odessa on 8 November (her birthday) then take the train to Kostychany. Sofiya sings about how many cakes she will bake.
ACT II, Scene 8: Brindisi, St. Francis Refugee Shelter (Alexander’s Room) 7 November 1997
Oksana packs and says goodbye to Lyuba for she will be leaving at dawn for the airport. Alexander enters and hands her a new passport and airline tickets. She thanks him for making her fell human again, and he in turn, thanks her. Their joy is dampened when he tells her that a woman has phoned and he has to go and rescue her but that he will be back at dawn to drive her to the airport. Oksana does not want him to leave, but Alexander cannot take the chance of ignoring a call from someone in distress. He tries to reassure her but she is afraid. He gives her his knife to put under her pillow to feel safe. Their goodbye is reluctant. Then Lyuba comes to say her goodbye.
ACT II, Scene 9: North of Brindisi, Industrial Area near Shore, 8 November 1997
It is midnight. Alexander waits, musing about raising money for a woman’s shelter and hiring real security guards. Konstantin’s associate appears and Alexander goes cold as he realizes that he’s been set up by Konstantin. The associate has been sent to kill Alexander but decides he would be cursed if he killed a priest.
ACT II, Scene 10: <SNIP> That would be telling!