Monodrama based on the life of František Balog
Performed by the Actor Theatre, Košice
In the centre of the monodrama called The Roma from the Duvet or Enter the Majority stands a young Roma man who presents his life story by telling humorous and bizarre episodes from his childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Step by step, we get to know how he becomes a part of majority society. He plays nine characters in this performance, representing nine people who made a strong impression on him or contributed to how the course of his life changed. The play is sometimes grotesque, humorous but also serious at once: it entertains but at the same time gives us a key message about the importance of motivation in life, how crucial it is to dedicate time for yourself, and to come to terms with yourself. This play is basically a kaleidoscope of bizarre stories of how to manage your life. It resembles to a one man show or a stand-up comedy sometimes. However, the play doesn´t mean to induce compassion, on the contrary, through laughter which provokes tears, it tells us about motivation and inspiration, about how life can be managed independently of being a Roma or non-Roma.
František Balog was born in 1982. His mother left him in the hospital, and he was placed into the foster home called Elephant in Šarišské Michaľany, Slovakia. In his recollections he evokes the harsh sentences: “Wake up! Open the windows! Wash your face! Get dressed and quickly have your breakfast! Those who won’t be in the dining room within fifteen minutes, will not have any breakfast!” He graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava as a musical actor. He became the member of the State Theatre Košice in 2010. Together with his two colleagues he founded the Actor Theatre In 2016.
They have performed The Roma from the Duvet or Enter the Majority in several places, among others in Roma ghetto settlements and in segregated schools. The performance followed by participation events have inspired numerous young people to continue their studies in art schools. According to František Balog: ” Motivation is the most important vehicle to achieve self-awareness.” and he would like everybody to find it in himself thanks to the performance.
First performance in Hungarian: December 3. 18 pm 2019, RS9 Theatre, Vallai kert, Budapest
In Hungarian with Slovak subtitles
Duration: 45 minutes
- Director: Juraj Bielik
- Dramaturgy: Miriam Kičiňová
- Set design: Tomáš Diro
- Music: Peter Orgován
- Performed by/ staring: František Balog
The performance was supported by the Visegrad Fund.
Call for application for university educators working at German universities.
Given the great success of our first interdisciplinary course development programme, the Independent Theatre Hungary invites entries for a competition for university educators who intend to run an independent course in the autumn semester of 2020/21. If you are interested in the interdisciplinary contexts of the European Roma communities, contemporary theatre plays and performances your application is welcome.
What is „Roma Heroes”?
2019 was the third year we organised the Roma Heroes International Theatre Festival. The goal of the festival is to show the values of Roma theatre both for the Roma and non-Roma audience, for the young and the old, too. From the selection of the plays chosen for the first two festivals, we published the first international collection of Roma dramas. All plays elaborate the stories of real Roma heroes and they not only make us acquainted with the life of the Roma people and communities but also help to find our own heroes. The initiative plays a crucial role in reinforcing the members of Roma communities and in developing the knowledge on the topic related to different disciplines. The lecturers who participated in our previous course development workshop realised new courses connected to theatre, communication, anthropology, art and film studies. Beside widening their professional knowledge, the educators also became more open to take in different perspectives, and their co-operative skills improved, too.
Why is it important?
In each culture- in Ancient Greece, in the Elizabethan theatre, or in the American classics- the active dramatic characters who are able to make decisions and set changes afloat appear together with the emergence of the middle-class. Through these stories we can obtain a vast knowledge on the past and present of different European societies. With the “hero narrative” we were able to reframe the old narratives, to engage and strengthen different groups. The Roma theatre has a special role as part of the European cultural heritage. Our programme gives he opportunity to examine and get to know better the similarities and the differences of the methodology applied in the different disciplines.
What do we offer?
- Opportunity to participate in the three-day long workshop facilitated by international storytellers and the experts of Independent Theatre Hungary
- The workshop includes getting to know and elaborating contemporary Roma plays – based on historical and social aspects, communication frame and effects, language elements, potential to form the identity and other interdisciplinary aspects brought up by the participants
- Getting to know the work of other disciplines- lecturers who took part in our first course development workshop meet the new participants
- Getting to know the pedagogic methods ideal to elaborate our argument
- Realisation of new course plan in co-operation with other lecturers
- We pay the travel cost and the cost of the accommodation and catering for the participants related to the event realized in Budapest.
- We release the scenario of the plays, the video recordings of the excerpts used, and the related materials
- Follow-up, mentoring, knowledge sharing during the realisation and evaluation of the course plans
- Gross 300 EUR payment for the educators in case of a well-elaborated, detailed course plan for the autumn semester of 2020 at one of the German universities.
- As a member of a dynamic and colourful team, we provide the possibility to participate in the development and dissemination of Roma heroes- a unique, complex cultural-educational-social initiative
What do we expect?
- Active participation in the three-day long workshop held in Budapest (8-10 February 2020);
- Good command of English (intermediate level) to participate in the workshops;
- The realisation of a well-elaborated, detailed course plan within a month after the workshop has ended;
- Execution of a university course related to the topic in the autumn semester of 2020.;
- Contacting the Independent Theater Hungary during the course;
- Sharing the experience and the results of the course after their realization
The feedback of the participants of the course development workshop:
„I have never built in storytelling texts into my courses but they turned out to be important sources for me. This is why I applied for the development course: I could propose new ethical questions thanks to the texts, since the sources I used until then were either ethnographic collections (confessions) filled with the subjective point of view and interpretation of the collector, or literary texts. According to the postmodern approach what you cannot write in an anthropological way, should be written as literature. The five Roma dramas were perfect to be analysed because they stand on the boundary of the two genres: they were in themselves born from a Roma point of view. They held a mirror so the reader could interpret them as his /her own. The storytelling texts fill a gap: they give knowledge over to the Roma about their own history and the Roma who endured any kind of atrocity. As we all know, giving knowledge over increases tolerance. (Boglárka Bakó, Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Cultural Anthropology, Ethic Course)
„The twelve occasions of the workshops contributed to the renewal of my professional methodology and my personal attitude. The co-operation with the educator colleagues at the workshop inspired my preparatory work in the beginning. At the end of the project when the students met the members of the Independent Theatre in the realms of an informal talk, it was also very motivating. I realized how essencial interactivity is, and in the future, I would like to stick to it. The plays inspired me because the course I held could give a complex experience with their help, and the students could use knowledge embedded in a creative experience. They showed the knowledge they obtained in a creative product at the end of the course, this way the assessment was deliberating and what is more, the students could really appreciate each-other’s work. The outcome of the course was some essays and films on the topic, like the video entitled “The homeless superhero”. (Andrea Pócsik, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Budapest)
How to apply
You can apply HERE, sending us the filled-in application form and your professional CV until 10 January 2020 to the following e-mail address: email@example.com. For further information, please call Edina Szabados on the following number: +36205210533.
The program is supported by Badur Foundation, Goethe Institute Hungary and the Federation for European Storytelling – FEST Network.