The premiere of the series called ’European Family’
The world has been struggling with the pandemic for several months. Many people have lost their loved ones, jobs, financial and spiritual security. What can be done in such a hopeless situation when all efforts are useless? How can a family be reunited after they have grown apart? The 4-part series called ’European Family’ by the Independent Theater Hungary represents the story of a family whose members live far from each-other in different parts of Europe. The theatrical series was created in honour of the victims of Corona virus and the families torn apart by quarantine. It was made in cooperation with the actors of four different countries.
The aim of the Independent Theater Hungary is to bring it’s performances and projects to the audience despite the difficult circumstances. We believe in the cohesive force of culture. The latest series called ‘European Family’ tells about the life of a family during the epidemic, and the relationship of the family members to each-other. They all live their own lives and each of them have something to hide. What can bind them together again? What is needed to help them open up for each-other and reveal the best kept secrets? Can sincerity and the support of the family be enough to stand up after failures and start over?
“My heart was in shadow my heart was a cave
My heart became whole on the day that you came
You filled it with light and you banished the shade
My heart sang with joy on the day that you came…”
(An excerpt from the play)
The series was created in the genre of ’Covid theatre’: the four creators living in four different European countries recorded the play in the realms of a Zoom conference call in their own homes. The story was also invented by them based on the idea of Richard R. O’Neill. During the creation process they were the playwrights, the cameramen and their own costume designers, too. An educational methodology was also elaborated based on the performance and it is available on our official website.
The series can be seen on the official YouTube channel of Independent Theater Hungary.
Each Thursday at 20 pm for four weeks it can be viewed in four languages, with Hungarian, Spanish and Italian subtitles. The first part of the series is on 4 February at 20 pm.
Playing: Sonia Carmona Tapia, Lucia Lakatos, Richard R. O’Neill, Sebastiano Spinella, Tamás Szegedi
Written by Richard R. O’Neill
Contributors: Sonia Carmona Tapia, Lucia Lakatos, Richard R. O’Neill, Sebastiano Spinella, Tamás Szegedi, Jaime E. Vicent Bohórquez
Directed by Rodrigó Balogh, Márton Illés, Péter Illés
Traditional Music arranged and played by Sebastian Spinella.
Words and music of the songs: Richard R. O’Neill and Juice Vamosi.
The first part will be available on 4 February 2021 at 8 pm.:
During the project, together with the three partners we further develop the Roma Heroes educational material and methodology that was created by the Independent Theater Hungary in 2017. Resting on the results, we set up an educational methodology that can be used on a European level.
- Rampa Presentina (Italy)
- The Roma Actors Association – Giuvlipen (Romania)
- A.C. para La I+D Independiente Del Teatro Profesional En Andalucía (Spain)
We created a methodology and realize workshops by which we will work with young people focusing on the values of Roma theatre, dramatic heroes, the heroes living around them and their own heroic acts. With the help of our initiative we will empower them, develop their intergroup attitudes and relations, creative, cooperative skills, self-expression, and critical thinking.
In this material we present the historical and social contexts of the partner countries, where the project is realized parallelly and we describe the target groups we will work with. Afterwards, we will highlight why art in general, especially theatre, storytelling and different gamification methods can develop intergroup relations and empower the vulnerable young people. We will reflect on the existing methods and cases of art and education initiatives realized by the project promoters and other organizations in their countries, which will add important aspects to our present work. We will show the main tools and results of the Roma Heroes pilot workshops realized in Hungary since 2017. Afterwards, we describe shortly the Roma theatres in different European countries and the monodramas put into the focus by the workshops. Before closing, we will focus on some practical issues and dilemma, which will be relevant regarding the further steps of our work.
Fundation bricks Italian: Foundation_Bricks_IT
Fundation bricks Romanian: Foundation_Bricks_RO
Fundation bricks Spanish: Foundation_Bricks_SP
Roma Heroes in action case study Hungary: Hungary_Case_Study_EN
Roma Heroes developint storytelling skills, Spain
Roma Heroes bringing change, Italy:
Roma Heroes in action case study, Romania:
New publication – see the full material at the end of the article
In the past months theaters around the World face numerous challenges because of lockdown. We reacted to these challenges with theater videos created directly for online surfaces, with outdoor hiking theater performances, and also with the video recording and online dissemination of traditional performances. We summarized our cases and methods in the publication ‘Theater in the Time of Corona’. We trust that our methods, experiences and suggestions can inspire the work of other theaters, too.
HOW TO DO ONLINE THEATER BY ISOLATED ACTORS?
When the lockdown started in March 2020 around Europe, just as many other businesses and services, theaters also had to put on hold their performances. In such a challenging period of time it seemed that theater lovers needed to remain without the strong emotional and intellectual support of the theater. Theater artists had to live without their work, which is a passion from one hand and also the source of their financial income on the other hand.
When the lockdown started in Hungary the Independent Theater Hungary planned a reading theater performance for the World Theater Day (on the 27th March 2020) on the play ‘Kosovo, mon Amour’ written by Ruzdija Sejdovic and Jovan Nikolic. How does hatred influence society? How can we stand up for our identity and values? The play deals with these topics. The Independent Theatre Hungary has paid tribute to the International Theatre Day for many years and the stage reading of Kosovo Mon Amour would have been introduced on this occasion, too. However, adjusting to the current situation, it is introduced in a new form: in a video series recorded by a smart phone.
Second Adventure – Work online on international level is European Family
International theater productions are usually very expensive. Above the basic costs related to the creation of a performance you also need to cover the expenses of travel, accommodation, per diem – too. For example the Gorki Theater in Berlin created a performance with international cooperation of Roma artists – The Roma Army – and from the budget of this performance – more Roma theaters could work for years and reach thousands of people in their communities. In our experimental case – which we would not like to compare with the above mentioned grandiose mainstream theater production – we wanted to do cooperation without traveling to each other.
European Family – Members of a Roma family live in different points when the lock-down comes. They can only communicate on video chat, and have to face losses, challenges in their isolated lives and also hidden conflicts and secrets among each other. It finally seems that only magic can help. All the four episodes of the online theater series are streamed together this time. The story is based on real stories Roma people faced during the time of the lockdown in diverse countries of Europe and the personal stories and improvisations of the artists, who created this piece together from their home countries connected only by internet and common passion for theater
The goal of the project is to create an online theater play recorded internationally via the actors. By that during the global pandemic we can still manage to execute the production for an independent theater play without the need of being together at the same location.
OUTDOOR WALKING THEATER
As the theaters were closed down, but outdoor activities were allowed to be realized in late spring and early summer 2020 in Hungary, we were the first theater in our country who were able to do an offline performance – actually a hiking theater one.
Lápos can be any village in Hungary today: with inhabitants who struggle for their daily living, better or worse but they are lovable residents. Misery-tourists visit the village day every year and the participants of the gastro-theatre performance meet real human tragedies in the pokey but inventive village. How much chance does a Gypsy woman have if she raises her child on her own without any opportunity to work? Where is the boundary between humanity and inhumanity? Similar questions arise when the tourists are walking on the lush side of Gellért Hill, Budapest during the performance and they can taste the special delicacies of the village during the premiere, too.
We would suggest the form of walking theater to initiatives, which want to move outfrom traditional theater venues, mobilize their audience and also work during some restrictions related Covid-19.
Full material: Theater_in_Time_of_Corona
The creation of this material has been supported by the European Cultural Foundation, the ERIAC and
the Badur Foundation.
Roma people live everywhere around the world, but there are hardly any books which show their real stories. Do you want to be part of the change and help Roma youngsters to find inspiring Roma dramatic heroes who empower them in order they can be successful despite all the challenges they experience every day? The Independent Theater has published the first Roma Monodrama collection of the World in 2017. Now we will publish a collection of chamber theatre dramas which show the journeys of Roma heroes from World War II. till today. This book will not just support the empowerment of Roma communities but also enriches mainstream culture.
What is it about?
We are currently working on that culture can reach and motivate those who do not have access to any cultural input. Making widely known how diverse the Roma theatre is, how many different genres and topics are represented through them is particularly important for us. We would like to leave valuable and authentic works of art on contemporary society for the future generations of the youth. Therefore, after the publication of our Roma monodrama volume in 2019, Independent Theater launches the first, international Roma drama volume of the world in March 2021. It will contain 5 chamber dramas by 5 European Roma playwrights both in English and in Hungarian, including also digital content.
Why is it important?
Theatre in its universal sense is always about people who take the responsibility for their deeds and bring change into our lives. In Roma plays we get to know the stories of Roma people who, despite their difficulties, never give up but make responsible decisions about their own and their communities’ lives. We find it essential to make authentic stories of the minority known among the Roma and the non-Roma, too.
What kind of stories can be found in the book?
The book is a collection of the works of five European Roma playwrights.
’Leader’ represents how the community of wandering Roma people and their leader struggle and manage the horrors of World War II. ’Kosovo mon Amour’ takes place 50 years later in the Balkan War and gives an insight into the challenges of a Roma family. The Roma girl from a small village in the play ‘Who Killed Somna Grancsa’ faces a real moral dilemma: whether to pursue her studies or instead, start a family? ‘Village Day’ is also about a small village in Hungary where the people living in extreme poverty have no choice but borrowing money from money lenders. ‘European Family’ is about the present-day quarantine: it tells the story of a family whose members are separated by country borders thanks to lockdown.
What do we need to publish the drama collection?
The process of publication is long and requires a lot of work. As the plays come from different countries, first the dramas need to be translated into Hungarian and English. After the translation phase we involve professional proof-readers and editors, then comes the layout and graphic design. Finally, we release the book both in print and in an e-book version.
If you’d like to support our work, your support is welcome at the address below:
Women for the Future Association
BIC/SWIFT: BUDAHUHB Bank name, adress: Budapest Bank Zrt., 7400 Kaposvár, Fő u. 3.
Support categories and our offers:
20 euro – the e-book version of the monodrama collection and a thank you e-mail
30 euro– the chamber dramas in e-book format and a thank you e-mail
50 euro– chamber drama collection in print
100 euro – monodrama and chamber drama collection in print
Join with us and support our work so that the stories of the Roma heroes can reach more people!
Heroes and stories, concert and game in one place?
Would you like to get an insight into the world of the heroes, get familiar with Roma plays and our methodology? If you take part, you can get to know the views of Hungarian musicians, the members of Speranta band – who give a concert at this event. Independent Theatre Hungary awaits you with love to this unusual occasion focusing on special heroes. If you are interested and want to talk about the topic, here’s the opportunity!
Come and see us on 18th September because you have the chance to win the one and only Roma drama volume of the world, written in Hungarian. Play with us! Let us toast to our heroes!
Time: 18th September 6-8 pm.
Attendance is free but registration is needed in advance: firstname.lastname@example.org
The event is supported by Erasmus+ programme.
Five countries, five Roma hero stories in one volume? The crew of Independent Theatre Hungary created the world’s first Roma drama volume with theatre artists. The stories are written by Roma people, about Roma people but these stories are meant not only for them. The plays guide us from the UK, through Switzerland and Hungary to Romania.
It is a great pleasure for us that the volume is already available on Amazon in Hungarian and English languages and includes stories from five countries.
Would you be interested in getting an insight into the lives of Scottish and Irish travellers and wandering gypsies? Would you like to read about jenish genocide taking place 50 years ago in Switzerland? Are you curious about Roma traditions, early marriage and starting a family in a young age? Do you want to know which Hungarian actress wanted Brad Pitt to adopt her? Every single story is about real-life situations. The main goal of creating the volume is to reach as many people as possible and to show the reader the values of Roma theatre and communities.
If you are interested and want to order the Roma drama collection, click HERE!
We are pleased to announce that the 2nd part of the volume containing more and more stories will be published soon.