The play is preceded the experimental short film ‘Batrachian’s Ballad’ by Leonor Teles. In the film, the artist breaks frog statues exposed at the entrance of Portuguese shops, drawing attention to a discriminatory practice. These seemingly charming frog statues are signs: they keep the Roma away from shops throughout Portugal. We have been aware of many stories about security guards following the Roma in the shops, and that the Roma are not even allowed into many clubs. But the frogs themselves are rarely mentioned. Who are these frogs? In many cases, they are the members of the Roma minority themselves since majority societies have always preferred employing members of minorities to keep away or regulate their own kind.
In the performance directed by Rodrigó Balogh, we learn about the history of three generations of a family of frogs, two generations of which can get a job as guardians, bouncers, thus, they are often confronted with the members of their own community. The different family members of the story develop from generation to generation, while the youngest one, as a musician, can change from a ‘guardian-frog’ into a ‘honorary frog’. With his art, he already softens the heart of the princess, who will fall in love with the frog-boy. Of course, from the kiss of the princess, frogs become princes.
Written by Rodrigó Balogh, Márton Illés
Directed by Rodrigó Balogh
Performed by István Babindák, Orsolya Balogh, Nora Nemcsók, Norbert Oláh / András Tamás Szegedi, Dávid Varga
Music – István Babindák, Máté Kovács
Technical leader – Tamás András Szegedi
Director’s assistant – Ágnes Sarlós
Ogre Freak - or face the truth!
Ogre freak, or face the truth!” is a puppet show which depicts the high school years of a young Roma boy whose greatest fear is that his origins will be revealed. The story is about overcoming this fear, about taking pride in ourselves and it is about the fact that we all have difficulties that we don’t have to hide.
What difficulties does a young person have to face in a new environment? What could be the secret to success? How can he be popular in the new environment? “Ogre freak” makes life difficult for a twelve year old boy. In order to escape his fears, he has to work hard to keep his secrets hidden from his new friends in his new school. Adam, the protagonist, seizes every opportunity to be popular, but recognition and success are not given for free and sooner or later the truth will come to light. Then friendship, trust, courage and all-encompassing love will have a real role to play!
Producer – Rodrigó Balogh
Director, Writer, Set design – and Puppet designer – Tamás András Szegedi
Assistant Director – Szilárd Szegedi
Tamás Szegedi – Ádám / Captain Ogre
Rita Alexits – Töttös / Mommy
Viktória Németh – Lili / Teacher
Norbert Varga – Pufi / Policeman buddy
Soundtrack- István Babindák
Sight /visual – Norbert Oláh
Panna Czinka - The Dance of the Witch
The grueling fated girl, Panna Czinka already at the age of 9, played her violin in such a way that people marveled. Thanks to her talent, her landowner taught her to play the violin with his own money, and by the age of 12, the little Gypsy girl had become a real virtuoso artist. She traveled the country in a Gypsy caravan, practiced, played music diligently, when she had to: she hide, when she was allowed to play: she played music. The caravan once farmed close to the camp of a Hungarian regiment when a southern company military officer appeared. Despite all the bitterness of the young woman’s fate, she greeted him with an open heart. The love unfolded minute by minute between the two of them. The Hungarian soldier and the Gypsy girl were on a joint journey. But the persecution of the Gypsies affected the lives of both of them. Their love is overshadowed by a lot of hurt, malice, and a sense of love for their own people.
Is the saying that love defeats everything true? If you had to choose between a relationship and a career, what would you choose? Can a different origin put an end to capitalized love? The love thread of our story is fictitious, but the performance describes historically accurate events. Seventy minutes of time jump awaits the audience in the soft lap of nature. Accompanied by authentic live music, we show the age and the woman who was the first to make a breakthrough in Gypsy music.
Producer: Rodrigó Balogh
Writer: Barnabás Boda-Novy
Director: Emília Boda-Novy
Director’s assistant: Adrienn Szűcs
Panna Czinka – Ramóna Farkas
Soldier/father/clown – Máté Pásztor
Clarinet – István Babindák
Violin – Zoltán Baranyi
Cymbalo – Béla Vidák
Costumes: Tekla Inotay
“In addition, it’s important that Panna takes a different kind of female path than what
was assigned to her, and what is usually assigned to Gypsy girls even today in many
places. You can choose love and a profession at the same time, since something can
happen to women, too.“
The Animal’s Play (based on a play by Péter Valcz) is a fun, interactive family performance about friendship and theater, where children and adults alike can have fun. It’s about a theatre company of different animals who can’t compete with today’s needs, so they’re forced to break up, they have to stand their ground alone in the big world, without theater. Among the members of the company we can get to know the aged company leader cobra, the comic monkey, the young heartbreaking tiger, the primadonna cat and the helpful mole.
Members need to stay afloat to learn what’s good, what needs to change to eventually become a more cohesive team. By the end of the story, they realize they’re going to do much more together than alone. Theater can give everyone something that virtual reality may not be able to do. What is the strength of a community? How can we achieve change together? The presentation revolves around these issues, among others.
The performance is recommended for everyone from the age of five.
Producer – Rodrigó Balogh
Writer, director – Dávid Csányi
Director’s assistant – Bóra Dömötörfy
Performed by Orsolya Balogh, Dávid Csányi, Nóra Nemcsók, Rómeó Pápai
Dramaturge – Márton Illés
Music – Tamás Sebesi
Costumes – Luca Szabó
Make-up – Judit Szabó
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 hope when the biggest goodwill turns the most important people of our lives against us? What is needed when we take the road of unscrupulousness because we cannot get out of the woods? 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 by Independent Theatre Hungary and they can taste the special delicacies of the village during the premiere, too.
Written and directed by Rodrigó Balogh
Dramaturgy by Márton Illés
Protagonist – Emília Lovas, Dávid Csányi, Béla Stubnya, Cristopher Pászik, Orsolya Balogh, Judit Kőszegi
“The educational and performing arts activities of the company are unique and cannot be compared
to anything else in Hungary at present. Through them culture functions as a miniature model of
„The company’s educational-performing method is unique and cannot be compared to anything else in Hungary. Through it, culture works as the miniature model of Hungarian embourgeoisement.”
„Bizarre, exciting and heart breaking.”
Shoddies„Why, have you ever done anything for someone else? What are you doing to improve the health care system? To improve the treatment of patients?"
What are the general experiences about health care system? How embarrassing is it to just wait and wait when we are ill and vulnerable? What are our experiences or stereotypes on the Roma, addict or extremist youngsters that who might be our neighbors in a ward? Health care system has a lot of weak points and we all have at least one horror story about a quirky nurse, a grumpy doctor, a dirty ward or an insupportable patient. But have a look at this question from an other angle, let’s see what we can do for a change! Independent Theater Hungary’s play shows different viewpoints on health care as well as coexistence in general and draws attention to the importance of taking action.
directed by Rodrigó Balogh
dramaturge – Márton Illés
performed by Barbara Balázs, Irén Godó, Katalin Godó and Dániel Lakatos
movement director – Gyula Antal Horváth
visual – Alina Vincze, Péter Illés
„At the and of the story it’s revealed that the characters’ lives are interconnected. The twist are a bit melodramatic, but it is a well-made, well-planned, original play.”
„The play represents one of the possibilities of how to act – which obviously doesn’t remedy the problems of the faulty system, but at least helps us to overcome learned helplessness.”
„Rodrigó Balogh displays a special sensibility with „Shoddies”. He demonstrates an incredibly important and burning problem without unnecessary stylization.”
Chameleon Girl„We can truly understand our loved ones only if we do not simply accept what they say with their lips. Only if we really breath together and become truly one, as a chameleon.”
A helper is asking questions to a seemingly average teenage girl to understand, why she did what she did, why she wants to decide as she does. The girl recalls memories and experiences, not all of which are her own. We can learn about the challenges of grandparents, sisters, teachers, kindergarten peers and schoolmates through the story of the girl with a strange talent: she can assimilate with everything or everyone, reads the mind and memories of others and doesn’t want to follow anyone’s example. She wants to live her own life instead.
The superhero-story was devised based on the real-life stories of Roma youngsters participating in “Roma Heroes” workshop of Independent Theater. The play brings new light on the members of this colourful and conscious generation.
directed by Tamás Szegedi
written by Illés Márton
assistant – Dorottya Mátravölgyi
starring – Emília Boda-Novy
music – Szabolcs Endrődy and Vincent Ribault
costume – Kinga Gulyás
visual – Alina Vincze
English translation – Anna Lengyel
„The fascinating and witty story of the performance turns into a fairy tale. And we all want it to come true. Let the power of tales and personal hero stories beat regimes.”
„The play stands up against stereotypical thinking and stands for listening to and getting to know others. While it – luckily – doesn’t give straight answers, the message becomes apparent: both the minorities and the majority must find their own fate and answers, even if others try to lead them telling great truth with good intention towards the supposed best path.„
„The monologues raise sociological problems that we have to face every day on the street or while watching the news.”
The hardest word„What is the hardest word for you? What is the word that is hard to say and why?"
The monodrama displays both the vulnerability and the firm character of Jess. From her confession, we learn what challenges she has to face while fighting steadily for her goals – against her own family, the society or the authority.
Sometimes civil disobedience is the only way to maintain our dignity, she believes.
Background and impact of the play
Richard R O’Neill’s play, based on the story of Jess Smith, was first performet at Edinburgh Storytelling Festival in 2008. The issue of the centuries long persecution caught the attention of the Church of Scotland when one of the priests, Russel McLarty attended Jess Smith’s show at the festival.
After the premiere, Jess met the church leaders and this experience initiated long-lasting changes in the church’s approach to Traveller’s history. When Jess Smith told her friend, the playwright Richard R. O’Neill about her plan to demand a statement of apology from the state, he offered to write a monologue for Jess – so this play is the demand itself. Although neither the state nor the first minister apologised to the Traveller communities for the violation of their human rights, on 25 May 2012 the Church of Scotland did so.
In the UK, the performance brought countrywide recognition for the artists, inspired the everyday work of health care and community development organisations, and encouraged Roma women to write.
written by – Richard R. O’Neill
directed by – Rodrigó Balogh
translated – Viktória Kondi
Hungarian translation supervised by – Ágnes Stemler
screenplay – Márton Illés
Jess Smith – Edina Dömök
„… when we take part in a social experience where we watch something together and then discuss it with strangers, we become active in reception, forming our opinion and communication, too.”
„A political and fabulous manifesto written in a poetic form, presented with high emotions. Brave, heated, forward: it transmits freedom.”
„From Jess Smith’s confession, we learn what challenges she has to face while struggling steadily for her goals against her own family, society, and the authority. She believes that sometimes civil disobedience is the only way to maintain our dignity.”