Roma Heroes Retrospective Series


European Roma plays online

Independent Theater Hungary launches an on-line series starting on 11 June 2020 and presents a European Roma theatre performance each week. The theatrical company has been organising the only international Roma theatre festival of the world for years. Responding to the current situation in a unique way, Independent Theater makes the festival performance videos available on its video sharing portal. The first piece, The Hardest Word by Richard O’Neill will be available from 11 June 2020 (21 p.m.).

The aim of Independent Theater Hungary is to show the artistic and thematic diversity of Roma theatre. In the forthcoming three months, twelve video recordings of notable festival performances from the past years will be presented. Each Thursday at 21 p.m. a new Roma play will be made available for a week on the official YouTube channel of the Theater.

Even though there have been Roma theatres for more than 100 years in Europe, and nowadays there are numerous active and inspiring Roma theatre companies in several counties, there’s hardly any possibility to get to know them unless you visit the Roma Heroes International Festival or watch our retrospective series online. The series unveils the varied but unknown face and fate of the Roma people beginning from the world of the British Travellers to the Roma heroines of the Spanish Civil War, from the inhabitants of present-day Italian Gipsy settlements to the young Roma people facing unusual challenges in Romania.

‘Through these stories we can get hold of a lot of knowledge regarding the past and present of the different European societies. If we find the hero in the other person and in ourselves, we can finally understand each-other and can feel able to shape our world. Roma theatre, as part of the cultural heritage, has an important role.’ – said Rodrigó Balogh, the artistic director of Independent Theater Hungary. The IV. Roma Heroes International Theatre Festival will be held again, in October 2020.  Based on the dramas and performance recordings collected during the past years, the Theater will create a digital archive with the purpose to make the values of Roma theatre available for the future generations.


Beside the performance videos, various interviews made with Roma theatre makers and actors will also be shared with the public.

The performances are in their original language with Hungarian and English subtitles.

The first play can be seen on 11 June 2020 at 21:00 p.m.

Where? On the YouTube channel of Independent Theater Hungary


Roma Heroes Project

Independent Theatre Hungary, beginning from 2017, organises the only international Roma theatre festival of the world annually. Many Roma theatre companies and artists attend the festival from several countries of Europe each year. We want to draw attention to the values of Roma theatre, the situation in which our Roma communities live, focusing on the challenges many value driven people and Roma heroes must face. The performances are also disseminated at out workshops by the participating young people and our experienced trainers. The plays also became part of the university curriculum at different universities of Budapest. The Theater launched the first Roma drama collection of the world based on the festival performances, and set up an exhibition from the portraits of Roma theatre makers. For further details, please visit:


Performance videos of the retrospective series in order of appearance:

Richard O’Neill – The Hardest Word: in Hungarian with English subtitles on June 11, 2020 21:00 p.m.

The play is about the campaign of the Scottish Traveller writer, Jess Smith who demands an apology from the Prime Minister for the injustices done to Scottish Travellers in the past.


Mihaela Drăgan – Tell Them about Me: in Romanian with English and Hungarian subtitles on June 18, 2020 21:00 p.m.

Through the stories of different Gipsy women living in Romania the play deals with the problem of early marriages.


Zdrava Kamenova, Kalin Angelov – Gipsy Wheels: in Bulgarian with English and Hungarian subtitles on June 25, 2020 21:00 p.m.

With a touch of humour, the performance explores the struggles of a young Roma woman coming from a Bulgarian ghetto who is in search for her self-acceptance and identity.


Jaime E. Vicent Bohórquez, Sonia Carmona Tapia – With Profound Dignity: in Spanish with English and Hungarian subtitles on July 2, 2020 21:00 p.m.

The play is a tribute to Emilia Fernández Rodríguez, the first Roma woman beatified in 2017, and to Gabriela Ortega Gómez, the first Roma performer with an academic qualification ever.


Alex Fifea, David Schwartz – You Didn’t See Anything! in Romanian with English and Hungarian subtitles on July 9, 2020 21:00 p.m.

The piece depicts the social processes and the justice system by showing the reasons behind the death of a Roma boy.


Michael Collins – It’s a cultural thing. Or is it?: in English with Hungarian subtitles on July 16  21:00 p.m.

The piece is about the past of the travelling Gipsies, the Travellers living in Ireland.


Sebastiano Spinella – Children of the Wind: in English with Hungarian subtitles on July 23, 2020 21:00 p.m.

This is the story of the young people living in the ghettos of Italy, on whom everybody has given up, except for Sebastiano.


Márton Illés – Chameleon Girl: in Hungarian with English subtitles on July 30, 2020 21:00 p.m.

The play is about a young Roma girl who must make the hardest decision of her life.


Giuvlipen Theatre Company –Who Killed Szomna Grancsa?: in Romanian with English and Hungarian subtitles on August 6, 2020 21:00 p.m.

With the help of the performance we can get a glimpse at the life of a brave, young girl, first from her village ever to go to secondary school, who fights for the truth to the bitter end.


Rodrigó Balogh – Shoddies: in Hungaran with English subtitles on August 13, 2020 21 p.m.

We can see young people on stage who want to show the chaos of the health care system, their own traumas and prejudices, this way raising the question: what can we, as individuals do to make the situation better?


Ara ART Theatre Company – ‘…and again we all slept pindral’: in Czech with English and Hungarian subtitles on August 20, 2020 21:00 p.m.

It is the tale of an old Roma woman about the fate of the Gipsies starting from creation until the present days.


František Balog – Roma from the Duvet or Enter the Majority! : in Slovakian with English and Hungarian subtitles on 27 August, 2020 21 p.m.

In the centre of the comedy we can find a Roma boy who tells different episodes from his childhood, teenager period and adulthood, this way sharing with us his life story and the process of becoming a member of majority society.