Independent Theater Hungary presented a performance and conversation around Chameleon Girl (Hungary) as part of the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2020 livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 6 October 2020 at 9:30 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 12:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4) / 17:30 BST (London, UTC +1) / 18:30 CEST (Budapest, UTC +2) / 19:30 EEST (Bucharest, UTC +3).
“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.
Starring Emília Lovas
Written by Illés Márton
English translation: Anna Lengyel
Music: Szabolcs Endrődy and Vincent Ribault
Costume: Kinga Gulyás
Visual: Alina Vincze
Assistant: Dorottya Mátravölgyi
Directed by Tamás Szegedi
About the Series
Although Roma are the largest ethnic minority in Europe, they still experience high level of racism and have to deal with many societal issues. Additionally, Roma are being represented in a very stereotypical way in the media and art world. The Roma theater has more than a century long past with active professional theater groups in many European countries, but unfortunately, they are still hardly known. The Roma Heroes Theater Festival initiated by the Independent Theater Hungary is the only international Roma theater encounter in the World, which have been organized in every year since 2017. Many of the artists and their work are featured in this current series.
Judit Ignácz mostly worked at NGOs in Roma related projects, organizing and facilitating trainings, seminars concerning the topic of racism, human rights and non-formal education. She finished her studies of Master of Public Administration of School of Public Policy at Central European University and became a French and Romani language teacher at the University of Pecs. She also has experience in media and communication. She is passionate about human rights and non-formal education.