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Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Celebrating Four Years of Contemporary, International Romani Theatre

Independent Theater Hungary, in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons, presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021. An entirely virtual endeavor, this project featured forty livestreamed events—twenty performances and interviews, each streamed twice—from seventy Romani artists in ten countries. These livestreams enacted a climate and public health-conscious approach to theatremaking and viewing. An entirely virtual endeavor, the Retrospective anticipated carbon emissions similar to flying just six artists round-trip from New York to Budapest. Simultaneously, it invited international connection and access to this unique and robust performance community.

These performances were all initially featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival in Budapest, which the Independent Theater Hungary has organized annually since 2017. The Roma Heroes International Theater Festival is the only international Roma theatre encounter in the world. It aims to showcase the diversity and value of Roma theatre and to draw attention to Roma communities by focusing on the challenges of their everyday heroes.

Although Romani or Roma are the largest ethnic minority in Europe, they still experience high levels of racism and social barriers. Additionally, Roma regularly face stereotypical representation in media and culture. Stigmas like these contribute to Roma theatre being relatively unknown despite more than a century of performance history within professional theatre groups in many countries. Join us in changing that narrative, and introduce yourself to the work of Roma artists from across Europe during the 2021 Retrospective.

The 2021 Roma Theatre Retrospective is supported in part by a grant from the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

three performers in set full of projections.
Interview with Mihaela Drăgan about Romacen – The Age of the Witch / Romacen – Vremea vrăjitoarei (Romania)
Video

Interview with Mihaela Drăgan about Romacen – The Age of the Witch / Romacen – Vremea vrăjitoarei (Romania)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Friday 19 November 2021 and Friday 10 December 2021
Romania

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest.

performer in front of a projection screen.
Interview with Richard O'Neill about The Hardest Word / A legnehezebb szó (United Kingdom)
Video

Interview with Richard O'Neill about The Hardest Word / A legnehezebb szó (United Kingdom)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Thursday 18 November 2021 and Friday 10 December 2021
United Kingdom

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest.

close-up of performer with hat on.
Interview with Michael Collins about It's a Cultural Thing. Or is it? (Ireland)
Video

Interview with Michael Collins about It's a Cultural Thing. Or is it? (Ireland)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Wednesday 17 November 2021 and Thursday 9 December 2021
Ireland

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest.
 

performer standing behind a still camera.
Interview with Alex Fifea and David Schwartz about You Didn't See Anything! / Voi n-ați văzut nimic! (Romania)
Video

Interview with Alex Fifea and David Schwartz about You Didn't See Anything! / Voi n-ați văzut nimic! (Romania)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Tuesday 16 November 2021 and Thursday 9 December 2021
Romania

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest.

two performers in spotlight, one behind the other.
Interview with Mihaela Drăgan about Who Killed Szomna Grancsa? / Cine a omorât-o pe Szomna Grancsa? (Romania)
Video

Interview with Mihaela Drăgan about Who Killed Szomna Grancsa? / Cine a omorât-o pe Szomna Grancsa? (Romania)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Friday 12 November 2021 and Wednesday 8 December 2021
Romania

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

poster for the show European Family.
Interview with Richard O'Neill and Tamás Szegedi about European Family (United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Hungary)
Video

Interview with Richard O'Neill and Tamás Szegedi about European Family (United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Hungary)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Thursday 11 November 2021 and Wednesday 8 December 2021
United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Hungary

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest.

three performers in hospital beds.
Interview with Rodrigó Balogh and Márton Illés about Shoddies / Selejtesek (Hungary)
Video

Interview with Rodrigó Balogh and Márton Illés about Shoddies / Selejtesek (Hungary)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Wednesday 10 November 2021 and Tuesday 7 December 2021

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest.

Performer with a bouquet of red paper flowers.
Interview with Sonia Carmona Tapia and Jaime Vicent Bohórquez about With Profound Dignity / De Profunda Dignitatis (Spain)
Video

Interview with Sonia Carmona Tapia and Jaime Vicent Bohórquez about With Profound Dignity / De Profunda Dignitatis (Spain)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Tuesday 9 November 2021 and Tuesday 7 December 2021
Spain

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest.

performer in yellow shirt with a puppet.
Interview with Sebastiano Spinella about Children of the Wind (Italy)
Video

Interview with Sebastiano Spinella about Children of the Wind (Italy)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Friday 5 November 2021 and Monday 6 December 2021
Italy

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest.

six performers in front of a white background.
Interview with Sandra Selimović, Simonida Selimović & Joschla Weiss about Forever Holiday?! / Für Immer Urlaub?! / So Kheren Amenca?! (Germany, Austria)
Video

Interview with Sandra Selimović, Simonida Selimović & Joschla Weiss about Forever Holiday?! / Für Immer Urlaub?! / So Kheren Amenca?! (Germany, Austria)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Thursday 4 November 2021 and Monday 6 December 2021
Germany, Austria

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest.

performer in a closet looking out.
Interview with Nebojša Marković and Rebecca Surber about I Can See You / Ich Sehe Dich (Germany)
Video

Interview with Nebojša Marković and Rebecca Surber about I Can See You / Ich Sehe Dich (Germany)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Wednesday 3 November 2021 and Friday 3 December 2021
Germany

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest.

three performers looking directly at us.
Interview with Sandra Selimović and Simonida Selimović about Heroes (Austria)
Video

Interview with Sandra Selimović and Simonida Selimović about Heroes (Austria)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Tuesday 2 November 2021 and Friday 3 December 2021
Austria

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest.

performer portraying an elderly roma woman in front of flowers.
Interview with Alex Fifea about Bambina, The Queen of Flowers/ Bambina, regina florilor (Romania)
Video

Interview with Alex Fifea about Bambina, The Queen of Flowers/ Bambina, regina florilor (Romania)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Friday 29 October 2021 and Thursday 2 December 2021
Romania

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest.

six performers standing in a park.
Interview with Rodrigó Balogh and Márton Illés about Village Day / Falunap (Hungary)
Video

Interview with Rodrigó Balogh and Márton Illés about Village Day / Falunap (Hungary)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Thursday 28 October 2021 and Thursday 2 December 2021
Hungary

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest.

performer in front a projection screen.
Interview with Tamás Szegedi and Márton Illés about Chameleon Girl / Kaméleonlány (Hungary)
Video

Interview with Tamás Szegedi and Márton Illés about Chameleon Girl / Kaméleonlány (Hungary)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Wednesday 27 October 2021 and Wednesday 1 December 2021
Hungary

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest.

performer dressed in traditional roma woman's clothing,
Interview with Nataliya Tsekova about Gypsy Wheels / Tsiganski kolela (Bulgaria)
Video

Interview with Nataliya Tsekova about Gypsy Wheels / Tsiganski kolela (Bulgaria)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Tuesday 26 October 2021 and Wednesday 1 December 2021

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest.

performer with folded paper on top of her head.
Interview with Mihaela Drăgan about Tell Them About Me / Del Duma (Romania)
Video

Interview with Mihaela Drăgan about Tell Them About Me / Del Duma (Romania)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Friday 22 October 2021 and Tuesday 30 November 2021
Romania

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest.

Performer playing a hand drum.
Interview with Zsolt Fekete-Lovas about Perkucigo / Perkucigó (Romania)
Video

Interview with Zsolt Fekete-Lovas about Perkucigo / Perkucigó (Romania)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Thursday 21 October 2021 and Tuesday 30 November 2021

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest.

performer lying in a bed.
Interview with František Balog about Roma from the Duvet or Enter the Majority! / Róm z perinky alebo Enter the Majority! (Slovak Republic)
Video

Interview with František Balog about Roma from the Duvet or Enter the Majority! / Róm z perinky alebo Enter the Majority! (Slovak Republic)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Wednesday 20 October 2021 and Monday 29 November 2021
Slovak Republic

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest.

performer in a black shirt in front of a projection screen.
Interview with Alina Serban about I Declare at My Own Risk (Romania, United Kingdom)
Video

Interview with Alina Serban about I Declare at My Own Risk (Romania, United Kingdom)

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Tuesday 19 October 2021 and Monday 29 November 2021
Romania, United Kingdom

Independent Theater Hungary, in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons, presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021.

Image of people sitting outdoors at a park during a performance.
Narratives of Activity in Traveller Drama Literature
Essay

Narratives of Activity in Traveller Drama Literature

Examining the plays It’s a Cultural Thing by Michael Collins and The Hardest Word and Today’s Lesson by Richard R. O’Neill

18 November 2021

Rodrigó Balogh, artistic director of the Independent Theater Hungary, shares his work and experiences creating a workshop series for Roma youth focused on several plays from the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival.

Performer with puppet.
Roma Heroes, Superpowers, and Human Agency: Exploring Taboo Topics in Independent Theater Hungary’s Festivals
Essay

Roma Heroes, Superpowers, and Human Agency: Exploring Taboo Topics in Independent Theater Hungary’s Festivals

11 November 2021

Pulling from works in the Independent Theater Hungary’s annual Roma Heroes International Theatre Festival, Rosamaria Kostic Cisneros discusses the ways that festival artists created and staged nuanced depictions of Roma life. Cisneros highlights several of these plays and pays particular attention to their representations of potentially taboo material.

A woman holding a white scarf over her head.
Roma Women on the Way to Self-Realization
Essay

Roma Women on the Way to Self-Realization

Performance Excerpts from the Last Four Years of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival

4 November 2021

János Róbert Orsós reflects on the representation of Roma women in the plays presented during the past four years of the Independent Theater Hungary’s Roma Heroes International Theater Fesitval.

A woman holding a protest sign
Roma Identity: From Stigmatization to Reconstruction
Essay

Roma Identity: From Stigmatization to Reconstruction

28 October 2021

Luiza Medeleanu discusses the importance and impact of Roma representation through her analysis of four Roma social plays.

Seven people at a bar table.
Reimagining a Segregated World: Roma Heroes, European Dramas
Essay

Reimagining a Segregated World: Roma Heroes, European Dramas

21 October 2021

Noémi Herczog discusses the need for greater Roma visibility on stage and introduces Roma Heroes: Five European Dramas, a new collection that anthologizes plays from the Independent Theater Hungary’s Roma Heroes International Theater Festival.

Roma Theatre Retrospective Logo
Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021
Video

Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021

Celebrating Four Years of Contemporary, International Romani Theatre

Tuesday 19 October to Friday 10 December 2021
Worldwide

Independent Theater Hungary in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons presented the Roma Theatre Retrospective 2021 which included forty livestreams of twenty shows and twenty interviews from Romani artists in ten countries who were featured during four editions of the Roma Heroes International Theater Festival, Budapest. Livestreaming on the commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network Tuesday 19 October to Friday 10 December 2021.