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.