Roma Heroes – Interdisciplinary Course Development II.

Call for application for university educators working at German universities.

Given the great success of our first interdisciplinary course development programme, the Independent Theatre Hungary invites entries for a competition for university educators who intend to run an independent course in the autumn semester of 2020/21. If you are interested in the interdisciplinary contexts of the European Roma communities, contemporary theatre plays and performances your application is welcome.

What is „Roma Heroes”?
2019 was the third year we organised the Roma Heroes International Theatre Festival. The goal of the festival is to show the values of Roma theatre both for the Roma and non-Roma audience, for the young and the old, too. From the selection of the plays chosen for the first two festivals, we published the first international collection of Roma dramas.  All plays elaborate the stories of real Roma heroes and they not only make us acquainted with the life of the Roma people and communities but also help to find our own heroes. The initiative plays a crucial role in reinforcing the members of Roma communities and in developing the knowledge on the topic related to different disciplines.  The lecturers who participated in our previous course development workshop realised new courses connected to theatre, communication, anthropology, art and film studies. Beside widening their professional knowledge, the educators also became more open to take in different perspectives, and their co-operative skills improved, too.

Roma Heroes Internationale Theater Festival

Why is it important?
In each culture- in Ancient Greece, in the Elizabethan theatre, or in the American classics- the active dramatic characters who are able to make decisions and set changes afloat appear together with the emergence of the middle-class. Through these stories we can obtain a vast knowledge on the past and present of different European societies. With the “hero narrative” we were able to reframe the old narratives, to engage and strengthen different groups. The Roma theatre has a special role as part of the European cultural heritage. Our programme gives he opportunity to examine and get to know better the similarities and the differences of the methodology applied in the different disciplines.

Roma Heroes workshop

What do we offer?

  • Opportunity to participate in the three-day long workshop facilitated by international storytellers and the experts of Independent Theatre Hungary
  • The workshop includes getting to know and elaborating contemporary Roma plays – based on historical and social aspects, communication frame and effects, language elements, potential to form the identity and other interdisciplinary aspects brought up by the participants
  • Getting to know the work of other disciplines- lecturers who took part in our first course development workshop meet the new participants
  • Getting to know the pedagogic methods ideal to elaborate our argument
  • Realisation of new course plan in co-operation with other lecturers
  • We pay the travel cost and the cost of the accommodation and catering for the participants related to the event realized in Budapest.
  • We release the scenario of the plays, the video recordings of the excerpts used, and the related materials  
  • Follow-up, mentoring, knowledge sharing during the realisation and evaluation of the course plans
  • Gross 300 EUR payment for the educators in case of a well-elaborated, detailed course plan for the autumn semester of 2020 at one of the German universities.
  • As a member of a dynamic and colourful team, we provide the possibility to participate in the development and dissemination of Roma heroes- a unique, complex cultural-educational-social initiative

What do we expect?
  • Active participation in the three-day long workshop held in Budapest (8-10 February 2020);
  • Good command of English (intermediate level) to participate in the workshops;
  • The realisation of a well-elaborated, detailed course plan within a month after the workshop has ended;
  • Execution of a university course related to the topic in the autumn semester of 2020.;
  • Contacting the Independent Theater Hungary during the course;
  • Sharing the experience and the results of the course after their realization

The feedback of the participants of the course development workshop:

I have never built in storytelling texts into my courses but they turned out to be important sources for me. This is why I applied for the development course: I could propose new ethical questions thanks to the texts, since the sources I used until then were either ethnographic collections (confessions) filled with the subjective point of view and interpretation of the collector, or literary texts. According to the postmodern approach what you cannot write in an anthropological way, should be written as literature. The five Roma dramas were perfect to be analysed because they stand on the boundary of the two genres: they were in themselves born from a Roma point of view. They held a mirror so the reader could interpret them as his /her own. The storytelling texts fill a gap: they give knowledge over to the Roma about their own history and the Roma who endured any kind of atrocity.  As we all know, giving knowledge over increases tolerance.  (Boglárka Bakó, Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Cultural Anthropology, Ethic Course)

„The twelve occasions of the workshops contributed to the renewal of my professional methodology and my personal attitude. The co-operation with the educator colleagues at the workshop inspired my preparatory work in the beginning. At the end of the project when the students met the members of the Independent Theatre in the realms of an informal talk, it was also very motivating.  I realized how essencial interactivity is, and in the future, I would like to stick to it.  The plays inspired me because the course I held could give a complex experience with their help, and the students could use knowledge embedded in a creative experience. They showed the knowledge they obtained in a creative product at the end of the course, this way the assessment was deliberating and what is more, the students could really appreciate each-other’s work. The outcome of the course was some essays and films on the topic, like the video entitled “The homeless superhero”.  (Andrea Pócsik, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Budapest)

How to apply

You can apply HERE, sending us the filled-in application form and your professional CV until 10 January 2020 to the following e-mail address: For further information, please call Edina Szabados on the following number: +36205210533.

III. International Roma Heroes Theatre Festival

Independent Theater Hungary organizes the third Roma Heroes International Theatre Festival this year, between 24th August and 15th September, presenting Roma companies and their plays from several European countries. The shows take place in Eötvös 10 Theatre and in Vallai kert, RS9 Theatre.

In the past two years (2017 and 2018) we invited monodramas and storytelling performances to Hungary. The festival keeps growing and in 2019, the audience can get to know Roma chamber theatre plays. Our goal is to show the diversity of Roma theatre, also presenting different genres and topics. The artists tell stories from Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary about the past and present of Gypsy communities, showing their everyday challenges related to education, health care, migration, integration and assimilation. "So far, the plays presented the viewpoint of one hero, but this year, different points of views and the diverse relations of Roma and non-Roma communities will be in the spotlight", said Rodrigó Balogh, artistic director of the theatre and the festival.

The plays are performed with English subtitles and Hungarian interpreting, so they are accessible for Hungarian and foreign audience as well.

In August 2019, two plays present the active youth.

Both plays star youngsters who draw attention to the challenges and active engagement of the new generation.

The coproduction of Gorki Studio in Berlin and Romano Svato company in Vienna is based on the real life story of the Yugoslavian sisters who were born in Germany but got recently deported from there, with the help of professional actors and youngsters.

Hungarian premiere: 24th August 2019, 6 p.m., Eötvös10 Közösségi és Kulturális Színtér
Audience discussion with the artists after the show.  

Photo: Nihad Nino Pušija
from the play 'Forever Holiday!'

The play "Shoddies" by Independent Theater Hungary also put youngsters on the stage to show the insane health care system, their own traumas and prejudices, and to ask themselves as well as the spectators what we can do – instead of complaining – to improve this situation.

Public rehearsal: 23rd August 2019, 6 p.m., RS9 Theatre, Vallai kert

Premiere: 25th August 2019, 6 p.m., RS9 Theatre, Vallai kert

Audience discussion with the artists after the show.

Photo: Alina Vincze
The "Shoddies"

In September 2019, two plays discuss the deadly challenges of the community.

While one play evokes history, the other explores the circumstances of a young girl's death.

The festival continues in September with the Czech ARA Art company, evoking Roma history in a new form, building on the elements of circus arts. The storytelling of the old Roma women guides us through the fate and past of the community, starting with the origin legend of Gypsy people, through modern history and Holocaust till the assimilation efforts of the socialist regime. Even though the story presents a Czech perspective, it raises topics and issues that are important for Roma communities in Hungary as well.

Hungarian premiere: 14th September 2019, 6 p.m., Eötvös10 Közösségi és Kulturális Színtér
Audience discussion with the artists after the show.

Photo: Jan Mihalicek
from the play Pindral

Giuvlipen company from Bucharest tells the story of a young Roma girl who would like to keep studying but neither her family nor her school supports her. The play is based on a real story and presents the struggle of the girl from various perspectives, raising the validity of different approaches and at the same time pointing out collective responsibility that no one can escape.

Hungarian premiere: 15th September 2019, 6 p.m., RS9 Theatre, Vallai kert
Audience discussion with the artists after the show.

Source: Giuvlipen Theater Company

If you would like to book your ticket, contact us at!

Roma Heroes International Theatre Festival is the one and only international theatre meetup in the world for Roma theatres which aims to bring together the minority and the majority, and strengthen Roma communities by showing the values and challenges of Roma theatre and communities.