Receiving of the Ibsen Scholarship
In 2012 Független Szíínház (The Independent Theatre Hungary) received an an International Ibsen Scholarship for the project “Peer Gynt’s Children.”
Peer Gynt’s Children
About “Peer Gynt’s Children”
The projects “Peer Gynt’s Children” seek to investigate the play Peer Gynt with the aim to see parallels between Peer Gynt and the Romany people. For The Independent Theatre Hungary, Peer Gynt is synonymous with the gypsy intellectuals with no roots, sprung from deep poverty. In his home community, Peer became what the environment expected of him. Being subject of a collective disdain resulting from this kind of stigmatization gives a clear analogue to gypsy people’s current situation in Hungary and in Europe.
The play Peer Gynt discusses issues that are important in young gypsy’s lives today: the relationship between parent and child, the search of opportunities, the fear of frequent retreat, crime and punishment.
About the applicant:
Független Szíínház (The Independent Theatre Hungary)
The Independent Theatre was established by Rodrigo Balogh. The theatre cares for high artistic quality, gypsy and inter-ethnic themed artistic productions serving and mediating a human centred art. The Independent Theatre Hungary is a gypsy theatrical association that reflects on contemporary social issues. In the company, youths, mostly from the ghettoes, produce professional performances about adult’s topics. The performances have a documentary-like accuracy. The Independent Theatre speaks about social tensions in Europe, especially with issues interrelated to gypsies.
The jury’s statement
Független Szíínház (The Independent Theatre) and Balogh Rodrigo of Hungary has created the project “Peer Gynt’s Children”. What particularly impressed the jury about this project was the intention to combine a theatrical concern with Ibsen’s play with a social and educational project that has the issue of how to create a tolerant society of different cultures as its focus. The Independent Theatre is a theatre company and association established by and for the Gypsy community in Hungary. The actors are mostly amateurs. The concerns of the group are particularly related to how social upheavals affect Gypsy youth in contemporary Hungarian society. The company employs a variety of techniques and methods to show the relevance of theatre in society to serve as vehicle for social and cultural change – performances, media initiatives and productions, workshops. The interest in Peer Gynt is related to a view that Ibsen’s play shows parallels between the Romany and the Norwegian fairy tale world, and also to emphasise the importance of people to make existential and social choices about identity and role in society. The project is very much about breaking down stereotypes through interpreting and staging versions of what creates social and individual destinies.
After a multistage selection process, eight young people got involved in the scholarship program. The scholars has different background and previous experience and their task in the project will be to analyze and reinterpret the classic play according to its present aspects and social points of view.
In the first phase they will analyze the play, realizing thematic situational practices and getting to know and work up actual artistic initiatives. In spring the final play will be written on the base of their work. The premier of the play will be held in summer after the professional training of the young people, and a complex rehearsal process. The scholars work and study together 15 hours every week.
The Peer Gynt Scholars:
Follow the project here.