Abstracts of No. 2023/3, Volume 12

Abstracts of No. 2023/3, Volume 12

Panna Adorjáni: The Concept of Collective Creation in Romanian Theatre Discourses in the Period Before the Regime Change
The collective creative method, also known as devising in contemporary theatre-making, is gaining ground in the practice of theatre groups and collectives in Romania. In this context it seems necessary to examine the history of the concept in Transylvania, in particular in the period between the Second World War and the regime change of 1989. According to Adorjáni, first it was the Soviet model of collective working methods, and then mostly the Western European and North American experiments that had an impact on local theatrical thinking in this period. The study draws on the press coverage of the time to support this view.

Otília Ármeán: Filmic Influences in Contemporary Transylvanian Hungarian Theatre Performances
In the age of universal mediation, theatre is also increasingly shaped by the phenomena of extension. The mixing of media, the transgressions of boundaries and experimentation focus on hybridity, the finding of a common language, on plurality rather than on medium-specific characteristics. The paper proposes a theoretical categorisation of the cinematic devices used in theatrical performances and, through the interpretation of three performances from 2021, sets out on an exploration of the gained connotations derived from the juxtaposition of film with the theatrical medium.

Kata Köllő in Discussion With Tibor Pálffy: ”I Want to Make Things Seen Through the Actor”
In recent years, Tibor Pálffy has taken on the role of director on several occasions at the Tamási Áron Theatre. In this interview, the theatre critic Kata Köllő raises the question if he has similar ambitions in film directing, too. Pálffy, also known by the nickname ”Hobo”, toys with the idea, but he is sure that the filming would take place in a theatrical setting and would focus on the actors. His experience as an actor has shown that film and theatre are very different worlds, and as a teacher he believes it would be good for students to have more opportunities to get to know the camera.

Róza Rebeka Baltay: Cottage Cheese Noodles with Cracklings
Cottage cheese noodles are best made by grandmothers. The taste of the dish reminds Simi, the protagonist of the play, of his childhood, when the people she cared about could still talk to each other. A mother, her son, two grandmothers and a father about whom nothing is known for sure. Simi has to grow up listening to the grievances of his mother, Bori, and his grandmother, Mici, sharing his home with a new father-to-be. Like him, we are simultaneously present in both Mici’s and Bori’s apartment, trying to decide whom to believe. Years go by, and in the end, stuck between two doors, we find that there is nowhere to go home to.

Marcel Bélai: Meaning vs. Effect: the Trap of Illustration
The August/September thematic issue of the literary journal Látó featured five recent contemporary Hungarian plays. Marcel Bélai reflects on the impressions the texts made on him as a director, as well as on the possibilities and problems raised by Csaba Székely’s Az igazság gyertyái (The Candles of Truth), Sarolta Döbrentei’s Semmelweisre várva (Waiting for Semmelweis), János Háy’s Elem (Battery), Zoltán Egressy’s Szarvas a ködben (Deer in the Mist) and Leonidasz Purosz’s Honvágy (Homesickness).

Helga Balázs: The Best Thing About Summer: Nine Characters
The author, as the organiser of the Csalamádé drama camp, may well be self-consciously biased when asserting that the summer event organized primarily for high school students, can be a solution to boredom, loneliness, or even school problems lurking below the surface. During the two weeks, six theatre professionals – Gábor Kolozsi Borsos, Ákos Páll Gecse, Tamás Kiss, Szabolcs Korpos, Dorottya Sikó and György Kányádi – held workshops for the participants. Beyond the professional programmes, we also get a taste of the camp life experience – Helga Balázs confesses she is delighted that it starts to be a privilege to be a Csalamádé-camper.

Mátyás Dögei: Carried It on Its Back
This report on the 2023 edition of the Kisvárda Festival of Hungarian Theatres lays special emphasis on three performances: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (dir. Attila Matusek) of the Košice Thália Theatre; The Hammer of the Village (dir. Attila Vidnyánszky) of the Transcarpathian Regional Hungarian Drama Theatre; The Son of the Earth (dir. Máté Hegymegi) played by the Dezső Kosztolányi Theatre from Subotica. According to the author, the main driving force behind all three performances was the acting, and he also founds his analyses on this idea. The opinion permeating this writing about the festival as a whole is that the author misses the thematic or otherwise consistent selection principles holding the festival performances together, moreover, he deems that the professional discussions did not give room for negative criticism.

Réka Fazakas: A Sunflowerful of Homeliness
Quite unusually, the director Radu Afrim, known for his magical realist style, has based his new production, Sunflower, staged at Sfântu Gheorghe on a pre-written text, Andrea Pass’s play of the same title. Réka Fazakas starts her analysis of the Tamási Áron Theatre’s production from a feeling of homeliness, as the production brings the notion of home into play on several levels.

Gergő Frumen: Students, Theatre and Drama, Camp
The author of this report has been organizing drama camps together with Blanka Moldován for almost a decade under the auspices of the Teleki Hungarian House in Baia Mare, and in recent years also in Satu Mare, in the Lépésház event centre of the Borókagyökér Association. In the present article, Gergő Frumen summarises their experiences accumulated so far, and clarifies such basic questions as who actually attend these camps, what is the personal motivation of the camp leaders and the methodology they use – for example, how they channel the wish expressed by a considerable number of participants to create a presentable production.

Kata Jankovics: Genesis ’97
The author’s autobiographically inspired text speaks of twinhood as an existential experience, sometimes through the eyes of the biblical Esau and Jacob, sometimes from the point of view of the narrator, Kata. The experiences of the Old Testament figures and of the contemporary girl are intertwined, they engage in dialogue with each other, as we witness the struggles, the quest for identity, the competition and the desire for self-assertion in the sibling relationship.

Tamás Lovassy Cseh: What Is István Téglás Doing?
Lovassy Cseh’s essay calls into question the classification of Transylvanian vs. universal, theatre vs. film actor when evaluating the qualities of István Téglás. He observes Téglás’ art of acting in four films: the way his body movements are permeated by a subtle blend of consciousness, attention and control, his delicate gestures, the mystery of his presence, his pinpoint attention and the way he maintains silence. Téglás’s work as a film actor is characterised by an authentic and profound portrayal of the character, born out of a mixture of instinct and awareness.

Leonidasz Purosz: The Footballer, the Great-grandchildren and the Class Changer
This review focuses on three theatre productions included in the programme of the 16th edition of the Ördögkatlan Festival, which will be performed in the coming season (2023/2024). The production entitled 1v1, written, directed and performed by Benett Vilmányi, bills itself as a musical stand-up, but it boldly mixes genres and registers, beyond funny football stories. The first adult performance of the Ciróka Puppet Theatre of Kecskemét, entitked Barguzin – Lehullt csillag fénye (Barguzin – Light of a Fallen Star), is one of the most ingenious productions of the Petőfi 200 commemorative year. The adaptation Puszták népe (People of the Puszta), created by students from various art universities, is an updated version of the literary sociography written by Gyula Illyés, with an original vision.

Kata Köllő in Discussion With András Hatházi: ”It Brought Me Closer”
András Hatházi knows that it is difficult to define what ”authenticity” means exactly in the case of an actor, yet for him it is the most important professional value, and he feels that his work in film has brought him closer to finding it. In the interview, he reflects on the difficulty of acting in Romanian, on the problems of domestic actor training, on the existence of Hungarian film industry in Transylvania, as well as on the difference between a stage situation and an interview situation.

Emese Szabó–Berni Zárug: To Be Advancing
The coordinators of the summer drama camp of the Székely Mikó College report on this year’s experiences in a four-handed piece. Each day was divided into two parts: in the morning, the focus was on drama games, and in the afternoon they dealt with a community problem in a global simulation as characters in an imaginary world they created together. They could take on the role of members of the Avanzsálók (Advancing) tribe, who have lived their daily lives in peace on an island for centuries, but now have to face a new threat, a hostile power. The camp was also an important milestone for the organisers, as it marked the first step in their work together in the field.