New Spectator – the first community-based theater project of Hungary, 2010

New Spectator – the first community-based theater project of Hungary, 2010

In the framework of the New Spectator project, participating theatre performances took place in August 2010 in rural settlements (Ároktő, Szomolya). These performances reflected the problems of the local community, and the goal of the project was to strengthen the social dialogue with the tools of the theatre.

Our goal was to create theatre performances in rural communities in August 2010, all of which were designed creatively to reflect on the problems of the local community and to give the viewers a new „role” to reflect on the stories, phenomena and symbols presented by the theatre.

The theatre as an art is captured in an old but reframed framework when we claim that the essence of the theatre’s existence lies in its forum-nature. The main feature of this is that the content (what we are playing) is known to all viewers (as at the ancient Greeks), so that real attention can be directed to the form (to the “how to play”).

Our performances also offered a new viewer role: a participant who is not just a passive observer of a fictional story, but in certain cases is an active participant in the common thinking process called theatre. According to our hypothesis (and our experience so far), the dualism of action and analysis is liberating and creative.

In our interpretation, the Gypsy – Hungarian conflict is in line with the traditional viewer – playing attitude. This justifies the need for communication in the community and the interaction in theatre. In our presentations and in our actions, we can all be spectators and players by setting the rules and framework of the game in agreement with the locals.

We cannot offend anyone, but we have to deal with local issues. We want to achieve two kinds of reactions: laughter on ourselves and discussion with each other.

The base for creating these performances was a complex social research. The whole process was followed and interpreted by a documentary film and a photo project.


Duration of the project: September 2009 – November 2010

Cooperating organizations:

Káva Cultural Workshop /

Krétakör /

AnBlokk Association for Culture and Society /

Retextil Foundation /