Background information on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller plays and educational materials to workshops


We believe that dramas and dramatic heroes can be used in formal and non-formal education as well, not just to ensure information and knowledge regarding the values and challenges of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller theaters and communities for young people, but also in order to empower them.

Dramas focus on dramatic heroes who react to challenging situations when making decisions, taking responsibility, and doing actions that bring some change in their own life or the ones living in their communities. Such dramatic heroes are very similar to active citizens in general. They are diverse regarding their roots, values, decisions and activities, some of them succeed, meanwhile others fail. As we show different stories and heroes when highlighting different plays during our Roma Heroes workshops until now held in Hungary, Romania, Spain and Italy - the participating young people can discuss which value, decision or heroes are attractive for them, no matter why. There is no good or bad answer regarding preferred values and heroes, but it’s important that the young people can take into consideration the different aspects and can make their own decisions also regarding the preferred stories, heroes and also in their future life.

Most of the young people participating in such workshops - where we don’t just deal with the heroes of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller dramas, but also the heroes of the participants, and also their own heroic acts - recognize that they can also be active citizens and make responsible decisions in challenging situations. They can gain belief that they can shape our common future somehow, which is the first step for any kind of change. The GRT (Gypsy, Roma, Traveller) and non-GRT participants can also meet non-stereotypical values and aspects of Roma culture and communities, which shape the Gypsy, Roma or Traveller-image also among GRT (Gypsy, Roma, Traveller) and non-GRT participants, show the human similarities, and the challenges of the different groups, too. In our point of view, it’s very important to show Gypsy, Roma and Traveller heroes who usually don’t get enough focus in mainstream communication and culture.

Below you can find the general frame of our workshops - which are always different according to the time frames and the characteristics of the participants. Afterwards you can see the backgrounds of each play in focus, and their potential elaboration - which we usually do after screening the focus scene videos of the given plays and reading the excerpts of the dramas together with the participants.

The draft of the Roma Heroes Workshops

1st part

  • Introduction and agreeing on common frames
  • Participants’ introduction and common brainstorming regarding the general characteristics of hero stories

    Challenge -> Decision -> Action -> Success or Failure -> Impact
  • Short Introduction of GRT (Gypsy, Roma, Traveller) theaters
  • Screening the focus scenes of 2-4 plays
  • The participants form small groups according to their choice of play that they want to work on; each small group receives excerpts and some background information of the chosen plays, they can read and discuss them based on given questions such as:
    • What challenges does the dramatic hero of the play face?
    • How does the dramatic hero react to these challenges - what is his/her decision and activity?
    • What is the impact of the activities?
    • Do you consider the protagonist a hero or not? Why?
    • Do you have any dilemma related to the story, decision or actions?
  • The groups present their stories and their opinions and dilemmas to each other, and the members of the different groups can also reflect on the stories and issues of the other ones
  • Closing round

2nd part

  • Introduction and summary of the first part
  • The workshop facilitators share stories of their own heroes, and later their own heroic acts, and ask the participants to share such stories with each other in pairs and small groups, too
  • The participants share the stories they’ve heard as if they were their own ones – comes storytelling and reflection
  • Selection of stories, topics and issues related to the stories heard; the participants decide on which one they want to work on
  • Creation of small groups and doing creative work (e.g., theater scene, writing, drawing, video) based on the stories and issues they have chosen
  • Presenting the artwork and giving feedback, reaction to them
  • Closing round

Workshop materials and background information

O'Neill, Richard R.Potential elaboration of "The Hardest Word"DOWNLOAD