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Chameleon Girl - Independent Theater Hungary

Chameleon Girl


A seemingly average teenage girl is being questioned by her mentor who wants to understand why she did what she did, why she is making the decision that she is making.

The girl recalls memories and experiences but not all of them are her own. We get involved in the challenges of grandparents, sisters, teachers, kindergarten peers and classes through the exception skilled girl's tale who can assist with anything or anything, read the mind and memories of others and does not want to follow anyone else's example.

"'The only way to understand our loved ones is if we look beyond what they say. If we really breathe together, if we blend into them like a chameleon.’"


Writer:Márton Illés
Director:Tamás András Szegedi
Performer:Emília Boda-Novy (Lovas)
Costume:Kinga Gulyás
Music:Szabolcs Endrődy, Vincent Ribault
Premiered:2018, Studio K Theater, Budapest, Hungary



In the play you can find the stories of young Roma people most of whom are university students and shared their stories with us during the Roma Heroes Workshops.

These are vastly different from the traditional, often stereotypical Roma stories, and they show how the Roma emerge to become active and responsible citizens. They are very critical regarding both the concept of the 'good Roma' who adheres to traditions and insists on its exclusive Roma identity, as well as the concept of the 'good Gypsy' who makes its own decisions, is fully modernised, well-educated and identifies with the majority. In the performance the creators wanted to give an insight into the diverse world of these young people.

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Focus scene


‘Being a chameleon has two conflicting meanings: on the one hand, by changing colour, it indicates a complete blending, the loss of Roma identity. However, the protagonist tries to interpret her own chameleon image differently when it becomes a metaphor for empathy for her: she develops the ability of compassion and empathy into a superpower.’


'In Tamás András Szegedi's directing, Emília Lovas plays the Gypsy girl in a sovereignly convincing, yet ethereally charming manner throughout the play and embraces youth as superpower as if everything was happening in a fairy tale.'


‘This could be the survival story of an average adolescent, but problems that seriously affect the social status of the Roma are discussed, such as early school leaving and child-bearing. The performance almost turns into a tale from the story so far depicted so nicely and wittily.’ And we wish it to happen so. May the power of tales and personal hero stories prevail over systems.’

Magyar Narancs

materials to read

excerpts from the play

In case you would like to request availability to the full play and/or the full video about the performance, write an email to info@romaheroes.org and describe the aim of your request!

photo credits

All rights reserved

 1: ©Alina Vincze_Emília Boda-Novy

2: ©Alina Vincze_Emília Boda-Novy

3: ©Alina Vincze_Emília Boda-Novy

4: ©Alina Vincze_Emília Boda-Novy

5: ©Alina Vincze_Emília Boda-Novy