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European Family - Independent Theater Hungary

European Family

The members of a Roma family live in different points of Europe when the lockdown comes. They can only communicate on video chat, must face losses, challenges in their isolated lives, and the hidden conflicts and secrets among each-other are also revealed. It seems that only magic can help. The story is based on real stories that the Roma people faced during the time of the lockdown in various countries of Europe and the personal stories and improvisations of the artists who created this piece from their home countries, connected only by the internet and their common passion for theatre.
"Life is a circle. We, Roma people should know this better than anyone, because we have the wheel in our flag. The wheel moves around, and the spokes keep it strong. You are the spokes of this family wheel, so you should be united. Wherever you are in Europe, be true to each-other and love each -other. That way, you will be able to go over anything that happens to you. Anyone can die of the virus, so don’t let any room for regret, just open your hearts to love."


Writer:Richard R. O’Neill
Director:Rodrigó Balogh, Márton Illés
Performer:Sonia Carmona Tapia, Lucia Lakatos, Richard R. O’Neill, Sebastiano Spinella, Tamás A. Szegedi
Co-Writer:Sonia Carmona Tapia, Lucia Lakatos, Richard R. O’Neill, Sebastiano Spinella, Tamás A. Szegedi, Jaime E. Vicent Bohórquez
Cinematographer, Video Editor:Péter Illés
Premiered:2021, Independent Theater Hungary's Youtube Chanel (online)



During the lockdown of 2020 the Independent Theater Hungary invited international Roma artists, with whom they had built professional relationships related to the earlier Roma Heroes Festivals and other activities, to do an experimental work online. International theater productions are usually very expensive, but here it was obvious from the beginning that everyone will stay at home, do the common drafting of the story, the rehearsals and the recording online with the help of Zoom, webcam and close cooperation. The artists participated not only in the drafting of the story - where they involved real stories they had experienced or heard during the pandemic - but they were also their own cinematographers, costume designers and they did all the necessary tasks on their own, although, they receive online instructions from the team members of the Independent Theater Hungary.

The know-how and conclusions reached through different online and outdoor theater work of the Independent Theater- including this play - was also published in a digital methodology: Theater in the Time of Corona.

Focus scene


‘… meanwhile the performance shows the Zoom conversations of a family in meltdown, in reality it was realized by the virtual cooperation of Roma actors living in different European countries.’


'In this period, which is hard for everyone, we can get some power from the story of the Roma family - although their members face loss, conflicts and secrets, they can move further with the power of love in the end.'


‘It is full on, a tense, powerful drama, with the healing voice of Mama intersected at the end.’

Jess Smith

Materials to read


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: ©screenshot_Sebastiano Spinella, Tamás A. Szegedi

2: ©screenshot_Sebastiano Spinella, Sonia Carmona

3: ©screenshot_Richard R. O'Neill, Sonia Carmona, Lucia Lakatos

4: ©screenshot_Sebastiano Spinella, Richard R. O'Neill, Tamás A. Szegedi, Lucia Lakatos

5: ©screenshot_Sebastiano Spinella, Richard R. O'Neill, Tamás A. Szegedi, Lucia Lakatos