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SO WE ARE GOING TO LIVE HERE based on Thorton Wilder’s Our Town

A performance of the Móricz Zsigmond Theatre, Nyíregyháza
Location: Bárka Theatre, Cseh Tamás Hall

Date: 1 December 2010, 6 pm.

200 minutes with one break

in Hungarian with English subtitle





Antal Olga, Barta Éva, Horváth Réka, Jenei Judit, Molnár Mariann, Szalma Noémi, Széles Zita, Avass Attila, Balogh Gábor, Horváth Sebetyén Sándor, Illyés Ákos, Nagyidai Gergő, Olt Tamás, Pásztor Pál, Vicei Zsolt

Musicians: Dudics Péter, Pavliskó Diana.

Music: Kazár Pál

Set design, costumesFüzér Anni 

Assistant to the set designer: Dózsa Virág

Assistants to the director: Kovács Katalin, Dankó István

Director: Forgács Péter

Péter Forgács, who graduated from the University of Theatre and Film in 2000 is difficult to be labelled: he directed classical and contemporary plays, he was working in Budapest and in the countryside, created traditional text and actor centred and offbeat, non-traditional productions as well. Though he was engaged to the Vígszínház, he was also working in the Radnóti Theatre, the New Theatre, in Győr or in Miskolc, for instance. He created important productions with the acting classes he was teaching at the University of Theatre and Film: the performance It hurts (Fáj) based on the novel by Ágota Kristóf, raised a serious international attention. However, his directions in the Móricz Zsigmond Theatre in Nyíregyháza are the most important part of his work.
Péter Forgács has already worked in Nyíregyháza as an entrant (he directed Genet’s The Maids and Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding) and he has been related to that theatre since then. His significant performances in Nyíregyháza put great emphasis on collective theatre-making. Sometimes Forgács keeps only the framework and motives of the story and turns it into a personal play referring to the present and sometimes he keeps the text of a play but enriches it with several stage etudes, and gives contemporary elements to the text at the important moments. Last year’s performance of Ödön von Horvath’s Kasimir and Karoline is a good example to the latter case and the two rewrites of Thornton Wilder: The Skin of Our Teeth (Hajszál híján), directed five years ago and the latest production, So we are going to live here based on Our Town, to the former one.

Although newspapers already mentioned theatre performances in Nyíregyháza in the 1830s, the Móricz Zsigmond Theatre’s building was finished only in 1894, and it took Nyíregyháza several more decades to have its own company, which had its first show only in 1981: it was one of the Hungarian drama history’s classics, Csongor and Tünde. The founding director of the company was István Bozóky.
The management of István Verebes (1993-98) was a determining period in the Móricz Zsigmond Theatre’s life. Depending on a stronger and stronger company, he realized a classical folk theatre (vajon így van az, h népszínház?:) program: besides high-standard entertaining productions, performances of classics with a contemporary attitude became bigger and bigger part of the repertory. Some of the guest directors were the most exciting artists of the contemporary Hungarian theatre: due to the directions of Mohácsi János and Szász János, Móricz Zsigmond Theatre became one of the country’s most important theatre workshops. Csaba Tasnádi, appointed in1998, continued the former director’s programme policy, with different co-workers, though. There are musicals, classical and contemporary plays (some play’s world premiere as well) in the repertory. There were some changes in the company over the years: the new (mostly young) members were integrated into the workshop successfully. Tasnádi also could depend on some recurrent directors: Viktor Bodó has created some important performances (not only in the studio but on the main stage), more productions can be related to Péter Telihay’s name, but the oldest and probably most significant collaboration is the work with Péter Forgács.

“We leave in the morning, brush our teeth, we are late or not, have meetings at noon, have lunch, sell things on the streets, go to sleep in the evening or not, sing karaoke, go to night shift, read, study, repair, use computers, then we fall in love, get married and die... We all do the same, in Nyíregyháza, in 2010 and probably always, until the end of time... in our town” - says the text of the performance So we are going to live here. According to the playbill (hm, ezt találtam a színlapra, de olyan furan hangzik...) the performance was written by Péter Forgács, Zsuzsa Faragó and the company, based on Thornton Wilder’s Our Town – this tells us a lot about how it was created. Wilder’s dramaturgy, which was almost revolutionary in his time, seems dated nowadays, but the problems the play raises, its world view is far from being uninteresting – it is not a coincidence that it is still on sometimes in theatres nowadays. Only the frameworks and the motives are left in this performance. The story has been relocated from Grover’s Corners to Nyíregyháza, and the dialogues were enriched with guest and own texts. The plot is being outlined from the fragments, etudes, monologues and dialogues. The used and presented life material is completely contemporary: it is built of both documents and creative imagination. There are dry (and sometimes ridiculous) statistics, real stories and urban myths in the performance as well – acting makes it personal. As Wilder’s characters, the narrator is emphatically contemporary by being much more complicated, playful and ironic than the original one. Besides irony, the performance also shows empathy and sentimentality when it presents everyday banalities (and sometimes their metaphysic dimensions as well). The production is notably a result of teamwork – it has probably an important role in the company building of Móricz Zsigmond Theatre, and it influences the audience with its personal tone, honesty and impressiveness.