The Party

10, 11, 12/05 – 20:15

At the peak of his fame, Árpád Schilling removed himself from the international circuit to return to his homeland of Hungary and test his own artistic practice by living in a small rural community. For two years now, with his company Krétakör, Schilling has again been making challenging pieces in which theatre and education go hand in hand. In his newest performance, he insists on the importance of education for the political and social development of a country. In The Party, a small city serves as a symbol for Hungary, a sort of ‘anti-Europe’ where critical art and divergent viewpoints are in oppression and where demagogy, corruption and discrimination make their ascent. The autocratic Party intrudes into the lives of the villagers like an insidious poison. Schilling gives the audience cause to step outside of the homogeneous theatre space into real life. He reveals the fragility of a democracy where we have to choose between security and freedom. The fury is palpable. An urgent artistic statement.

Written & directed by
Árpád Schilling

Video installations
Zágon Nagy, Máté Tóth-Ridovics

Lawrence Williams & Imre Lichtenberger Bozoki

Performed by
Matthieu Gary, Fragan Gehlker, Emőke Kiss-Végh, Zsolt Nagy, Tamás Ördög, Lilla Sárosdi, Tünde Szalontay, Vasil Tasevski, Sándor Terhes, Marc Vittecoq

The Party Band
Imre Bozsóki, Levente Boross, Ernő Hock, Ádám Mészáros, Juliette Navis, Lawrence Williams

The Students of Krétakör Free School
Balázs Dohy, Anna Fundelius, Ajna Kertész, Attila Komán, Ágnes Márton, Kristóf Nagy, Alexandra Oláh, Nóra Schultz, Donát Seres

Free School coordinator & drama teacher
Bálint Juhász

Free School contributors
Ádám Bethlenfalvy, Sára Szilágyi

Lyrics translation
Péter Závada

Costume design
Fruzsina Nagy

Costume design assistant
Dóra Pattantyús

Zoltán Ásmány, Balázs Sánta, Balázs Turai

Film crew
Bence Benyusz, Mari Boross, Kristóf Deák, Xénia Fekete, Szabolcs Galgóczy, Szabolcs Gáspár, Ádám Halász, Tamás Hámori, Ambrus Hernádi, Kornél Hidas, Sándor Huszár, Attila Kovács, Kata Kővári, Ferenc Krámli, Sára Levendel, Péter Lukács, Csaba Mecseki, Zsófia Muhi, Veronika Nemes-Jeles, Tamás Németh, Zsolt Mona, Ferenc Nagy, László Nagy-Kardos, József Simon, András Táborosi, Zsófia Tálas, Csaba Tóth, László Zsoldos

Graphic design
Dániel Sánta, Balázs Turai

Bence Bíró

Zoltán Belényesi

Technical direction & light design
András Éltető

Assistant director
Eszter Salamon

Production managers
Edina Schőn, Márton Gulyás

Linda Potyondi, Móni Polgár

Thanks to
Ágh Márton

Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Théâtre National de la Communauté française

Krétakör (Budapest)

Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Trafó House of Contemporary Art (Budapest), Théâtre National de Bordeaux en Aquitaine, steirischer herbst (Graz)

Supported by
Szélkerék Ltd., Open Society Foundation

Bakelit Multi Art Center, Vision Team

This project is co-produced by
NXTSTP, with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union

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The Party

“Things should belong to those who do well by them.”
Bertolt Brecht

The new production by Arpad Schilling encourages everyone to rethink public life: the critics of the present system, as well as those who think that everything is all right. This performance deals with questions such as: “How does the Party gain power?”, “How does democracy become the toy of power?”, “How is it that we never stop talking about the Party?”, “What is it good for?”, or “How does the Party operate?”

In The Party, a small town serves as the symbol of Hungary, a sort of anti-Europe, where critical art and divergent viewpoints are in oppression and where demagogy, populism, and xenophobia make their ascent. The autocratic Party intrudes in the lives of the villagers like an insidious poison. Arpad Schilling gives the audience cause for stepping outside of the homogeneous theatre space into real life, where we witness the fragility of democracy. The choice is between security and freedom; the fury is palpable.

In this performance, theatre, concert, film, and circus mingle together.

The band
Touring European cities with an innovative concert, this is part of a bigger project for the European Union, which examines current social phenomena in order to help European citizens make decisions at the EU elections.

The actors
The Kretakor actors bring to life the inhabitants of a small Hungarian town. First, they perform live sketches that reveal the characteristics of Hungarian society. Afterwards, two couples can be seen – the head of the school with his wife, and the successful entrepreneur with his wife – who cannot do anything else during Sunday lunch but complain. They are complaining about life, politics, ethnic minority groups, etc. The question arises: “Why don’t they do something if they are so dissatisfied?” The opportunity appears when the mayor of the village is elected. However, it soon becomes clear that it does not solve anything. The Party comes between friends and families. These four people are getting to know democracy, slowly and painfully.

Krétakör Free School
Free School is an innovative programme about art and social issues for 14-18 year old students. These students draw attention to the anomaly of the seemingly democratic elections, among other things. They invite the audience to discuss the significance of their generation.

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Árpád Schilling (b. 1974) is a theatre director and artistic director of Krétakör. He began staging productions at the age of 19 and set up Krétakör Theatre in 1995, the same year in which he began studying directing at the Theatre and Film Academy in Budapest. He continued to run Krétakör during his studies. From 1998 to 2000 he was invited by Gábor Zsámbéki to be a guest director at the world famous Katona József Theatre. He staged Platonov by Chekhov in 1999 with students from the Théâtre National de Strasbourg, performing the play at the European Theatre Union festival. The same year he won the Hungarian theatre critics’ prize in the “up-and-coming professional” category for his production of István Tasnádi’s Public Enemy at the Katona József Theatre. After rejecting several offers to join institutional theatres, along with cultural manager Máté Gáspár he turned Krétakör Theatre into a permanent theatre company. The most emblematic of their works are Brecht’s Baal from 1999, W-workerscirkus based on Büchner’s Woyzeck from 2001 and Chekhov’s The Seagull, which premiered in 2003.

In 2008, Árpád Schilling restructured his creative team, moving from a repertory system to project-based work. He also dropped ‘theatre’ from their name, retaining just the word Krétakör. He embarked on large-scale artistic experimentation, focusing on education, social development and nurturing talent. From 2008 to 2011 he worked as artistic director on several cultural and teaching programs both in Hungary and abroad, moving his projects into schools, small communes and outlying communities in difficulty. He was guest teacher in 2006 at the Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique (CNSAD) in Paris, in 2009 at the Centre National des Arts du Cirque (CNAC) in Châlons-en-Champagne and in 2011 at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Techniques du Théâtre (ENSATT) in Lyon. In October 2012, he presented his own work Noéplanete at the Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris and in December of the same year staged Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. In 2013 he worked in Klagenfurt, Austria on Idomeneo by Mozart and in the same year taught students at La Manufacture (HETSR) in Lausanne. He has won numerous awards, including the Stanislavski Prize in Moscow in 2005, the Légion d’honneur from the French Ministry of Culture in 2008 and the Europe Theatre Prize in the New Theatrical Realities category in 2009. In 2014 Schilling will be directing The Damnation of Faust by Berlioz at Theater Basel and Vec Makropulos by Leos Janacek at the Bayerische Staatsoper. He also teaches at the National Theatre School in Strasbourg (TNS).

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