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First Hungarian Quarantine Theater Established to Keep up Cultural Programs During State of Emergency

Fanni Kaszás 2020.03.13.

Some Hungarian theater actors reacted quickly to the closing of theaters and the cancellation of performances due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in Hungary, in response to one of the precautionary measures after the government announced a state of emergency in the country. The crew of the TRIP Boat and several famous Hungarian actors and performers have decided not to leave anyone without cultural programs during the emergency, so they established the First Hungarian Quarantine Theater.

On Wednesday, the government announced a state of emergency in the country. Among others, it is affecting the cultural industry, as measures include banning institutions from holding indoor events with more than 100 people, and outdoor events with more than 500 participants. This affects events and performances in theaters, exhibition spaces, museums, cinemas, and concert halls in the near future.

Most theaters have announced that they are either cancelling or postponing their performances and events and will refund the price of tickets already purchased.

However, the crew of TRIP Boat and some Hungarian performers have come up with an idea. While they naturally understand the need for government action, since prevention of the national epidemic and preservation of health are paramount, they strive to provide the best response to the state of emergency. This is why they have established The First Hungarian Quarantine Theater, where actors, musicians, and performers can meet to create one-off and unrepeatable productions in order not to leave anyone without cultural programs during the state of emergency.

As there is no theater without an audience, the TRIP Boat team captures every performance and gives viewers the opportunity to participate in the unique cultural program series at home, in a safe environment, via live Facebook broadcast.

The current members of the “virtual theater group” are Annamária Láng, Roland Rába, Miklós H. Vecsei, Zsolt Trill, Ági Kamondy, Dalma Georgita-Tenki, Máté Martinkovics, Miklós Jenővári, Júlia Balázs, Lili Fabacsovics, Réka Divinyi, and László Magács. They are holding their first meeting on March 16th and are looking for more members to join the special association.

The first performance of the First Hungarian Quarantine Theater will be a mono-drama version of Albert Camus’ novel A Plague, performed by Géza D. Hegedűs, which will be broadcast live on Monday, March 16th at 7 pm on TRIP’s Facebook page.

Camus’ novel, written in 1947, tells the story of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran. It asks a number of questions relating to the nature of destiny and the human condition. The characters in the book, ranging from doctors to vacationers to fugitives, all help to show the effects the plague has on a populace.

All the performing artists will take the stage for free, but this model of operation is not sustainable in the long term, so the TRIP Boat Foundation will publish a bank account number on the TRIP website, where the audience is more than welcome to donate and help maintain these unique cultural programs.