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THE ARTSEMERSON BLOG

  What are the signature characteristics of work by Béla Pintér? Wide-reaching appeal, rich Hungarian values, tastelessness, authentic folklore, rampant kitsch, rituals and boisterous exhilaration—in the hands of Béla Pintér and Company these plays all represent a distorted universal mythology. For nearly two decades Béla Pintér (age 46) has been the premiere Hungarian theatre-maker presenting work globally. Pintér not only writes, directs and produces his pieces, he often performs the major roles and manages the…

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  Our Secrets takes us back to 1980s Budapest, during the days of Communist rule in Hungary. The characters are members of the Hungarian folk-music scene that emerged in the 1970s, doing ethnographic work in rural Hungary to revive traditional music and dance forms, which the government then reproduced and represented in state-run cultural houses. Communist Hungary’s dictatorship labeled the cultural acts and their corresponding community events throughout the country as either “banned,” “tolerated” or…

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  When I first saw Our Secrets in 2015 in Budapest, it was a very dif­ferent time. I was overcome by the powerful sense of ensemble and the exhilarating feeling of seeing theatre artists in a country quite different from ours working at the top of their game. This, I remember thinking, is what ArtsEmerson’s commitment to putting the world on stage is all about. The show included mastery of the form and a global…

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1980. Soviet-era Hungary. In a dance hall, a musician confesses his private sexual desire for his seven-year-old step-daughter. And his government is taping his every word. Under threat of being exposed as a pedophile, he is pressured into becoming a government informant which leads to the arrest and murder of his best friend, the head of an underground, anti-Communism newspaper. The plot of Our Secrets is intense, dark, and relevant to current political situations across the…

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After 21 performances, Mala has ended its run at in the Jackie Liebergott Black Box. It has been an incredible experience to see Melinda Lopez and the creative team bring this powerful experience to life. It has also been a great privilege to have so many audience members attend and engage in conversation. Mala’s honesty allowed us room to think about how chaotic and emotionally demanding caregiving can be, and how difficult those truths can be to talk…

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