The name of the organization can be translated as “Open Circle Association”. We work with Theater in Education, which is a participatory theater methodology. Our main target groups are children and young people aged 4-20. We work with one class at a time.
We consider our work a process of Play-Act-Explore, which guides the participants through an experiential activity, focusing on a particular social problem, in a safe zone. We enter into a game together that emerges to be a performative act, through which contextual learning happens.
Our mission is to improve communities and competencies through theater in education, open new aspects particularly for young people to become dynamically balanced persons with themselves, their environment and the society. We would like to assist them to be able to help each other, deal with their conflicts, and focus their energy to a common goal. Our activites primarily take place in the Central-Hungarian Region, but we travel to anywhere in the country and also abroad if we are invited.
Our main activities
- Theater in Education (TiE)
- Drama in Education (DiE)
- Trainings/workshops for community and skill building
- Trainings for teachers, youth workers, facilitators
- Thematic events and camps with youth groups
- Applied theatre projects with international volunteers and aspiring youthworkers
The company always likes to experiment with new ways of interactions, different drama and theater forms, as well as other art tools, applying innovations of the digital age, offering children and young people programs about problems related to their age group. The topics of our performances come from classic plays, contemporary plays and other literary products, improvisations, tales, real life stories, news, songs, movies, etc.
Currently offered programs:
TiE about power, injustice, hierarchy based on the story of Antigone.
What is power useful for? What can we do if we face injustice?
Age group: 15-17 years old
Actor-teachers: Jelinek Erzsébet, Kroó Balázs, Meszlényi-Bodnár Zoltán, Varga Norbert, Tóth Fanni/Benedek Fanni
Director: Zsuzsa Hajós (Roundtable Theatre in Education Company)
Other collaborators: Szilvia Szeszák, Zoltán Meszlényi-Bodnár
Time frame: 180 minutes
I am myself:
How can we know if we are in love or we only have a crush on somebody, fancy another person, or just feel lust? Most of us know it by being able to make comparison after more stories, but what about adolescents who are experiencing this for the very first time?
Who can I listen to in these cases; my family, the community, the media, films, books, the internet, or myself? If myself, than my feelings or my thoughts? Or do they differ at all?
Many questions that our characters face. The participating students
can help them to take decisions, through which they can stay true to their own “selves”. We don’t know the right answers, but in safe environment we can try out how things turn out, if we listen to our own feelings.
Age group: 15-18 years old
Actor/teachers: Erzsébet Jelinek , Krisztina Bakonyvári , Balázs Kroó, Zoltán Meszlényi- Bodnár, Norbert Varga
Facilitator: Zoltán Meszlényi-Bodnár
Director: Zoltán Meszlényi-Bodnár
Other collaborators: Antal Bálint, Bódi Zsófia, Bódis Dániel, Jozifek Zsófia, Meszlényi-Bodnár Zoltán, Róbert Júlia
Time frame: 180 minutes
The focus of the TIE programme is the phenomena of being a „nerd” or „geek” and having to face with marginalization and exclusion as a result of that. The protagonist of the drama is called Niki, a 16 years old „know all”, talented, hard working athlete with excellent school performance. The teachers appreciate her work, but some of her classmates mock her on a regular basis.
The actor/teachers present this situation as the departure point of the program. How much responsibility the passive participants of the class have in this story? What is a strong enough push effect to become active from passive? Can the passivity be considered as harmful as active bullying? Can it affect against bullying?
Age group: elementary school and secondary school
Actor-teachers: Erzsébet Jelinek, Balázs Kroó, Norbert Varga
Duration: 120 minutes
Debate-theater for high school students
Theme, content, description:
Debate-theater about gender expectations. What is allowed as a boy and what is allowed as a girl? What do we expect from each other? What are our gender expectations towards ourselves? Is there anything amongst these imperative in today’s Hungary? How do cultural effects influence sexual relationships? What kind of changes would we like to make?
The different perspectives raised during theatrical scenes will be discussed during a moderated debate.
Actors, drama teachers: Jelinek Erzsébet, Kroó Balázs, Varga Norbert
Moderators: Jozifek Zsófia intercultural professional, drama teacher
National curriculum content: Man and society/Ethics – Moral sense, learned behavior, the nature of moral norms, the individuals moral dignity. Bioethics – Family, peer responsibility, loyalty, love; moral values, virtue, happiness, personality, chauvinism, coexistence, sexism, minority; solidarity. Loving relationship. Mating. Peer responsibility. Sexual ethics. Family life. Roles in a family. Crisis in the life of a family.
Duration: 90 min. x 2 occasions
Location: a space provided by the school with an adequate size according to the number of participants
Technical requirements: chairs for all the participants+5
Participants: 1 class
Age group: 7-10 and 4-6 years old
Duration: 80 minutes
Theme, content, description: The clumsy attempts of two stumbling children give the participants a chance to gather their knowledge about the emergencies that may occur around them. When should we be frightened of a disease? How can we strengthen our immune system? How should we inform the ambulance about an accident?
How should we attend to a wound? A health advisor will be present to assist in avoiding any errors. The participants will learn the solutions and get to exercise with the help of playful dexterity games.
Performed by: Kroó Balázs, Jelinek Erzsébet
Director: Meszlényi-Bodnár Zoltán
Professional advisor: Szabó Anikó, health advisor
National curriculum content: environment studies; first aid
Location: class room
Technical requirements: –
Number of participants: 1 class (max. 40 ppl.)
Recommended age group: 9-10 years
We follow the story of a fourth grade class, who are witnesses to school bullying. In the first stage it’s hard to decide whether it’s teasing, joking around, a silly slip or just and innocent word game. Later on we learn that it’s foul play. The adults and teachers have no knowledge of the bullying, therefore the outcome lays in the hands of the participants. How far will the girl with the kind smile go? Will she stop at a one time incident or will the game transform into regular abuse? The TiE program aims is to raise awareness of the power of an active or a passive group, and the consequences of it in similar situations. The TiE program has a preventive goal trying to influence the children’s behavior at a point where certain roles and group dynamics have not yet been set, and at an age where characteristically a major abuse within a group has not yet taken place. The program might help the children in preventing exclusion and to choose to take the side of the weak. The high level of interaction plays an important part, the children make decisions as a group, they also play the part of the students of the fourth grade class.
Performers: Kazári András, Krasznahorkai Ágnes, Meszlényi-Bodnár Zoltán
Location: a classroom
Participants: max. 30 students
Interactive theater in education performance about the journey of becoming an adult.
For 11-12 graders
The TiE aims to give the viewer participants a chance to discover and find a deeper understanding about coming of age and the concept of a healthy adult personality, they also have the chance to reflect on themselves and their environment, to form their path with more courage, to develop their initiative, and to able to face their own and their families’ failures and anxities.
The main character is Jakab. In the first part of the program we see his childhood, in the second part the affects of it on his young adult life. When we get to the open end of the performance, the mediator turns to the viewer participants and initiates a conversation. We clarify the story if there are any questions related to the happenings. Those questions which are relevant, but were not answered within the story, will be discussed. The students can help Jakab realize what he really wants. In the introduction we agreed to look at the stations of his life through the prism of adulthood. What do they think: is Jakab an adult? Why so? Is he doing something wrong, how could he make it right? Is it just up to him? His parents are also to blame, but from what moment do we have stop blaming our parents for what is happening to us, and take responsibility for our actions? The students suggest different alternatives as a solution. He should talk to his parents, both of them or separately, he should talk to his girlfriend Lili, he should go see a psychologist, he should be alone and think. When the number of suggestions become clear, the discussion continues in smaller groups. The participants join a group by deciding which solution they find most adequate for Jakab, he will then try out the suggestions of each group. The situation might not change at one go. The important thing is that we start thinking, facing ourselves and try, and try again. Because the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Change comes after that.