Sári O. Horváth szin

Sári O. Horváth is an up-and-coming playwright and theatre director. Born in the Balaton region in Hungary, she went on to study theatre (both writing and directing) at the University of Arts in Targu-Mures, Romania. These studies gave her a broad view of theatre-making, where she became familiar with both the traditional Hungarian and Romanian styles and tools. Her use of structure, the boldness in her choice of subject matter, and the multifaceted characters she writes have all quickly made her an important playwright of her generation. She was awarded the Vilmos Prize for new drama by the Hungarian Theatre Dramaturges’ Guild tree times in a row for the plays that make up her trilogy: To Be or Not.., Her piece entitled Life Positive (Életigen) was also shortlisted for the Best Play of the Season Award. Her work has been staged in both Hungary and Romania.

Life Positive(Életigen)

3 f, 4 m

The play – using a wonderful balance of the comic and tragic – focuses on death, absence, loss, and the rights and injustices associated with death and life, as well as the boundaries of both. It is set in contemporary Hungary – with its laws, social attitudes, and public opinion – with questions asked and answers left unsaid. Or, vice versa, with questions left unsaid and (pre-fabricated) answers given. It also explores the changes of the body and the extent to which we are masters of our own body and soul.

In this play with a fragmented structure, we follow the evolving stories of a family and their friends and acquaintances: Teó (30, an artist and drug addict) and Vince (35, former law student, now a morgue employee) are brothers, both grappling in very different ways with traumatic events involving a death in their childhood. Their father Attila (60, judge) cannot find the right way to connect with his children in order to help them, and to help himself. 
Teó is involved in a strained, secret relationship with Laura (40, writer) who lost her whole family in a car crash when she was young. Now she is stuck in an unhappy marriage, unsure whether to leave her husband for the problem child that Teó is. She seeks advice from Maria (60), an old friend who is a CEO of a rehabilitation centre. Maria has had her share of problematic relationships, but has built her own ‘empire’ of sorts helping people with addiction issues with addiction and other problems. This is how she meets Laci (40), a former inspirational speaker turned entrepreneur (also a borderline petty criminal).

In the course of the play, all the characters affect the lives of the others, and they all have some sort of relationship with possibly the greatest actress of our time: Meryl Streep (69).  She speaks to them and speaks to us – from a billboard, from the TV set… or perhaps, from the stage.

"It is a great pain when one feels more than one can express. I have no patience for cynicism, extreme criticism, or any kind of expectations. I no longer want to please people who don't like me, to love people who don't like me back, to smile at people who don't smile back at me. I no longer waste a single minute on those who lie or manipulate me. I will not get along with those who are incapable of encouraging and praising. I get bored with hyperbole and have a hard time with those who don't like animals. And above all, I have no patience for those who don't deserve my patience." (Meryl Streep)