Pheasant Dance
facantanc front 3 korbe  

"An orphan lives a life of sadness,
She hardly ever has any gladness.
No mother or granny to take care of an orphan
She only has a Headmistress who's like a warden.

We Hungarians couldn't expel the Turkish hordes,
They were at last defeated by the German Sword.
Yet our trust in the future was still alive
in the year of 1695." 

 

Cast:
Eszter Csákányi
Andrea Tokai
Angéla Stefanovics
Szabolcs Thuróczy
Gergő Krausz
Zoltán Szabó
Zsuzsa Szakács
Béla Pintér


Dramaturg: Éva Enyedi
Costumes: Mari Benedek
Costume's designer's assistant: Julcsi Kiss
Technician: Gábor Tamás
Lighting: László Varga
Sound: Zoltán Belényesi
Assistant: Ádám Schór
Finances: Gyula Inhaizer
Productions: Anna Hidvégi
Director's assistant: Rozi Hajdú
Writer and Director: Béla Pintér


Target audience: Ages 14+
Length of stage performance 90 min.
Premiéred on 24 October 2015 with the support of Ministry of Human
Resources of Hungary, National Cultural Fund of Hungary, Szkéné Theatre 

 

Synopsys


A headmistress drama, or a Shakespearean royal drama as seen from a below view – or, so
to say, an unhistorical historical Dürrenmattian comedy....
It's the year of 1695. The military troops of Bestern St. Union expelled the conqueror Turks
from Hungary. In the wake of the new rule, Francis Simon State Orphanage School is seeing
a time of educational reform – it's the first free vote held by Students, and the winner is
acting headmistress Aunt Erzsi, that is, "Bright Reverend" Dr. Erzsébet Rázga Mrs. Varkoly.
After performing her sacred "inaugural pheasant dance", she greets the speaker of the
event Andreas von Bruckner who is the incumbent president of the educational system
of Bestern St. Union. Shadow is cast over the ceremony, though, by the fact that one
of the Students called Huzál Gyöngyi demands money for compensation from Andreas
von Bruckner, reasoning that her schoolmate Nelly Yiddow too has been given some.
Headmistress Aunt Erzsi reprimands Gyöngyi, telling her to shut her mouth.
After Andreas von Bruckner leaves, Headmistress Aunt Erzsi has a talk in person with her
colleague Aunt Gabi, accusing her of an attempt to take over the headmistress position
from her. They put up a fight and it's revealed by their quarrel that Aunt Gabi only entered
the election because she was made to by Aunt Erzsi so to keep up appearances. Aunt Erzsi
won't believe that Aunt Gabi didn't mean to grab the headmistress position and keeps
threatening her while too she tells about how stupid she thinks the Students are.
Their quarrel has been recorded by the bugs that were planted throughout the school by
the order of Aunt Erzsi, and the next day it is aired on School Radio. Aunt Erzsi blames this
on Aunt Gabi and, with the Students present, beats her nearly to death. Following this, on
behalf of the Students, Gyöngyi demands that Aunt Erzsi resign. That, it turns out, cannot
happen by Bestern St. Union law which says a headmistress must be succeeded by a
headmaster. Consequently, with no rival in sight, Aunt Erzsi can easily keep her position.
After spending some time away to recover from the injuries from the abuse, Aunt Gabi
returns, to the astonishment of all, as transmuted into a man. She, that is, he, as Uncle
Gabe now, demands early election which he wins. He demotes Aunt Erzsi to Student while
promotes Gyöngyi Huzál to Teacher. Aunt Erzsi cannot stand the shame and commits
suicide. Following that, an unmoved Uncle Gabe with a strong mind gives a marriage
proposal to a thoroughly scared Gyöngyi.
Meanwhile, the funds by Bestern St. Union to support the School prove to be less than
what Uncle Gabe expected, so he turns to Turkish ruler Selim II for support. Just as Uncle
Gabe and Gyöngyi are having their wedding ceremony, Selim shows up before the agreedupon
time to sign the agreement on students catering. While undersigning, Selim Pasha
spots a necklace worn by the bride Gyöngyi that he finds familiar. Uncle Gabe explains
that the necklace belonged to an escaped prisoner of the Pasha's dungeon. Gabe goes on
telling that the fugitive, though given refuge by the School, breached the School's law and
got punished by being thrown into a salt well, which he could not survive.
The Pasha reveals the refugee was his own young brother whom he would never have killed
though rebelled against him. Selim Pasha, retaliating his brother's death by executing Aunt
Gabe, threatens all present by telling them he'll return and will have mercy on none.
The gates of Francis Simon State Orphanage School are being locked up and re-enforced.
Finally, seizing power, Gyöngyi declares a state of emergency and martial law.

 
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