Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Michaela Zakutanská (Slovakia)

Once it hit me

Mna kedys´

Text Extract


DIRT and SAŠA, in DIRT ’s room. The CD player is blaring the song whose lyrics DIRT recited at the school recital. SAŠA is filming him.

SAŠA: For God’s sake, what is this? I can’t stand it, it’s giving me a headache.

DIRT : You know fuckall about music. It’s Alfa Omega. Why? What do you listen to?

SAŠA: EMO stuff, you know, and Radiohead. Please turn it off, it’s depressing.

DIRT : You don’t know what’s good.
Hip Hop is the Truth, Hip Hop’s from the Hood,
My heart beats for Hip Hop, my blood runs to the rhythm of hip hop.
Hip Hop is calling me, Hip Hop makes me chill, Hip Hop makes me thrilled.

And you?

SAŠA: Drop it, OK? Write this down, I need to tell you what the homework is.

DIRT : Homework?

SAŠA: Christ, yes, homework. Miss sent me, so that you don’t fall behind.

DIRT : Fuck school. School’s no good for underdogs.

SAŠA: At least pretend you’re writing it down, OK? I’ll tell you what it was.

DIRT’s mobile rings.

DIRT Shit! It’s my mum.

Picks up.

DIRT Mum … I’ve got visitors. Don’t call me …or I‘ll put you in old people’s home!

Passes the phone to SAŠA.

SAŠA Hello. (Doesn’t know what to say) Sure. We’ll have the pancakes. Great. Thanks, Bye. (She hangs up) Ah! Your mum is lovely, Ivan.

DIRT : She’s a slut. She ain‘t even clocked that I’ve changed my name. Ivan is no more. I guess I am gonna move out and record my debut hip hop album. I am a sad sad bard, my mum is slut, going out with a retard. She ain’t ever been a mother to me, just a stupid old bitch who’s brought divorce to my family.

SAŠA: Are your folks getting divorced?

DIRT : Saša, do you wanna play spin the bottle?

SAŠA: But it’s just the two of us?!

DIRT : Well, we might as well skip the game and get on with snogging straight away.

SAŠA: I am not snogging you. I‘m not into hip-hop rappers.

DIRT : So what are you here for?

SAŠA: To give you the homework.

DIRT : Go on … give us a kiss!

SAŠA: No, I won’t.

DIRT : You owe me, you schoolgirl swinger. I could have ten girls like you … one for each finger.

DIRT : Ho! Hey, here I am. So, are you playing or not?

SAŠA: History, page 23 to 30. The Second World War. There’s gonna be a test.

DIRT : Slow down, lady, don’t go so fast
I don’t care about History, I don’t care about the past
the present is us, so give me some rap,
when rhymes fail us, it’s just ruins left for scrap.

SAŠA: Biology. Page 40 to 56. Male and female reproductory organs. There’s gonna be a test on this too.

DIRT : How about a bit of practice? I’ll show you mine and you show me yours?

SAŠA: Well, if you wanna have a girlfriend, you’ve gotta cut this crap.

DIRT : A girlfriend? Who mentioned anything about a girlfriend?

SAŠA: Ivan.



DIRT : Now we’re talking.
Your pussy likes the rhythm of hip hop
All the ladies like that. They don’t want it to stop
in a car, or in a queue for the cake shop
Better think twice before you fob me off,
instead of bread, I’ll give you a sweet lollipop.

SAŠA: The thing is, DIRT, I … I like somebody else.

DIRT: I am not talking about love, or going out.
None of that friendship and kissing. I don’t like you either, no worries.
Take it easy girl, you know, ovulation calls for procreation.
And with Eman, you can walk hand in hand and talk ecology.
(English translation Zuzana Flašková)


The play takes place amongst the fourteen year old classmates in year 9,at a secondary school. The characters meet up at school, after school on the estate, or at home. The play opens with a scene of a school poetry recital, a long standing tradition at Slovakian schools. Students recite their texts, and their individual attitudes expose the nature of the characters, who try to survive puberty. Hippie environmentalist Sasha, who wants to rescue the world, is in love with Eman, a hip-hop clown. Dirt acts as though he’s a sexually experienced adult, he is in love with Sasha. The gloomy poet Eman loves Bela. Bela, a model, loves herself. All of these characters are talking about their everyday life, problems with love, parents and growing up. On Emans 15th birthday they are all planning to explore the adult world- the pub world. When they are kicked out of a bar because they are not yet 18, they decide to go to the pub at the train station. There, they make a video which shows how drunk they are and then run away without paying. The girls split up from the guys and stay the night at a disco, where older guys are buying them drinks. Sasha hates the attention they pay to Bela and runs away leaving Bela alone. The school teacher discovers the video from the previous night on youtube and that Sasha and Dirt are not at school. They are hanging out at Dirt’s apartment. The friendships between guys are marked by jealousy, love and lies.
“The word has tempted me” was first staged as a site-specific production in a regular secondary school classroom. The audience, pupils, get involved in the story by literally following the actors around the school, stopping at different places according to the plot (classroom, cloakroom, hallway). They have a unique chance to peek into spaces they would normally not be allowed (e.g.: boiler room, the toilets belonging to the opposite sex…) but above all, they get to see how their daily school environment can change into a theatre site and how the space opens up to new meanings.
Actors do not have any specific props and have to prepare different stage design made specifically for each school.


© Michaela Zakutánská


1st Opening Theatre Institute Bratislava (SL) June 1, 2010

M: 2
F: 3