Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

István Tasnádi (Hungary)

Cyber Cyrano

Text Extract

5. – Entropy

Zsuzsi remains alone.

ZSUZSI: Mother comes into my room every night and bawls me out because of the mess. So I remind her of the second law of thermodynamics, according to which, in a closed system, everything tends toward the state of maximum disorder. Since my room is generally a closed system, it’s not my intervention that determines the conditions she observes there at the end of the day. Too bad neither I nor my room are exempt from the universal laws of nature. I’m not the one who created the mess she sees in my room, it’s simply entropy. Mom’s none too pleased with my explanation, even though she’s the one who signed me up for remedial classes when I was flunking physics.

The music of “Somethin’ Stupid” is heard.

ZSUZSI: The process of entropy usually speeds up when a foreign element enters the system. Heni rearranged the closed system of the class. New attractions and repulsions came into being, a new kind of electricity, which rewired everything. For example, Máté was thrust far away from me. We were now revolving in different orbits; we no longer collided. Until then, at least he tormented me, which was a kind of interaction, a kind of caring, in a way. A pretty one-sided kind for sure, but I’d already gotten used to it. Now I missed all that.

Máté and Heni return, singing a duet. They dance.

6. – Viktor

Heni and Máté are still dancing. Zsuzsi speaks from the sidelines. Heni responds while dancing, just as if she were chatting online.

ZSUZSI: Did you check out the link I sent?

HENI: The one with the dog?

ZSUZSI: Uh-huh.

HENI: It was so sweet! Where’d you find it?

ZSUZSI: My pal Viktor sent it to me. There’s this site that’s full of cute animal videos. I can send you more. You know the one with the singing cats?

HENI: No. (She suddenly stops dancing, very interested.) Is it animated?

ZSUZSI: Hell no! Real cats meowing and meowing, with subtitles. Like they’re singing real lyrics.

HENI: (enthusiastically) Must be really funny.

Máté keeps moving for a while, then walks off with seeming contempt for these internet-cat goings-on. Zsuzsi and Heni watch the cats.

The cat video comes to an end. This comment appears under the picture:

VIKTOR: Well, how’d you like it?

ZSUZSI: Yeah, it’s a riot. By the way, Viktor saw you on my friend list, and he wants to know if it’s okay if he friends you.

HENI: Who’s Viktor?

ZSUZSI: My buddy. The one who sent the link.

HENI: I don’t even know him.

ZSUZSI: He’s a real good guy. I met him in Scotland two summers ago. I was at language camp and he was there bird watching with his parents.

HENI: He was doing what?

ZSUZSI: Taking pictures of birds. The bustards were mating or something.

HENI: Sounds exciting. (She bursts out laughing)

ZSUZSI: Viktor loves birds. He’s got a bunch of pictures on his page. I think he’s really got the knack.

HENI: How old is he?

ZSUZSI: Seventeen. He wants to be a diplomat like his father. He speaks French real well, English too.

HENI: A diplomat?

ZSUZSI: He looked at your pictures and he’s really into you. He read the comments about you too. He said you have a lot in common.

HENI: Well, whatever it is, it’s not the Gellért Hill Wicca Meeting Group.

ZSUZSI: Sailing, for example.

HENI: He sails?

ZSUZSI: They’ve got a sailboat on the Adriatic.

HENI: No way! That’s awesome!

ZSUZSI: He even invited me last year, but Mom wouldn’t let me go. Will you accept his friend request?

HENI: No, I don’t think so. I usually don’t confirm strangers… I don’t even know what he wants from me.

ZSUZSI: Don’t go getting all paranoid, he just wants to chat with somebody in Hungarian while they’re out in Switzerland.

HENI: He’s in Switzerland?

ZSUZSI: Uh-huh. He’s going to school in Geneva.

HENI: Holy shit!

The space around Viktor’s face comes into view. He’s standing on a sailboat at the shore. The water is moving or casting reflections on the walls, waves are heard, but the rest of the image is motionless.

ZSUZSI: This Viktor, by the way, is pretty much of a boor. We corresponded for a long time after Scotland, I sent him my short stories, and he sent me his photos. After six months I sent him a photo – of myself. Because he asked me to. No response for a long time.

With changes in the images, we find ourselves at the pool party. Heni clicks the “Confirm” icon. The picture becomes static, the sound stops.


Based on a true story, with devastating consequences. An isolated schoolgirl (Zsuzsi) is secretly in love with one of her classmates (Máté), who treats her quite badly. When a new girl (Heni) joins the class, Máté soon falls for her, making Zsuzsi’s case even more hopeless. In response, Zsuzsi creates some characters on a social networking site, which her classmates believe to be real. First she creates a boy, “Viktor”, the son of a diplomat, who lives abroad, spending his time sailing and horse-riding. She introduces Heni to Viktor (virtually, of course) and Heni falls in love with this glamorous boy who always tells Heni what Heni wants to hear.

Instead of Máté losing interest in Heni (as Zsuzsi had intended), he becomes very jealous of Viktor. So Zsuzsi creates another character, this time an exotic girl – Viktor’s “sister”, Moira. Máté immediately shifts his attentions to Moira. From that moment on, Zsuzsi is in control of both Máté and Heni’s love relationships, a puppeteer pulling the strings, influencing their feelings.

Months pass, and it is no longer possible to avoid a real meeting between the lovers. Operating behind her two characters, Zsuzsi creates the illusion of a grand ball – Viktor’s 18th birthday party – for which Heni and Máté will have to learn to waltz and wear fine clothes. The evening of the party finally arrives. The three – Zsuzsi, Heni and Máté – wait outside for the limousine which will take them to the castle. Of course, the limousine never comes.

Trapped now in a fiction of her own creation, Zsuzsi tries to finish it by “killing off” Viktor in a tragic horse-riding accident. Máté begins to suspect something, and confronts Zsuzsi. The realization that it was Zsuzsi all along devastates Heni, who cannot come to terms with the fact that the boy she was so in love with never existed. She has a nervous breakdown and tries to commit suicide. Zsuzsi is expelled and starts in a new school where she observes her new classmates. The play finishes with Zsuzsi thinking about which new characters she might now create…


© István Tasnádi


1st Opening Kolibri Theater Budapest (HU), November 5, 2010

M: 1
F: 2