What’s a woman originally from Hungary doing directing a play written by a playwright from a small town in Indiana, and inspired to start a theater company because of it? It’s a question I often find myself turning over and over in my mind.
Life often presents us with mysterious connections that seem almost pre-ordained, or at least a little like miracles. The play is The Diviners by Jim Leonard, Jr., set in rural Indiana during the Great Depression, at a time when I was not yet born.
Why are the people of the play so familiar to me? Why have I been compelled to direct this play for the third time? Why are some of the same actors from my original production compelled to bring to life these characters, yet once again? So much so, we’ve formed The HumanArts Theater Company because of it.
Is it because I played a little old lady on a farm in a children’s traveling troupe in Hungary at the ripe old age of four?Â Is it because of the story that the play tells of a young man who is both blessed and cursed by his relationship to water? I can certainly relate to that, having the same awe and fear. Do I recognize my own relatives in the play’s characters? Is it because the play puts me in touch with my grandparents, whose influences are with me still,Â and their love and respect for the land?
So much synchronicity and “magic” if you will, has surrounded my directing this play. The first time I directed it, with what I felt to be the perfect cast, closed on April 30, 1989. The second time around, the show opened on April 30, 2010 with some of the same actors (who are also in this production), now the right ages for their characters. A continuation if you will, as if the show never closed.
I once read in an interview the playwright gave that he’s “never too sure of where the inspiration for my plays comes from, as it’s a mysterious place.” Equally mysterious are the connections this play has created in my life, and those of the cast, and even many of the crew.
The young man in the current production had almost drowned in the currents of the Kern River and brought that experience to the leading character who does drown in an Indiana river. Another actor didn’t even want to audition for the play. But once cast, he was so moved by the experience that he is now the president and managing director of our theater company, and is once again playing a leading character, whose life is similarly changed.
I could go on and on about many more “connections” that make me realize that often the universe presents us with unfathomable powers of creativity and beauty; it takes being present and aware in the moment to see the synchronistic connections.
**All production photography Yvonne Kleiman
The Diviners, presented by HumanArts Theater Company, opens May 27; plays Fri.-Sat., 8 pm; Sun., 3 pm; through June 19. Tickets: $12-$20. Secret Rose Theatre, 11246 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood; 818-850-3184 or www.humanartstheater.com.
RoZsa J. Horvath, artistic director of the HumanArts Theater Company, has been involved with theater since her child actress days in Hungary. Settled in San Diego after her family’s escape during the Hungarian Revolution, she performed at the Old Globe, Cassius Carter Center Stage and San Diego Repertory, among others, then traveled with the Readers’ Theatre Institute and hosted her own radio show. In Los Angeles her work as actor, director, costume and makeup designer has been seen at various theaters. At the Colony, she served on the executive board and performed in several productions. She has directed and/or designed over 60 productions. She has taught acting, directing, costume and makeup design, and in 2007 was named an Outstanding Educator in the Theatre Arts from the Kennedy Center ACTF. She is also a proud mother to a 23-year-old son, who is a professional ballroom dancer.