At the end of May, the first General Assembly of the Union des Théâtres de l’Europe (UTE) for 2019 took place for the first time in Sofia, Bulgaria. Regarded as one of the most influential theatre associations in Europe, the UTE’s history and presence goes back more than thirty years. Today, the network has about 30 members. Different in their size, funding and esthetics, they are united by their common understanding of Europe as cultural areal and of theatre as art, constituent for a larger civilization context. With this view, UTE equally welcomes as members national and state theaters from Porto, Moscow, Athens, Cluj, Vienna, Belgrade, Bucharest, Cologne, Luxemburg, Sofia, Milan, Prague, Thessaloniki, Rome, and Budapest together with independent troops and associated members from France, Hungary, Poland and Georgia. Thus, transcends with ease the geographical borders of the European continent with members from Israel, Palestine and partner-artists in various Arab countries. A quick calculation reveals that UTE’s network shows more than 10,000 performances per year, which are seen by 3 million spectators. The only Bulgarian member of the network is the Sfumato Theatre Laboratory. Founded in 1989 by stage directors Margarita Mladenova and Ivan Dobchev, it celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and that was among the reasons why the first General Assembly for 2019 took place in Sofia. 24 representatives of different members attended and together discussed and voted on the short and long-term plans of UTE. However, the biggest news and decision taken unanimously was that the Festival of the Union des Théâtres de l’Europe will be relaunched by the end of the year.
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Union des Théâtres de l'Europe gathered, in the last 3 decades, some of the most important European theatres and artists. Through festivals, exhibitions, exchanges, masterclasses, cooperation projects, the UTE help create a continuous flow between West and East, between generations, between tradition and innovation. Our celebration is inspired by this rich history. With the help of the Interferences International Theatre Festival, we wish to remember some of the best performances presented at past editions of the UTE festival and look forward to new horizons.