The Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, founded in 1792, is the oldest permanent Hungarian company. It is a repertory theatre, entirely subsidized by the Romanian Ministry of Culture. Under the leadership of general manager and artistic director Gábor Tompa since 1990, the company has become the most awarded theatre in the country. The Hungarian Theatre of Cluj is a defining element of the city’s cultural identity, having had the status of member of the Union of European Theatres since 2008, being, at the same time an active participant within the projects coordinated by the Union. Its productions are representative of an experimental theatrical language, very much connected to current international theatrical trends, while its company is considered to be one of the most important in the country. The theatre’s repertory includes both classical and contemporary productions, based on pieces stemming from Hungarian and universal literature alike. In addition to Main Hall and Studio Hall performances, the theatre also holds reader’s theatre sessions and organizes community cultural programs. The Hungarian Theatre of Cluj is also the organizer of the biennial Interferences International Theatre Festival, which has been a regular platform for the productions of the UTE member theaters in recent years. The theatre’s own aesthetics, born at the meeting point between the Hungarian theatrical tradition and the Romanian school of directing, is reinforced by guest creators that ensure a sense of continuous spiritual renewal. Beyond the repertory system meant to meet the needs of a wider audience, the theatre aims to be a venue for creating new needs, and organizing related events – creative workshops, initiation programs, workshops etc. – which beget an open environment, in touch with the expectations of its audience. Taking advantage of the benefits of a multicultural environment, the theatre does not only address the local community, or a single language community: all its performances are continuously featured with Romanian, and often English surtitles. The company constantly participates in the international projects promoted by the Union of European Theatres, as it awards a special importance to the representation of local values on the international stage, and to having direct contact with the trends of world theatre, as well as maintaining a dialogue between creators. The theatre has collaborated with world-renowned directors, such as: Vlad Mugur, Silviu Purcărete, Andrei Şerban, Mihai Măniuţiu, Victor Ioan Frunză, David Zinder, Dragoş Galgoţiu, Patrick Le Mauff, Elie Malka, David Grant, András Urbán, Michal Dočekal, Armin Petras, Viktor Bodó, Matthias Langhoff, Robert Woodruff, Alain Timar, Yuri Kordonsky and Andriy Zholdak; set and costume designers such as Helmut Stürmer, Doina Levintza, Carmencita Brojboiu, Andrei Both, Lia Manţoc, Csaba Antal, Dragoș Buhagiar, Olaf Altmann, Martin Chocholousek, Daniel Zholdak and composers such as Vasile Şirli and Iosif Herţea. In 1993, Gábor Tompa’s performance The Bald Prima Donna won the Award for Best Foreign Performance of the year in the United Kingdom which opened the road to a series of new collaborations abroad and the company’s international recognition. During the last three decades, the company has presented guest performances in numerous countries, such as: England, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Ireland, Finland, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Moldova, Hungary, Turkey, Colombia, South Korea, Japan, and Russia.
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.