The new face of Új Színház / Budapest

Posted by Administrator (wb_admin) on 09/11/2011
2011-13 >> Europe&USA&Canada

Dear ITI Centres,

In the following we are turning to you to give accurate information about the recent appointment of a theatre leader in Hungary that has shocked all theatre professionals in the country, and also provoked an international reaction being mentioned by German, Austrian, Belgian and French newspapers.

As the appointment of the current director of the Új Színház (New Theatre) expired, the city of Budapest, as supervisor of the named theatre announced a tender for the post. Two handed in their applications: the current director, István Márta, and György Dörner, actor. After being familiarised by the proposal of the Board of Trustees, the Mayor of the city takes his decision.  Four of the Trustees are prestigious theatrical professionals. Two further Trustees represent the State and the City that subsidises the theatre.  The Board supported the application of the current director with four votes, as it was detailed and well developed, in which there was enclosed a budget and also letters of intent of theatres from abroad willing to cooperate with Új Színház in the future. 

The other candidate handed in his ideas drafted in few pages; a political pamphlet containing extremist right views, unfortunately in lack of any theatrical, professional content and in which he names as superintendent a Hungarian playwright, former Member of Parliament, leader of an extremist right political party, current editor-in-chief and publisher of an extremist right weekly periodical. In addition, the applicant has named several artists as future co-operators – like Jirzi Menzel and other renowned artists – who were not informed about his projects at all.  Later, those named in the application have protested in letters against the procedure, explaining that they never intended to cooperate with the applicant. 

The Mayor of Budapest appointed this latter candidate as new director of the Új Színház, without justifying his decision. Based on the above, we are afraid that this decision was not professional, but a political one.

Numerous theatre professionals – both rightists and leftists – have expressed their objection against this biased decision in articles, letters, video messages, and also in the demonstration organised in the front of the building of the Új Színház on the 22nd Oct. 2011. All those who expressed their opinions formulate their utter disagreement with placing people on the top of state organisations who gained notoriety for their extremist right views. The Mayor has not reconsidered his decision up to this moment, on the contrary, he condemns those who are reluctant to place any confidence in the new leadership of the Új Theatre.

Hungarian Centre of the ITI, Executive Committee

Last changed: 29/11/2011 at 19:52

Powered by Website Baker