10. 03. 2021


In 1821, the first permanent Hungarian theatre venue was opened in Cluj, on Farkas / Kogălniceanu Street. The event is not only a celebration for the people of Cluj, but for us all, since it was the first permanent theatre building raised on any Hungarian-speaking territory. The building on Farkas / Kogălniceanu Street became the permanent home of the first professional theatre company, called the National Acting Society, which presented its performances in various locations in the almost 30 years of existence prior to the erection of this structure. The parcel was bought by Transylvanian counts and barons, and the building was built by volunteer craftsmen, with the help of countless enthusiastic donations.

The world premiere the opera Bánk bán which was then and still is since a roaring success, took place here on September 6, 1834, alongside the first classical music concerts. Moreover, it was in this venues that in January 1899, Jenő Janovics first used film scenes embedded in a theatrical performance.

The Farkas / Kogălniceanu Street Theatre’s productions were graced by artists such as: Pál Jantsó, Celesztin Pergő, József Székely Sr., János Kótsi Patkó, Anikó Ungár, Mária Néb, Róza Déry Széppataki, Mari Jászai, Vidor Kassai, Gyula Ecsedi Kovács, Ede Paulay, Zsigmond Szentpéteri, Gábor Egressy, Ákos Egressy, Dezső Megyeri, Pepi Szabó, Imre Szacsvay, Irma Némethy, István Szentgyörgyi, Mór Ditrói, Mari Ditrói Eibenschütz, Gyula Hegedüs, Jenő Janovics, and many others.

The Farkas / Kogălniceanu Street Theatre represented the landmark of theatre culture and intellectual life for about 85 years until the construction of the Ştefan cel Mare Square Theatre. It was also named the National Theatre of Hungary, alongside the one in Pest, its creators generously contributing countless times to the flourishing of the theatre in Budapest. Several notable theatrical personalities began their careers here, including the biggest stage names of the time, such as: Mari Jászai, Ede Paulay, Imre Szacsvay. In 1896, Mór Ditrói was invited to found the Comedy Theatre (Vígszínház) in Budapest, taking with him a large segment of the Cluj company.

In honor of the anniversary, the Theatre and Film Faculty, the Faculty of Letters, the Faculty of Reformed Theology and Musical Pedagogy within Babeș-Bolyai University will organize a series of festive events entitled The Common Space of Theatre - The Theatre of Common Spaces. The Hungarian Theatre of Cluj will be attending with four separate events:

On March 12, on the theatre’s Facebook page, a historical retrospective of the Hungarian theatre in Cluj will be presented, with special focus on the details relating to the building on Farkas / Kogălniceanu Street.

On March 13, at 12 pm, a wreath laying ceremony will take place at Farkas / Kogălniceanu Street, at the memorial plaque marking the place where the building of the ancient theatre once was.

On March 18, at 7 pm, Chekov’s Three Sisters, directed by Gábor Tompa, will be broadcast on the theatre's Facebook page. The production won Best Performance of 2008, and Best Director (Gábor Tompa), at the 2008 UNITER Awards.

On March 21, at 12 pm, a conference entitled Theater as a community space will take place; it will be  attended by entities working in performing arts sector in Cluj: the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, ZUG.zone, Reactor de Creaţie şi Experiment, ZIZ art and social area, Create. Act.Enjoy, Tranzit House, Puck Puppet Theatre (Hungarian and Romanian departments), the Lucian Blaga National Theatre, MAIDAN Creation Center. The event can be watched live on the Hungarian Theatre Institute’s Facebook page.

The detailed program of the event is available at https://teatrufilm.ubbcluj.ro and on the Hungarian Theatre Institute’s Facebook page, Theatre and Film Faculty, Babeş-Bolyai University (https://www.facebook.com/mszi. bbte).