UTEFest - the Festival of European Theatres will take place for the third time in Cluj-Napoca between November 4-19. The Hungarian Theatre of Cluj first co-organized the prestigious event in 2008, and last hosted the international touring festival in 2019, after an 11-year break. This year's festival is entitled HTC230/STUDIO15/UTEFest20 to mark the 230th anniversary of permanent Hungarian-language theatre in Cluj-Napoca last December and the 15th anniversary of the opening of the theatre's Studio Hall in November of this year.
The Union des Théâtres de l’Europe (UTE) was founded in 1990 by world-renowned Italian director Giorgio Strehler, the manager of the Piccolo Teatro in Milan, and Jack Lang, French politician, former minister of culture and education. The Hungarian Theatre of Cluj became a member of the union in 2008, while Gábor Tompa, the theatre’s managing and artistic director was elected as the head of the organization at the Union’s General Assembly, which took place in May 2018 in Budapest, a position he continues to hold today.
The Union of European Theatres has supported a number of international projects that have enabled encounters between different cultures and provided opportunities for intercultural dialogue.
These included the Digital Natives project, which involved secondary school students in the production of Concord Floral (dir. Ferenc Sinkó), and last year's Catastrophe project, which co-produced Prometheus'22 (dir. Gábor Tompa) in Hungarian, Romanian, Slovenian and English, along with 4 other co-productions, with the participation of 12 theatres from 10 different European countries.
The 16-day festival, which will take place in November, will feature performances by 11 member theatres and individual members from 11 countries, directed by important artists such as Alexandra Kazazou, Eleana Georgouli, Michal Dočekal, Botond Nagy, Máté Szabó, Gábor Tompa, László Bocsárdi, Nina Šorak, Attila Vidnyánszky Jr., Ewa Kaim, Erika Z. Galli, Martina Ruggeri, István Szabó K., Margarita Mladenova, Nuno Cardoso, Frank Hoffmann and András Urbán.
In addition to the performances, the festival will also feature professional talks, public encounters and book launches.
The festival will be opened on Saturday, November 4, at 5 pm and 8 pm respectively at the theatre's studio, with Alexandra Kazazou and Eleana Georgouli's production of Algorithm. Surrealistic wanderings through memory - a guest production of the National Theatre of Northern Greece.
"A tender yet humorous musical narrative about memory and forgetting—communicating vessels in the forefront of the great historical transitions that shook the Western World in the 20th century. A. & E. map their own and others’ stories onto an improvised labyrinth of memory. Employing a chain of poetic episodes, the two women recount and recall the war in the Balkans, their partisan grandmothers, and bizarre erotic encounters from the past in a cocktail of memories that transcends the former Yugoslavia and gets as far as Lebanon, while a hospital room is transformed into a bus stop in Cuban Trinidad." - reads the description of the performance.
The first main stage performance will take place on Sunday, November 5, at 8 pm in the main hall of the theatre, where the festival audience will be able to attend the Czech writer Karel Čapek's play The White Plague, directed by Michal Dočekal, who has staged several productions in Cluj as well.
"A pandemic of a disease from China spreads around the world. There is no cure. The disease also comes to a country with a nationalist leader who wants to start a war with their smaller neighbour. Does this remind you of anything? No, this is not a summary of recent years, but the starting point of Karel Čapek's famous 1937 drama. (...) We also see the progress of manipulation of ordinary people through the story of one average family. The main antagonist is the blind manipulated mob in which individuals cease to think." - reads the synopsis of the performance.
The programme of the HTC230/STUDIO15/UTEFest20 festival is available on the website of the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, huntheater.ro.
Tickets for the festival's performances can be purchased at the theatre's box office or online at www.biletmaster.ro.
During UTEFest, between November 4-19 the theatre's box office is open daily from 10 am until the beginning of the day's last performance.
HTC230/STUDIO15/UTEFest20 ticket sale for the main hall performances of the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj:
The 3-ticket offer and group tickets are only valid for tickets purchased in person at the theatre's box office.
The festival is co-organized by the Corvineum Foundation and the Union of European Theatres, with the support of the Ministry of Culture, the Government of Hungary and the Bethlen Gábor Fund, as well as the Cluj-Napoca City Hall and City Council.
The event is supported by the Office for Interethnic Relations, Energobit, the Communitas Foundation and UNITER. Transportation partner: RMB Inter Auto.
All performances are available with Hungarian, Romanian and English surtitles.
The festival organizers reserve the right to change the program.