Gábor Tompa

artistic and managing director
Place and date of birth: Târgu Mureş, August 8, 1957
Gábor Tompa graduated in stage and film directing from the I.L. Caragiale Theatre and Film Academy in Bucharest in 1981, having been the student of some outstanding figures such as Liviu Ciulei, Mihai Dimiu, Cătălina Buzoianu, founders of the world-famous Romanian school of stage directing.
Since 1981 Gábor Tompa has been directing at the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, Romania.
In 1987 he became the artistic director of the theatre and after the political changes he undertook the managment of the theatre as well.
Since 1989 he has been a professor at the Szentgyörgyi István Theatre Academy in Tg-Mureş.
He founded the Faculty of Dramatic Art in Cluj and has run its directing programme since 1991. He has staged more than 100 plays and produced another 120.

From March 2006 to April 2008 (when The Hungarian Theatre of Cluj joined the UTE) he was an individual member of the Union of European Theatres.
In May 2018 he was elected President of the Union of European Theatres
Since 2007 he has been Head of Directing at theTheatre and Dance Department of the University of California, San Diego.

Works worldwide:
E. Ionesco: The Chairs 
– Théâtre National du Luxembourg, LUXEMBOURG
Beckett: Waiting for Godot
– Sao Joao National Theatre, Porto, PORTUGAL
W. Shakespeare: Richard II.  
– Vígszínház- Pesti Színház, Budapest, HUNGARY
Dmitri Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District – Slovene National Theatre, Maribor, SLOVENIA
Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot – La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego, USA
Saviana Stănescu: Toys Hudson Guild Theatre, Los Angeles, USA
A. P. Chekhov: The Cherry Orchard Slovene National Theatre, Maribor, SLOVENIA
Georg Büchner: Danton's Death Seoul Arts Center, SOUTH KOREA
Luigi Pirandello: Tonight We Improvise – La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego, USA
E. Ionesco:
Rhinoceros – Prague National Theatre, CZECH REPUBLIC
Dido and Aeneas
 Bach Collegium, San Diego, USA
Ruins True
 – Coproduced by the Sushi Center for the Urban Arts, San Diego, USA and the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Büchner: Woyzeck – la Jolla Playhouse-Potiker Theatre, San Diego, USA
Mrozek: Tango – Theatre & Dance Department of the University of California, San Diego, USA
After Euripides: Medea Circles
– Municipal Theatre, Novi Sad, SERBIA
Ionesco: The New Tenant – Northern Stage Ensemble, Newcastle, ENGLAND
Beckett: Play
– Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, Theatre Thália, Budapest, HUNGARY
Beckett: Waiting for Godot – Vígszínház, Budapest, HUNGARY
L. Pirandello: Tonight We Improvise – Staatsteather Freiburg, GERMANY
András Visky: Juliet – Theatre Thália, Budapest – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
A. Camus: The Misunderstanding – Vígszínház, Budapest, HUNGARY
A. P. Chekhov: Three Sisters – Staatstheater, Freiburg, GERMANY
W. Shakespeare: King Lear
– Vígszínház, Budapest, HUNGARY
Beckett: Waiting for Godot – Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg, CANADA
Ionesco: The Bald Prima Donna – Athéneé Théâtre Louis Jouvet, Paris, FRANCE
Molière: Tartuffe – Théâtre de l`Union, Limoges, FRANCE
Beckett: Endgame – Teatre Principal de Palma, SPAIN
Beckett: Waiting for Godot
– Lyric Theatre Belfast, UK
Mrozek: Tango – Teatre Lliure, Barcelona, SPAIN
Molière: The Pretentious Ladies – Teatre Alegria, Barcelona, SPAIN
Mrozek: Tango
– Pesti Színház, Budapest, HUNGARY
Camus: The Misunderstanding – Akademietheater, Wien, AUSTRIA
Ionesco: The Bald Prima Donna
– Théâtre de l`Union, Limoges, FRANCE
Visniec: Old Clown Wanted – Auersperg Fünftzen Theatre, Wien, AUSTRIA
Molière: Tartuffe – Thália Theatre, Budapest, HUNGARY
Beckett: Waiting for Godot
– Staatstheater, Freiburg, Kammerspiele, GERMANY
Shakespeare: Hamlet
– Tramway Theatre, Glasgow, UK
Beckett: Endgame
– Wilma Theatre, Philadelphia, USA (workshop)
Beckett: Waiting for Godot – Szigligeti Theatre Szolnok, HUNGARY
Camus: The Misunderstanding
– Szigligeti Theatre Szolnok, HUNGARY
Székely: The Moors – CastleTheatre Gyula, HUNGARY
Büchner: Woyzeck
– Municipal Theatre, Novi Sad, YUGOSLAVIA
Enquist: Song for Phaedra
– National Theatre Skopje, YUGOSLAVIA

Works in Romania:

E. Ionesco: Stroll in the Air – Lucian Blaga National Theatre Cluj
Sławomir Mroźek: Tango
 – National Theatre in Bucharest
Adaptation after AeschylusPrometheus bound by Ágnes Kali and Gábor Tompa: Prometheus’22, coproducțion: Hungarian Theatre of Cluj – SNT Drama Ljubljana – Constanța State Theatre
William Shakespeare: Hamlet – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: The Magic Flute
– Hungarian Opera of Cluj 
E. Ionesco: Rhinoceros 
– Mihai Eminescu National Theatre of Timișoara
Marin Sorescu: Jonah Teatrul Maghiar de Stat Cluj
William Shakespeare: The Tempest – Lucian Blaga National Theatre Cluj
William Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice 
– Hungarian Theatre of Cluj 
Maurice Ravel: The Spanish Hour / The Child and the Spells – Hungarian Opera of Cluj 
Max Frisch: Biedermann and the Frebugs – German National Theatre, Timișoara
Samuel Beckett: Endgame National Theatre of Târgu-Mureș, Tompa Miklós Company
Ubuzdup! Gábor Tompa's adaptation based on Alfred Jarry's texts, National Theatre Cluj
Friedrich Dürrenmatt: The Visit  Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
E. Ionesco: The New Tenant – Nottara Theatre, Bucharest
Sándor Weöres: Towards Wholeness (scenic reading) – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Aureliu Manea: Aureliu Manea Trilogy – Lucian Blaga National Theatre
Freefall adaptation after Caragiale: Leonida Gem Session – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Liam Clancy, Mary Reich, Yolande Snaith, Shahrokh Yadegari, Tompa Gábor:  Ruins True Refuge – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Molière: The Misanthrope National Theatre of Iaşi
Georg Büchner: Leonce and Lena – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
W. A. Mozart: Don Giovanni – National Opera of Cluj
András Visky: Alcoholics – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
András Visky: Born for Never – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
E. Ionesco - The Bald Prima Donna – Lucian Blaga National Theater Cluj
A. P. Chekhov: Three Sisters – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
W. Shakespeare - Richard III – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj – Gyula Castle Theatre, Hungary
András Visky: Long Friday – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Heiner Müller: Quartet – SalTimBanc Foundation Timişoara, Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, Nottara Theatre, Bucharest, Metropolis Youth Theatre, Bucharest
Shakespeare: King Lear – Lucian Blaga National Theatre, Cluj
E. Ionesco: Rhinoceros – Radu Stanca Theatre, Sibiu
I.L. Caragiale: The Lost Letter – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
András Visky: Disciples – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Beckett: Waiting for Godot – Tamási Áron Theatre, Sf. Gheorghe
S. Mrozek: House on the Border – Radu Stanca Theatre, Sibiu
Alfred Jarry: Ubu Enchained – Comedy Theatre, Bucharest
S. Beckett: Happy Days – Comedy Theatre, Bucharest
E. Ionesco: Jacques or the Obedience – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj (Nominated by UNITER for Best Performance of the Year 2003)
S. Beckett: Play – Theatre Thália, Budapest – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
S. Witkiewicz: Cockroaches – Radu Stanca Theatre from Sibiu
András Visky: Juliet – Theatre Thália, Budapest – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
S. Mrozek: Charlie – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Molière: The Misanthrope – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj (Nominated by UNITER for Best Performance of the Year 2001)
S. Beckett: Endgame – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Shakespeare: Troilus and Cresida – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Shakespeare: Hamlet – National Theatre Craiova
Gombrowicz: Operetta – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj (Nominated by UNITER for Best Performance of the Year 1997)
Büchner: Woyzeck – Bulandra Theatre, Bucharest
Bulgakov: Intrigue of the Hypocrites – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Molière: Tartuffe – Theatre Academy, Târgu-Mureș
Camus: The Misunderstanding – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj (Nominated by UNITER for Best Performance of the Year 1993)
Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Ionesco: The Bald Prima Donna – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Shakespeare: As you like it – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Székely: The Moors – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Heltai: Moth-ball – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Hsing-Chien: The Bus Stop – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Sigmond: Raining with Love – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Ispirescu: The Coach is Coming – National Theatre Târgu-Mureș
Caragiale: A Tempestuous Night – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj

Shakespeare: Hamlet
– Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Sütő A.: Blithe Wailing – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Poliakoff: City Sugar
– Theatre Academy, Târgu-Mureș
Mrozek: Tango
– Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Caragiale: A Tempestuous Night
– National Theatre, Tg-Mures
Feydeau: Cat in a Bag – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Dehel G.: The Innocent – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Bulgakov: Ivan, Wassilievitch
– Bulandra Theatre, Bucharest
S. Mrozek: Piotr Ohey – Academy of Theatre from Tg. Mures
Albee: The Zoo-Story
– National Theatre, Tg-Mures
Bulgakov: Ivan, the Terrible – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Blaga: Master Manole – Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
Mrozek: Tango
– Theatre Academy, Bucharest
Büchner: Woyzeck
– Hungarian Theatre, Sfîntu-Gheorghe
Beckett: Happy Days
– Theatre Academy, Bucharest

Teaching Experience:
2006–present – University of California, San Diego, USA
1999–2000 – classes at Institut del Teatre Barcelona and Terrassa, Spain
1999 – Theatre Academy, Barcelona
1995 – Classes for actors at the State Theatre School in Freiburg, Germany,
1991 – Founder of the Theatre and Drama Faculty in Cluj, Romania
1990–1995 – Head of directing at the Theatre Academy in Tg-Mures, Romania

Workshops for directors:
Workshop for young directors on Woyzeck, National Theater of Korea, 2016
Workshop for young directors on Hamlet, National Theater of Korea, 2015
Magic Theatre, Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro Bogota, 2012
Brunel University, London, UK 2005 (directing MA programme)
Workshop on Shakespeare, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 2003
Festival de la Francophonie, Limoges, France, 2003
International Workshop Festival, Belfast, UK, 2000
International Workshop Festival, Glasgow, UK, 1994
International Workshop Festival, Manchester, UK, 1993

Chinese Defence – director (Hungarian-Romanian-French coproduction, 1999)
Fugue – director (short film about János Jagamas, Romanian Television, 1978)
Behind the Mask – director (short film, Romanian Television, 1978)

Published works:
Van még könyvtár Amerikában? – Are There Libraries Left in America? (poems, Kalligram, Budapest, 2020)
Címke-függöny – Label-curtain (Gábor Tompa's private theatre dictionary, Bookart, Csíkszereda, 2010)
A tatu hozománya – Father's Dowry (poems for children, Pallas Akadémia, 2007)
Lidércbánya – Mine of Nightmares (selected poems, Pallas Akadémia, 2004)
Noé Színháza – Noah’s Theatre (selected poems, Pallas Akadémia, 2004)
Depressio Transilvanyae – (Four-handed sonnets with A. F. Kovács, Csíkszereda, Romania, 1998)
Aki nem én – Not I (poems, Tg-Mures, Romania, 1996)
A késdöfés gyöngédsége – The Tenderness of Stabbing (studies, Cluj, Romania, 1995)
Romániai magyar négykezesek – Four-handed Pieces (poems, with A. Visky, Pécs, Hungary, 1994)
Készenlét – Alertness (poems, Budapest, Hungary, 1990)
Óra, árnyékok – Clock, Shadows (poems, Bucharest, Romania, 1989)
A hűtlen színház – The Unfaithful Theatre. An essay on stage direction, Bucharest, 1987)

Books about his work:
A Journey into the World of Gábor Tompa, album by Mihaela Marin – Paideia  Publishing House, 2017
Gábor Tompa, A Stage Director's Oeuvre, from Three Sisters to The Cherry Orchard – Romanian Cultural Institute, 2016
TOMPA GÁBOR színházi világa / Viziuni scenice/ Theatrical Visions – Koinónia, Cluj, Romania, 2007
Conversation in Six Acts by Florica Ichim – Bucharest, Romania, 2003

  • Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters awarded by the French Ministry of Culture (Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres)
  • UNITER (Romanian Theater Union)
    • Nominated for Best Performance Award, 2011 (Leonce and Lena)
    • Nominated for Best Performance Award, 2005 (Waiting for Godot)
    • Nominated for the Best Performance Award, 2003 (Jacques or the Obedience)
    • Award for Excellence – 2002
    • Best Director of the Year in Romania (1984–ATM, 1987–ATM, 1993, and 1997, 2008, 2019)
    •  Best Performance of the Year (1989, 1992, 2008)  
  • Best Performance of the Year in Yugoslavia (1990)
  • EMKE-Prize (1992)
  • I. L. Caragiale National Theatre Festival – Best Directing (1992, 1996)
  • Best Foreign Performance of the Year in England (1993)
  • International Theatre Festival – Kishinev (1994), Best Director, Best Performance
  • Theaterpreis, Stuttgart (1995)
  • Hungarian National Theatre Festival (1996) – Best Director
  • "Interference"– Prize of Romanian Culture Foundation, 1996
  • Cuvântul-Prize (1996)
  • Critics' Award (ITI Romania, 1997)
  • Open Society Foundation Romania – Prize for Contemporary Arts • theatre, 1997
  • Kriterion-Prize (1997)
  • Award for French Culture (1997)
  • Best First Feature Award, International Film Festival, Salerno, Italy, for his “Chinese Defence”, 1999
  • Nomination for The Irish Times Award – 1999 for Waiting for Godot
  • The Distinction of the Romanian President, Emil Constantinescu, 2000
  • Artist Meritorious of Hungary (2002)
  • The Festival of the Romanian Dramaturgy (2004) – Best Directing
  • Szabadság Prize (2004)
  • Nomination for the Best Performance of the Year 2005 (Waiting for Godot, Tamási Áron Theatre, Sf. Gheorghe)
  • The Festival of the Romanian Comedy (2007) – Best Directing
  • Golden Apple Award (2007)
  • Media Excellency Prize (2008, 2010)
  • Ambassador of Hungarian Culture (2009)
  • Hevesi Sándor Prize - ITI (International Theatre Institute) Award (2011)
  • Short Drama Festival (2013) - Best Directing
  • Hungarian Contemporary Culture in Transylvania Award (2020)
  • Dsida Jenő Prize (2021)

Spoken Languages:
Hungarian, Romanian, English, German, French, Catalan

Artistic activity at the Hungarian Theatre


directed by - Adaptation after Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound by Ágnes KALI and Gábor TOMPA: PROMETHEUS'22
directed by - William Shakespeare: Hamlet


directed by - Marin Sorescu: Jonah
directed by - William Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice


directed by - Friedrich Dürrenmatt: The Visit


directed by - Freefall adaptation after Caragiale: Leonida Gem Session
directed by - Liam Clancy, Mary Reich, Yolande Snaith, Shahrokh Yadegari, Tompa Gábor: Ruins True Refuge


directed by - Ruins true, music composed by: Shahrokh Yadegari
directed by - Georg Büchner: Leonce and Lena
directed by - András Visky: Alcoholics


directed by, music by - András Visky: Born for Never


directed by - William Shakespeare: Richard III
directed by - A.P. Chekhov: Three Sisters


directed by, music by - Heiner Müller: Quartet
directed by, music illustration - András Visky: Long Friday


directed by, music illustration - After Euripides: Medea Circles
directed by - Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot
directed by - I.L. Caragiale: The Lost Letter
directed by - András Visky: Disciples


directed by - Eugene Ionesco: Jacques or The Submission


directed by - Samuel Beckett: Play
directed by - András Visky: Juliet


directed by, set design, costume design - Slawomir Mrožek: Charlie


directed by - Molière: The Misanthrope


directed by - Witold Gombrowicz: OPERETTA


directed by, music by - Mihail Bulgakov: THE CABAL OF HYPOCRITES


directed by, music by - Eugène Ionesco: THE BALD SOPRANO


directed by - János Székely: CALIGULA'S GOVERNOR


directed by - Hsing-Chien: The Bus Stop