Young authors competition, workshop leader: Lázló Márton
The new building of the National Theatre of Hungary opened its doors in March 2002. Although there has been a National Hungarian theatre in Budapest for the last 150 years, it had to move house several times.
The National Theatre is located on the banks of the Danube on the Pest side of the city in a richly decorated structure reminiscent of a river steamer. The main building houses a large stage and near circular auditorium with 619 seats. The theatre pursues a policy of encouraging openness, tolerance and interest in the audiences, and focuses especially on the younger generations.
The theatre's programme is designed around a mix of traditional Hungarian theatre classics and contemporary world drama. In this way, the National Theatre can fully participate in European culture while developing its own modern theatre language for the present age. Since it also regards fostering young talent as a key task, the National Theatre plans to work closely with the University of Film and Dramatic Arts on a programme for stage direction where students could present their final year productions in the theatre.
As part of its commitment to cultural exchange, the National Theatre is also planning to integrate guest performances by companies from abroad in its programme schedule. In addition, it is supporting the development of a guest director exchange programme where leading figures from abroad are invited to stage productions, primarily of Hungarian classics.
The theatre's contemporary programme includes modern classics that are missing from the Hungarian theatre repertory – for example, this year saw the production of Botho Strauss’s play "Der Park", translated by András Forgách.
In addition, to mark the Year of the Bible, the National Theatre has commissioned ten Hungarian writers to write themed plays on the Ten Commandments.