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Dear Visitor,
Our theatre festival, which was organized 16 years ago for the first time, is checking in again after a year of (forced) break. Between 27th of November and 3rd of December, we are presenting Contemporary Drama Festival (abbreviated as CDF) for the 11th time this year.
In 2012, we could not organize the festival due to financial reasons – that’s why we had more time to see new Hungarian theatre premieres. In the last two years we could see so many outstanding and innovative performances from young Hungarian theatre makers, that it was not a question that the focus of this year’s festival should be the new Hungarian theatre generation. These performances proved us that the young professionals of Hungarian theatre, despite all their difficulties, are working really diligently. Moreover, from performance to performance, they open up to us and present their questions and dilemmas about life in present day Hungary. To put it short, here is the future of Hungarian theatre.

We think it is really important to gather and present these performances (that could be seen sparsely, in various venues) together, in the framework of the festival. We would also like to draw the attention of the Hungarian audience and the international professionals to this generation of theatre makers, as they are makers of the present and the future of Hungarian theatre.
Who do we mean by the new generation of Hungarian theatre? We mean those artists, who, both in aesthetics and content, create contemporary performances, and talk in a modern way about the issues of the world of today. They create performances which break the frames of conventional theatre, and create exciting …… and multidisciplinary performances, mixing elements of conventional theatre, physical theatre, puppet theatre, dance, music and even performances. But they are contemporary content-wise as well, as they all reflect on “here” and “now”. Thus, they produce peculiarly Hungarian performances which, however, could be interpreted globally, too.
In this year’s festival programme we decided to include these genre-broadening movements. CDF was, in the beginning, basically a text based festival presenting new dramas and theatre projects, but this year, we broadened our program selection in order to demonstrate the works of the new Hungarian generation more effectively, by including performances of new musical theatre, puppet theatre, physical theatre and dance performances. We also present performances for the youngsters, too, not only adults.
In our programme, productions of both public theatres and independent groups are present. You could see performances that have been premiered in the previous and the current theatre seasons from theatres and troupes from Budapest, the countryside and the Hungarian speaking parts of Romania and Serbia.
From the new Hungarian theatre generation, we present Márton Gulyás, Károly Hoffer, Dániel D. Kovács, Márk Radnai and Margaréta Táborosi. Beside their works, you could see a selection of the latest works made by theatre makers who have been present for a few years in the Hungarian theatre scene already, producing important and exciting works, such as choreographer-directors Krisztián Gergye and Csaba Horváth and directors Tibor Csizmadia, Gábor Koltai M., Béla Pintér and György Vidovszky. Our theatre festival offers an exceptional theatre experience as well: the guests could see the whole Mine trilogy by Csaba Székely on three consecutive days.
To frame our programme presenting the new Hungarian theatre generation, this year, we are organizing, as usual, our Visitors’ Programme for the international guests for the festival. This programme is exceptionally important now, as this is the first time this new Hungarian generation is introduced to greater and international audiences at a festival. The Visitors’ Programme allows our invited guests, such as international theatre experts, noted festival directors and theatre critics both from Europe and overseas to participate in daylong professional programmes and also to get to know the most exciting theatre makers and workshops of contemporary Hungarian theatre and their latest performances. The performances in the main programme, which are selected by the festival jury, are either dubbed or subtitled in English. But in the case of the shows recommended by the festival, we also provide ways to help foreigners to understand the performances, such as subtitles in English or an introduction in English or written accompanying material in English. Therefore, we warmly recommend the programme to foreigners who are living in Budapest, working in Budapest or visiting Budapest for the festival period.
We tried to pay attention to every area and occupation in the Hungarian theatre scene when it came to assembling the festival jury. So, the programme of Contemporary Drama Festival was selected by Viktória Kulcsár (director of Jurányi Art Incubator House), Ildikó Lőkös (dramaturg, the co-director of the Theatre Dramaturgs’ Guild of Hungary), Ákos Németh (playwright, member of the Playwrights’ Roundtable in Hungary), Rita Sebestyén (main editor of theatre journal Játéktér from Transylvania), Katalin Szűcs (critic, editor in chief of journal Criticai Lapok), István Ugrai (editor in chief of 7ora7.hu) and Balázs Urbán (independent critic, member of the Theatre Dramaturgs’ Guild of Hungary).
The theatre programme is complemented by accompanying events. We are organizing a new (and in the Hungarian theatre practice, not too common) professional accompanying event called the Industry Series. It is held especially for helping Hungarian presenting and producing houses to broaden their international connections and for recommending Hungarian theatre performances for foreign festivals.
After the performances at the festival, as a part of the accompanying programme, the members of the Theatre Dramaturgs’ Guild of Hungary are moderating a post-talk with the creators and the audience titled Critical Hour – K.O.
In the festival club, hosted by the Jurányi Art Incubator House this year, we are awaiting our guests with delicious dinner and amazing live concerts – we are doing everything for you to have a great time!
Please find the detailed introduction of the theatre performances and the accompanying events on our home page under CDF 2013 / PROGAMME.
We are really looking forward to meeting you at the festival!
Mária Szilágyi Festival Director and the festival team
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