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Patron of the Event:

István Íjgyártó

Minister of State for Cultural and Science Diplomacy

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade


The Contemporary Drama Festival Budapest was created in 1997 with the aim to facilitate cooperation and dialogue between Hungarian and international theatre professionals. The main goal of the organizers has not changed since the very beginning: to promote Hungarian theatre on an international market and give professionals a chance to meet each other, and possibly invite Hungarian theatres to introduce themselves abroad, allowing the creation of co-productions and long-term collaborations.

To guarantee the successful and effective realization of the aims mentioned above, a separate project, the Visitors’ Programme was created in 2005, inviting festival directors, critics and other theatre professionals from all over Europe and overseas (20-50 guests every year). For the guests of the Visitors’ Programme, we provide a complex series of programmes for several days. Performances are carefully selected for the purpose of the showcase. They are what one could call a real hungaricum: innovative performances showing tendencies, strength and results of Hungarian theatre art, yet they are also compatible with the tendencies and phenomena of world theatre, not copying them slavishly but engaging with them in a meaningful dialogue.

Contemporary Drama Festival Budapest informs every significant international theatre professional about the Visitors’ Programme. The performances selected for the showcase program are heavily promoted by the Contemporary Drama Festival Budapest: besides advertising and the information package sent to the invited guests, this also means accessibility. The festival takes on the challenge to make these often difficult performances verbally accessible, ensuring high-quality translation, proper surtitling or simultaneous translation, enabling the further usage of these texts for promotional purposes.

The participants of the Visitors’ Programme have the opportunity to meet the artists after the performance, and to discuss the performance or any possible future collaborations. They also have the opportunity to visit the most important theatre-related institutions, workshops and to meet the cultural policy-makers during their stay in Budapest.

In the Hungarian theatre scene, the Visitors’ Programme is the first initiative of its kind, which has helped several Hungarian companies and performances to achieve international success, and we are happy and proud to announce that we are continuing the program, and we are hosting renowned theatre professionals and creators from all over the world.

This year the members of the Visitors’ Programme have the possibility to visit the Desiré Central Station International Regional Contemporary Theatre Festival in Subotica, Serbia and the Interferences International Theatre Festival in Cluj, Romania as a result to the collaboration of the three festivals. This way, they can get a clearer picture about the region’s theatrical tendencies.

This year the Visitors’ Programme is complemented by an international conference. The theme of this conference is the self-sustainable cultural / theatre production. It also discusses the relationship between artistic creation and “hope”.

According to feedback, this year we are expecting 20 theatre professionals as our guests, from 14 countries (Austria, France, Iran, Germany, Poland, Greece, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Croatia, Slovakia, Lithuania and Estonia) to visit the Festival. Among the guests, there are theatre critics, theatrologists, artistic directors, dramaturgs. Furthermore, there are curators, artistic directors from theatre festivals such as Divadelna Nitra Festival, Dialog Festival, Golden Mask Festival, Fast Forward Festival, Premieres Festival, Small Scenes Theatre Festival, Culture Night Vilnius Festival and Festival TransAmériques.

The performances in the showcase are presented with English surtitles or simultaneous translation. This way, the Contemporary Drama Festival provides a unique opportunity to tourists and foreigners (living, working or studying in Budapest) to become familiar with the latest achievements of contemporary Hungarian theatre.