Ahoy From Budapest

10988531_10102985049588593_4440353469648680058_nSingle Carrot Theatre Artistic Director Genevieve de Mahy has arrived safely in Budapest for dunaPart3 – Hungarian Showcase of Contemporary Performing Arts. She’s giving updates in the form of Top 5 lists, and she’s sharing her first list here.

Stay tuned for further updates on the festival, her travels, and all things Hungary.

More on dunaPart3 HERE.


Top 5 Things to Know About Hungarian Theatre- The Basics
By Genevieve deMahy

1. Hungarians are very active theatre goers. The population of the country is 10 million and there are 6,800,000 theater tickets sold per year. It is estimated that 10-12% of the population regularly see theatre.

2. There are 25,000 theatre performances per year. Hungary, like much of Europe, functions on a repertory model. A play will be open for years and perform a few times a month for years. Theatres frequently have shows running nearly every day of the week, but rotate the shows playing at their theatre, so each day, they are changing over from one show to another. Think of a band that plays at a venue every second and fourth Thursday. All theatre functions on that model.

3. There are 376 registered performing arts organizations, but only some of them receive state funding. There are theatres that are defined as state institutions, who receive full support from the government. Then, there are independent theatres, that have to apply for remaining state funding or other foundational support. Hungary does not have a tradition of philanthropy, so individual donations is not something that theatres can rely on for funding. This can make it challenging for the large independent theatre scene in Hungary, who all have to compete against each other for a limited pool of state funding. Some of it is even lottery based so theatres may have to close if they do not receive state funding one year because there are not other significant funding streams.

4. Artistic Directors of the state theaters are government appointed positions. With the current right wing government, this has caused greater censorship of work produced in the state theatre system and a focus on traditional values.

5. Theatres in Hungary has strong and diverse educational theatre practices. It is an expectation that theatres will be active in educating children with theatre programs.