After an 11-year of unforeseen break, caused mainly by financial difficulties, we have managed to relaunch the Festival of the European Theatre Union! In the catalogue of the last edition of the festival which in 2008 was also held here in Cluj as well as in Bucharest, Alexandru Darie, the exceptional Romanian director, then President of the Union, who recently passed away tragically, has written the following: "In a time when Europe, and the whole world for that matter, is in crisis, it might seem like a foolish idea to organize a theatre festival of such scope. (...) It is precisely in a time of crisis that the theatre speaks about crisis, bringing us face to face with our fears and our joys and, as Chekhov said, with our power to endure..."
Meaningful words that, unfortunately, have lost nothing of their timeliness, and perhaps, more strongly than ever, urge us towards rethinking the European theatrical utopia set forth by the Union's founder, Giorgio Strehler, namely the paradigm of a responsible theatrical act that promotes the coexistence of different cultures, religions and generations, showing humanity as a whole, in a gesture of tolerance and openness towards each other. The Festival of the European Theatre Union, which includes 16 member theatres, is a great opportunity in this respect, for its festival has been the continent's most significant theatrical event for many years. The Union has changed a great deal since then, several member theatres have subsequently joined and left the organization, while the structure of the festival has organically changed and now, instead of the model of the two-month-long event, it awaits its Cluj and world audiences for a 12-day showcase, hoping to offer them both enchantment and opportunity to reflect, thus reminding everyone that the road to the real Europe leads through Theatre!
Let us contemplate together upon the future of our continent and our own lives through the magic of a shared theatrical experience!
President of the European Theatre Union
Artistic and Managing Director of the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj