One of the highlights of the 10th Theatre Olympics was the Madách Project 2023, a program based on the idea of Attila Vidnyánszky, organised by the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest. The project, which is also a unique example of Olympic internationalism, brought together theatre and director students from 11 countries in a huge production of The Tragedy of Man. Student director George Zamfir, a master’s student at the I.L. Caragiale University of Theatre and Film in Romania, wrote to színház.org about his experience of creating the performance.
For me, the Theatre Olympics is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime experience’. The festival has brought together 11 countries from 4 different continents, creating a cultural interaction that I don’t know when I will have the opportunity to experience again. In the first days, we rehearsed with maximum effort for the performance on 12 June: we felt we had an important mission, to represent our country and ourselves, and we fulfilled this mission with honour.
For me, the whole experience was about working together. Collaboration from the very beginning: starting with the process of directing at home in Bucharest, with my colleagues from the Master’s programme, Mara and Bianca, with whom I worked on an almost impossible co-direction. How do three directors manage to come together and create a coherent and cohesive concept without (too many) compromises? I don’t have an answer to that yet, I need to think more on this topic, but we did, we became a directorial trinity (that’s our inside joke).
The collaboration continued during the festival, as our shared mission was to create an international performance in a few days from the episodes we had worked on at home and presented on the 12th. We had the opportunity to work with people from different cultures and, as cliché as it may sound, we were united in our diversity. Attila Vidnyánszky was able to create a context in which we could grow together, in which we could learn from each other, in which we could be in constant dialogue. It is an experience that I think I will always take with me, because it is living proof that whatever the differences between us, we can come together, and above all, that the best things can be achieved in community.