In 2014, the Director of the National Theatre, Attila Vidnyánszky and his colleagues founded MITEM (Madách International Theatre Meeting) with the aim of putting Hungary on the international festival map.
In 2023, MITEM will be both the organiser of the International Theatre Olympics and the central venue of its events.
Since 2014, MITEM has attracted more than 200 performances from around 30 countries, staged by directors including – but not limited to – Eugenio Barba, Alvis Hermanis, Eimuntas Nekrošius, Valeri Fokin, Rimas Tuminas, Andrei Moguchiy, Silviu Purcărete, Luk Perceval, Thomas Ostermeier, Michael Thalheimer, Robert Wilson, Theodoros Terzopoulos, Valère Novarina, Gábor Tompa, Slava Polunin, and Attila Vidnyánszky.
Several major theatre companies have come to Budapest, including the Piccolo Teatro from Milan, Odin Teatret from Holstebro, Meno Fortas from Vilnius, the Vakhtangov Theatre from Moscow, the Moscow Art Theatre, the Alexandrinsky Theatre from Saint Petersburg, the Ivan Franko National Academic Drama Theatre from Kyiv, the State Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, and the Berliner Ensemble.
Beside the major – Russian, German and French – nations of the theatre, MITEM has also welcomed Macedonian, Moldavian, Romanian, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Slovenian, Norwegian, Swedish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Eastern-Siberian Sakha, Tatar, Korean, Lebanese, Algerian, Iraqi, Turkish, and Georgian companies.
There is no competition at MITEM, there are no awards. Instead of the view of the curator, which increasingly has become characteristic of the festival industry of the world and Europe alike, and in place of the standpoint of profitability (the justification of which we do not wish to debate), we have chosen to take a different path with MITEM. We are searching for directors and companies that share our sense of aesthetics, for visionary performances with a dramatic effect, and for creators and artists who explore and renew the theatrical languages and traditions of their own nations.
One of MITEM's main objectives from the beginning has been, where politics figuratively or literally destroys bridges, for theatre to bridge differences in culture, thinking, and worldview; and to generate discussion where politics fails to do so.
For us, gestures made for the sake of understanding others are paramount. They represent the only way to foster and experience a culture of mutual understanding. And that is MITEM’s mission.
founder of MITEM
chief organizer (since 2017)
chief organizer (2014-2016)
festival organiser (2014-2018)