New Theater Affair

The controversy surrounding Budapest’s Új Színház (New Theater) began on October 6, with the surprise appointment of far-right sympathizer György Dörner as the theater’s director. The appointment reversed the decision of the committee in charge of evaluating the applications. Only 2 votes in the committee supported Dörner’s application (these were political appointees to the committee, by the Budapest mayor and the Hungarian government, respectively), four expert members of the panel unanimously voted against the appointment.

Once the application was made public, it turned out that Dörner’s appointment was an upsetting mixture of dilettantism and blatant right-wing ideology. Dörner wants New Theater to limit its repertoire to Hungarian plays and conceived of its role as the savior of “Hungarians moaning under the yoke of social liberalism.” Adding fuel to the fire, Dörner’s application named István Csurka, a well-known playwright and politician from the fringes of Hungarian right-wing extremism, as his partner in leading the theater.

A protest was held outside of the New Theater on Oct. 22. – see report and photo through this link.

To read the Contrarian Hungarian post, about the ideological underpinnings that fueled the far-right to take over the theater, click here.

For the letters of protest and the international press on the issue, see the blog “Az nem lehet, hogy”/”That is not possible (or acceptable)”, and in particular their collection of foreign-language articles here:

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