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    Sopron and The Festival:

    A good festival must meet many different requirements. It is always there a hosting city, an institution servicing it, a community for which it is organized and are always there the individual viewpoints.  Our taste and expectations should be multifarious; our cultural and artistic claims should be quite different. After it is over one always can see better, and this gives chance and also enthusiasm to take the next step. And if all goes well, a festival has been born in Sopron designed to be molded further together as it would have gone through the most important filters.

    Sopron is a real cultural miracle with its historical treasury, with it tasty wines and cuisine, with its closeness to the border – all these together makes a real touristic experience for those who are present.  The Sopron Petőfi Theater supported the festival with its professional staff and facilities, and one must admit that rarely happens by an amateur-, student- or children’s theater festival that it is backed by a county-wide operating, established theatre institution.

    It is not the last one among the viewpoints (and it also rarely happens) that 2000 local spectators had booked tickets for the festival performances. This fact means that in general more than 200 external theater fans came to see each performance.

    A real reflection does not forget about shortages so I have to speak about these as well.  The realization opportunities of the festival have been uncertain for quite long or better to say they have been “question marked”. Well, although the selection process had been started already in March, the final and full timetable has been set together only for end of August. So the official info on the selection decisions have reached the applicants and interested quite late which rightly could be blamed of by both those groups that have or have not been selected finally and could take part in the festival only in the off program.

    This delay in the main program had a side effect on the offs. Because of this the community events, workshops had to be left out. Having participated in many festivals for more than 20 years I do say that the festival mood depends on the quality of the people’s presence if they are really present at all.  By the next edition of PROGRESS more emphasis could be put on this, as by this first occasion somehow it went like some cautious socializing, on the other hand, and in some cases a bit overdone.  It proved anyway that there’s a room for the amateur theatre life in Sopron’s cultural life.

    Selection philosophy:

    During the selection process I tried to take into consideration several points of view: the sorting should meet the demands of the amateur theatre scene, namely it should be representative but at the same time should satisfy the expectations of the local audience.

    So there were children’s, secondary-school, and mixed age theater groups in the basket. The brave and experimental spirit that characterized the invited groups has been shown up in different artistic languages so the festival could represent the multicolored facets that one can find in the non-professional theatrical laboratories.

    There is great need for such groups, not only because they mediate but maintain and in many cases create cultural traditions and values. They make all this in a different set of rules as opposed to the professional theaters. This alteration means that they can react on the surrounding world faster and more directly, their way of thinking is more instinctive, their cry for help works like signaling buoys, their humor is like Shakespeare’s clowns – grotesque, self-ironic and philosophical at the same time but always true.

    This “trueness” makes possible to love them and also their eccentricity.  Sometimes it can cause discomfort or, what is more important, deep self recognition. As a child who with he/r questions and statements never wants to offend but rather to understand. However it is worthwhile to respect and encourage this endeavor.

    This had been acted by SOPRON PROGRESS 2017 when it has launched an opportunity for a Hungarian festival with a perspective on the international amateur theatre field.


    For our greatest pity the group from Sri Lanka had to cancel the participation because of visa problems. So finally 5 Hungarian and 3 international groups took part in the festival. During the discussions on the shows the jury gave both an outlook on theater history and criticism but what is more important than this, the chance for dialogue has not been excluded from the talks. So the groups could get reflections on their work from many sides.

    The Italians (Avanzi di Scena) with an extraordinary montage technique dreamt on stage a movie universe evoking the past of the Italian ‘film factory’.  We have got the time and chance to ponder on how great stories and stars gave shape to the Italian film universe and till now how little we possess from this.

    The Germans’ paraphrase on Don Quixote (Don Q by Compania Sincara) masterly exploited the mask play technique and it is not a coincidence that it won the most awards among others the invitation to the Budapest National Theatre’s MITEM International theatre festival.

    Among the Hungarian groups was seen the RÉV Theater’s IRINA that have been performed in many festivals recently for example the Tyumen CEC festival. Here the jury awarded them for their creativity. The students of the Vörösmarty Grammar School have recently been proved their theatrical skills and social sensibility many times. Their performance The Broken Family co-directed by Balázs Perényi and Ádám Szalai made spectators to think and introspect of the family problems present everywhere around. Some special awards have gone to the Soltis Lajos Theater’s The Lonesome West production that beyond any taboos put on stage a world without God and belief and human relations bleeding of common problems. Acknowledgements were given to one of the actors, the three musicians and for the stage design. From the village of Deszk an experimental group came show us the everlasting questions of man and woman, in some moments evoking the movie pictures of Lynch and Bergman.  Well, although their performance entitled Still Life divided the audience but still became an important part of the festival because of its experimental search for form: the ceremonial- and poetry theatre got a Bob Wilson like visual realization. The KB35 Company is one of the most significant amateur workshops and communities of the country.  By them the most important mission of amateur theatre scene is been realized year by year: to make move generations, educate and develop through dramatic and theatrical means.  Their show based on Lope de Vega’s The Disobedient scrutinized the behavior of the exploited who confront/revolt against the power.

    Among the numerous and valuable Hungarian off programs one was really a great present. This is the Strucz József Players Company from Kupuszina (SRB). The players in this village group might not be aware of what a miracle they keep in their hands: this is the coexistence of live art and the tradition itself in the best and most pure way of the word. And what is more, they sing, dance and play like professionals, in an amazing way they create a historical but still alive folk-play, an interpretation of habits and suppositions that normally belong to museums.

    In general and in spite of the initial difficulties the festival ran successfully. Besides a plenty of helping and supporting hands the personal efforts and presence of Mr. András Pataki (Director of Petőfi Theater), Tibor Várszegi (managing director of the festival) and János Regős (Chair of HFATP), Lucie Orbók, István Pinczés and Imre Katona (members of Jury), Julia Oláh designer and compere, Ervin Németh, the dramaturge, editor of  the printed materials, Anna Németh the press correspondent – all did have an important part in this.

    We are looking forward to the continuation.

    Criticisms and all other info:


    Sándor Komáromi

    artistic director of the festival                                                                                 

  • Progress 2017 Sopron


    The second edition of PROGRESS International Amateur Theatre Festival PROGRESS 2017 SOPRON has come to its end on 24th September. The Hungarian City of Faith, Sopron and the Petőfi Theatre proved to be An excellent host of the festival.

    The Grand Prize of the festival went to the German Group from Leipzig Compania Sincara’s Don Q.

    The festival besides five Hungarian groups hosted an ethnic Hungarian group from Serbia, an Italian and a Polish company. An exceptional pleasure was for the organizers that more than two thousand local people have come to see the shows. The three members of the jury – István Pinczés director, Imre Katona dramaturg, Lucie Malková (CZ) head of the Czech Cultural Centre in Budapest – allocated, besides the Grand Prize, fifteen special prizes.

    At the closing ceremony the Meyer of Sopron dr. Mr. Tamás Fodor in his speech underlined that everybody  is a winner of this festival not only the groups but the whole city and visitors who came from abroad.

    János Regős the Chair of the Hungarian Federation of Amateur Theatres and Players and Board Member of CEC has read the welcoming message of Rob van Genechen, the president of aita/iata.

    According to the plans the next PROGRESS SOPRON Festival will be held in 2019. The term is coincides with the twentieth anniversary of breakdown of the iron curtain in the vicinity of Sopron.

    János Regős, Chair of HFATP  26-09-2017

    Participating companies:

    Compania Sincara – Leipzig (D)

    Młodzieżowy Teatr Animacji Lalki i Przedmiotu „eF” Bielsko-Białá (PL)

    Soltis Lajos Theatre – celldömölk (H)

    Vörösmarty Secondary School,  Drama Class – Budapest (H)

    KB35 Company – Inárcs (H)

    DESZKA Theatre – Deszk (H)

    Avanzi di Scena – Civitavecchia (I)

    RÉV Theatre – Győr (H)

    Tamás Ács – Sopron (H)

    Prompter’s Booth Company – Komló (H)

    Brigitta Szluka – Sopron (H)

    József Sturcz Playing Company – Kupuszina-Bácskertes (SRB)

    Róza Juhász – Budapest (H)

  • 2nd Progress International Amateur Theatre Festival Sopron

    Federation of Hungarian Amateur Theatres and Players    

    The Hungarian Federation of Amateur Thetres and Players (FHATP) gladly announces

    that 20-24th September in cooperation with Pro Cultura Sopron and Petőfi Theatre organizes the 2nd PROGRESS International Amateur Theatre Festival where 5 Hungarian and 4 international groups will present their performances in Sopron (West of Hungary). The festival is a competitive one with Jury Board and presents additional “off” programs as well. The organizers welcome observers from aita/iata and CEC! If anyone of you would like to come please contact TIBOR VÁRSZEGI (head of local organizing committee) tel: +3630 9081656   e mail: varszegitibor@malomszinhaz.hu or me (jjregos@gmail.com)

    Few words about us: The legal predecessor of Magyar Szín-Játékos Szövetség (Hungarian Federation of Amateur Theatres and Players – FHATP) has been founded in 1995. The main endeavour of the present Federation is backing and supporting the Hungarian speaking non-professional theatre groups, their members, co-associations, their filial organizations with residence out- or within the borders of Hungary. Our members are of drama-, poetry reading-, dance- and puppetry groups, including of student- and children’s, seniors’, urban and village theatres. The HFATP gives important service for them both on an administrative and international level. The Federation organizes two annual national festivals and co-partner in the PROGRESS SOPRON 2017 festival.

    Way to the PROGRESS SOPRON 2017 Festival: The predecessor of our international festival was “Kazinbarcika Festivals” a competitive meeting of youth and adult amateur theatre 1971-2014. In this industrial town North-East of Hungary the best amateur and independent groups came together to meet and exchange ideas, inspirations by their shows.  The festival has grown out to be the most important meeting of Hungarian “top” groups. From all over the country (and later from abroad) people came like in a pilgrimage to share the experiences. Outstanding Hungarian professionals undertook to be in the jury and by the in the morning time colloquies sharp and profound professional debates took place in the conference hall. Two years ago Pápa hosted the new edition of the festival and Tibor Solténszky, who left us forever in the last year, gave the name PROGRESS to the new born festival. The name PROGRESS expresses well the mission of the festival that is to open up the space for new and progressive initiations and real dialogues. After Pápa the artistic and managing director of Pro Kultúra Sopron and the Sopron Petőfi TheatreMr. András Pataki invited the PROGRESS 2017 where five Hungarians and three international groups will present their shows. Besides the performing groups the festival welcomes the representatives of aita/iata asb**l. The competitive and off programs have been set together by the artistic director of PROGRESS SOPRON 2017 Sándor Komáromi nominated by the board of FHATP* and András Pataki. The international groups hold the recommendation of their national aita/iata** centers.

    The program:

    20. Wednesday:
    15.30 Opening
    16.00 Apple grenade – opendoors show of Soltis Theatre
    19.00 Italian Movie Factory – Avanzi di scena
    21.00 RÉV Színház – IRINA  

    21. Thursday:
    11.00 Colloquia
    15.00 Gogol: The Diary of an Insane
    18.00 VMG Student Theatre – Truncated
    20.00 Soltis Theatre – M. McDonagh: The Lonesome West

    22. Friday
    10.30 Polish Youth Puppet and AnimationTheatre from Bielsko Biala: Hello Mr. Andersen
    15.00 Red Apple Theatre Gathering (Colombo) Puberty
    16.00 Colloquia
    20.00 Compania Sincara (Leipzig) : Don Q

    23. Saturday:
    15.00  Deszka Theatre (Deszk) Still/Life
    17.00 KB 35 Company (Inárcs): Disobedients
    20.00 Sopron Petőfi Theatre (off program) I’have KilledMy Mother  

    24. Sunday
    10.00 Colloquia
    12.00 Players called Sturcz József (Kupuszina, SRB – off program) Trezka
    14.00 Closing and prize giving ceremony


    Warm Greetings from
    János Regős of Hungarian National Center
    chair of Hungarian Federation of Amateur Theatres

  • Sapperlot

    Apply now for the International Meeting of Youth Theatre sapperlot!

    Applications are possible

    within 30th September 2017!

     Apply now!

    sapperlot is an event of youth culture in South Tyrol and at the same time a stock taking of the actual trends in the youth theatre in the world.  We invite groups from all over the world, which are open to reflect their own work and to other cultures and theatre forms.

    sapperlot is intended to make our town Brixen known to teenagers from all over the world as a beautiful young place where you want to come back again and again. Brixen is a nice medieval town in the very North of Italy near the border to Austria. You should have been here!

    sapperlot is intended to develop a network for theatre with young people, to create long lasting friendships between youth theaters from all over the world. We want to bring youngsters together, that will enhance tolerance, acceptance and build the basis for a peaceful world through local and international cooperation.

    sapperlot is not just a festival, but everybody who has been part of it is part of a big family, a community of young, creative, talented, socially involved and responsible people.

    Last but not least:

    sapperlot is a festival organized by teenagers for teenagers. That means sapperlot is different every year, but every sapperlot is a big feast full of wonderful moments, fun and a inspiring atmosphere.
    Application deadline: 30th September 2017

  • In memory Helena Matoušková

    Dear all,

    Let me inform you that Mrs. Ing. Helena Matouskova, the former president of AITA/IATA, died at the age of 88 years on June 14th, 2017.

    Rest in peace.

  • Open Call

    Look at the “CEC Activities” section for very important information!!!!



    National and International Amateur Theatre Festival
    from 20th September to 23rd September 2017
    in Sopron, Hungary

    Call for applications

    For the 2017 edition of the festival PROGRESS realized in the facilities of Liszt Ferenc Cultural Centre Sopron we are expecting applications from Hungarian (minority Hungarian) and international adult amateur theatre groups. The festival will provide wide opportunities to get to know each others’ works, to evaluate and match the works by well known professionals (critics, theatre practitioners), and, as for it is a competition like festival, getting special awards for the best achievements.
    12 groups are planned to be invited to the festival (6 Hungarian, 6 international ones)
    The selection process, by the proposal of the board of HFATP, will be led by Sándor Komáromi, the artistic director of PROGRESS SOPRON.
    The host of the festival is András Pataki, director of Sopron Petőfi Theatre and of the PRO CULTURA SOPRON Non Profit Ltd., festival director János Regős , the Chair of HFATP, executive director of the festival is Dr. Tibor Várszegi.
    Main patrons are Dr. Péter Hoppál Cultural State Secretary and Dr.Tamás Fodor the Mayer of Sopron
    Standing orders of the festival:
    The festival programme can accommodate 6 international groups of maximum 12 persons (from which 9 on the stage) with a performance no longer than 90 minutes that has been premiered between 01. June 2015. and 20. April 2017. If the show is presented in a small space (with less than 100 spectators) it has to be performed twice during the festival.
    Other preconditions:
    - filling the application form and transmitting it to the given addresses either through electronic or postal way
    - enclosing the full video of the performance (it can be made through a working online link as well, or through drive share)
    - preparing projectable English subtitles or synopsis for the show
    - in the case of invitation the group commits to take part for the full time of the festival
    Application deadline: 25.04.2017 (postal mailing), 30.04.2017 midnight (electronic way)
    Decision on invitation: until the end of may 2017.
    Each participating performance of the festival will be discussed and evaluated by the jury in an open professional debate with all festival participants. The jury is a composition of the most prestigious Hungarian theatre professionals who are open to the amateur theatre world.
    Interested groups can enclose recommendations from their respective national centres of the International Amateur Theatre Association (aita/iata asbl) or CEC (Central European Committee).
    The visa costs travel and transportation of the company must be covered by the participants themselves except of the fares within Hungary or between Vienna (the closest city to Sopron) and Sopron. Appropriate rehearsing time on stage with professional technical assistance and access to all the events during the whole festival (performances, workshops, concerts, club events etc.) will be provided to all festival participants. For entering the competing shows everybody should pay a symbolic ticket price of 100 HUF (30 Eurocents). The festival organizers will provide accommodation (in student hostels), two times a day meals by vouchers and proper rehearsal and set-in time for the participants.

    Theatre professionals, international festival organizers, delegates of aita/iata asbl. are all welcomed and expected to join the PROGRESS SOPRON 2017.

    Sopron 10. 03. 2017.

    The Organizing Committee

  • Open Letter from the Lithuanian NC

    We got an open letter from the Lithuanian NC (Danute Vaigauskaite):


    Dear Colleagues from the National Centers all over the World!


    Since 1952 the AITA/IATA was carefully created step by step leading by the most intelligent World Presidents.

    During 65 years IATA successfully existed through Regions and National Centers.

    It took three years for Lithuania to create the Lithuanian National Center and become a Member of the AITA/IATA in 1993! It was great to be a member of the AITA/IATA’ Family!

    During 23 years 9 Lithuanian amateur theater groups were selected to the World AITA/IATA Festivals (4 times Monaco, then El Jadida, Halifax, Massan, Tromso, Ypres) because the National Center could organize the selection process and guarantee the quality of the performances representing country in the World!

    Today we have in Lithuania approx. 300 adult and 500 children theater groups. Every year we have a review – contest of the performances and know very well the quality of the groups. Theater experts of the NC are involved in the process and are responsible giving recommendation to the groups to participate in the Official IATA or Regional Festivals.

    Nаtional Center as a member of the AITA/IATA has a strong position in Lithuania.

    Leaving NC with “one vote” at the AITA/IATA Congress – loosing the strength of the National Center, loosing the quality of the amateur art at the World Festivals of the AITA/IATA. Without artistic goals – AITA/IATA has no Future! 

    We understand that the AITA/IATA needs some changes, more money etc.

    But equalize the NC to just one theater group – is the biggest mistake! 

    The Lithuanian National Center invites all colleague to save the National Center as a basic body of activity of the AITA/IATA and leave 6 (or at least 3) votes at the Congress of AITA/IATA!


    Happy New Year to all of you!

    Happy New Year to the AITA/IATA based on the National Centers!


    On behalth of the Lithuanian National Center

    dr. Danute Vaigauskaite

  • About the Polish Theatre Offensive

    The Polish Theatre Offensive is organised as a non-formal network of tens of theatres with hundreds of individuals represented. The growing community is documented on www.off-teatr.pl in cooperation with the magazine nietak!t from Wrocław. Each theatre has its own profile. There is no hierarchy, no legal structure or single representative. We are young, flexible and happy to have the possibility to promote understanding and education through theatre in cooperation with AITA/IATA asbl, AITA CEC and EDERED in Poland and overseas.

    Polish Theatre Offensive can help you to:

      • find a partner organisation in Poland;
      • find a polish theatre group for your international festival or exchange;
      • find a workshop leader from Poland;
      • give you the opportunity to participate in a cultural European Volunteer Service programme in Poland;
      • give you the opportunity to participate in a theatre festival in Poland;
      • find for your theatre group opportunities to perform;
      • and more… .

    If you think we can help you, just contact us via kontakt@towarzystwoteatralne.pl. Travel and become even more happy!

  • CEC GA Budapest Accompanying event: Program of the Festival for the Best Festival Winner Amateur Theaters of the Season 2015/16 in MU Theater

    Friday 09. 17.00: Terne Csernahaja Group – We are who we are – a Gypsy student group from Arts School Biri dir: Zsuzsa Demarcsek

    Friday 18.30 KITORES Theater: a group from Psychiatric Asylum of Hejobaba playing Gy.Schwaja’s ANTHEM dir: Gabor Varga 60′

    Friday 20.00 Young Morbid Group: a student group from Kecskemét playing The Devil, the Rasta and the Cheater dir: Gabor Sarosi 60′

    Saturday 14.30 REV Theater from Gyor: a TIE group adult playing IRINA – male fables, a compilation of Chekhov’s motives on chasing Irina, the original play by Csaba Kiss, dir: Balint Koranyi 75′

    A block of children theaters:
    Saturday 16.00 Csillagszóró (Sparkler) Group of pupils 8-10 of age from Ipolysag (SK): Secret-store dir: Judit Koteles, Aniko N.Toth 25′

    Saturday 16.40 Alfold Children Stage: an independent kids’ group from Debrecen playing Kalicsko or a Play on the Responsibility of Making theater, dir: Attila Varhidi 30 ‘

    Saturday 17.30 Bolyai Sokk Group: a group of pupils 13-14 from Debrecen elementary school playing As We Like it… based on Shakespeare’s play and about the love affairs of that generation, dir: Klara Deczki 30′

    Saturday 19.30 KOMLORA Group from Pecs: LOCKED, the play is based on The Bluebird’s Castle motives and played by two students of age 17 from the Arts School of Pecs, dir: Zoltan Komloczi 45′

    Saturday 20.45 Nemes Nagy Agnes Art School Budapest: Pea Roller, a puppet performance of students of 12 grade students 30′

    Sunday 17.00 KB 35 Group from Inarcs: SUHA a story about a gypsy boy who was unlawfully condemned for murder, later acquitted, was sitting three years in jail, getting no any compensation from the state, dir: Gabor Malik 85 ‘

    Sunday 19.00 Zoltan Haragonics-Ibolya Maczak: Ederlezi – a poetical-music solo performance based on the motives of the film The Time of Gypsies by Kusturica, dir: Ibolya Maczak 40′

    Sunday 20.00 Csaba Formanek: Factura Lamiaceae – a solo show written and directed by Csaba Formanek one of the best Hungarian performer of happenings, actions, environments 85′

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