Örkény Theatre is a very young company in the heart of Budapest with a fairly small ensemble of 25 actors. Formerly the studio of the Madách Theatre, Örkény won its artistic independence in 2004 and has been led since by the acclaimed actor-director Pál Mácsai. A full administrative and structural independence was finalized on the 1st of January, 2010.
Surprisingly quickly, basically in two years, the Örkény Theatre has broken the highly commercial tradition of its predecessor. It has found a new and faithful audience for contemporary productions, as well as new and courageous stagings of classical plays. An important part of the repertory is mounting plays that reflect social problems, and these plays vary from ancient Greek tragedies to contemporary foreign avantgarde pieces. The theatre considers its audience a partner and places special emphasis on daring experimentation. The appreciative response is demonstrated in the high ticket sales.
New Hungarian plays are of crucial importance to this theatre. Recent international tours have included the Nitra Festival, the Sibiu Festival, the Seoul Performing Arts Festival, the Subotica Festival, the Reflex International Festival and the TACT Festival, Tokyo. Returning directors include Tamás Ascher, former artistic director of the legendary Kaposvár Theatre and co-founder and director-in-residence of the highly acclaimed Katona József Theatre; László Bagossy, one of the most exciting artists of his generation and Sándor Zsótér, both great advocates of the spoken word and therefore of often more formal and in Hungary still groundbreaking shows; as well as naturally Pál Mácsai.
With one of the best ensembles, brilliant new translations and adaptations by leading playwrights, and a strong visual trademark in sets and costumes, the Örkény Theatre has established itself as one of Budapest’s leading city theatres with a broadening international reputation. Thanks to the integrative, innovative, and sensitive artistic work during the past decade, it has been rewarded with around seventy festival and critics’ prizes so far.