In what can only be considered a major breakthrough for Hungarian cultural diplomacy, the official announcement was made that Hungary will be hosting the 2023 World Theater Olympics.
The announcement was made on Monday at the preliminary press conference of the 7th Budapest International Theater Meeting (MITEM) by Theodoros Terzopoulus, president of the International Committee of Theater Olympics.
“I was hoping that maybe by April it will have had been decided whether the 2023 Theater Olympics will be held here [in Hungary]. I hadn’t even hoped that the founding director is going to make the announcement today,” Attila Vidnyánszky, director of the Budapest National Theater said at the press conference. “This is such a huge surprise that I am still processing it. It will of course be a giant task and involve a great amount of organizing.”
“I wasn’t surprised that we decided to hold the 2023 Theater Olympics here”, Terzopoulos told news portal Origo. “We have been thinking about it for two years. Hungary is in the heart of Europe. It is a country of major cultural and theatrical traditions.”
The World Theater Olympics was established in 1993 in Delphi, Greece, on the initiative of the famous Greek theatre director, Theodoros Terzopoulos.
It has since been held in Japan, Russia, Turkey, Korea, China, and Poland, with this year’s event co-hosted by St. Petersburg in Russia and the Japanese village of Toga.
The year 2023 it will be both the 200th anniversary of Hungary’s emblematic playwright Imre Madách and the year of the 10th international MITEM Festival organized by the Budapest National Theater.
Title image: Attila Vidnyánszky, director of the Budapest National Theater (L) and Theodoros Terzopoulus, president of the International Committee of Theater Olympics. (Origo/Csaba Talán)