WELCOME SPEECHES IN ENGLISH
The Jubilee Threshold
Paul Gallico, the author of one of our best-selling children’s shows, writes about cats that they can get in anywhere without thinking, but always stop on the ledge or threshold on their way out and look around carefully before they leave.
Before we announce the tenth edition of the Jubilee ASSITEJ International Children’s and Youth Theater Biennial in Kaposvár, it’s a good idea to stop for a moment on the threshold and look around.
The many crises of the adult world may be a reason for the pause, but the lively interest in the rich program of the upcoming Kaposvár Biennale shows that even in times of pandemic and war, adults feel it is important to take their children to the theater again.
Today, we all have an urgent need to believe in a peaceful, healthy and sustainable world. Theater performances are a means to this belief. They are a synthesis of story, movement, music and visual arts that bring us closer to the future we want, a future we must create together with our children. Art helps us to release our anxieties and to cope with our fears and serious problems. The talent and courage of theater-makers create an opportunity to breathe, to cathartic, to experience and express joy. Today, more than ever, we need art, culture, theater and puppetry performances. Experiences that broaden the horizons of children and young people, that make the impossible possible, that entertain, that inspire wonder, that convey beauty and emotion are vital. Experiences that we share with our children give meaning to our chaotic world and remind us of the importance of our human relationships.
It is this sense of responsibility towards the growing up generation that has given birth to the ASSITEJ Biennial in Kaposvár since 2002. This year’s jubilee selection by Andrea Székely holds up a mirror to the best of Hungarian children’s and youth theater. In addition, the Biennial program will be enriched by prestigious foreign companies, with productions for the youngest of which will be presented as part of the international MAPPING Festival.
For decades, the city of Kaposvár has been demonstrating the importance it attaches to theatre education for the next generation and to making our cultural values widely accessible to the youngest generations through the Csiky Gergely Theatre’s children’s performances, the creation of the BábSzínTér and the support of the ASSITEJ Biennale. The artists who play for children and young people, the ASSITEJ Hungarian Centre in the Kolibri Theatre and the staff of the Csiky Gergely Theatre are working with all their might to create the magic that makes our lives more beautiful and happier in Kaposvár in 2022.
President of the ASSITEJ Hungarian Centre,
Arts Director of the Kaposvár Biennale
We return in a festive mood, as we organise the 10th ASSITEJ International Children’s and Youth Theater Biennial here in Kaposvár. The one-week programme will feature nearly 40 different, colourful and high quality performances and professional programmes. I am delighted that Kaposvár’s major cultural venues are all taking part in the Biennale, with high quality performances, so the Csiky Gergely Theatre, the Árpád Együd Cultural Centre, the Szivárvány Palace of Culture and the BábSzínTér all await visitors. The international festival is always an opportunity to enrich the everyday life of children and youth in Kaposvár and its surroundings with a special experience. We are proud to host and co-organise this international event of high theatrical values. For the week-long period, our venues are dressed in cheerful colours, waiting for big meetings, children’s excitement and fun and smiling faces. The objectives of the Kolibri Theatre, the ASSITEJ Hungarian Centre and the Csiky Gergely Theatre of Kaposvár are to open a window for the youngest generations to experience the special experiences they can have at a theatre performance, trusting that the moments spent in the theatre will be recurring encounters in the future. As in previous years, we welcome young and old, families and those interested in professional programmes. Let this week be a joint celebration of Kaposvár, the audience and the theatre companies coming to our city.
Have a great time and a theatre-filled festival week!
Csiky Gergely Theatre
The word that has become ingrained in all of our lives in recent years has been “distancing”. Covid has taken away the magic of personal encounters and shared moments. We have moved what we could into the online space in our daily lives, but the irreplaceable specificity of the magic we experienced in the theatre, the art created then and there, the art that experienced the immediate response of the audience, has remained with us as a painful absence. We were looking forward to reopening the doors of the ASSITEJ International Children’s and Youth Theater Biennial in Kaposvár, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, after being closed for the pandemic. A festival that reaches out to the youngest, holds the hands of the young and keeps them strong, so that as we grow up we will meet theatre-loving audiences at the performances.
Let’s meet! Let us be together again. Together. It is an immense joy that in the renovated building of the Csiky Gergely Theatre we can now welcome theatre groups from all over the world in a beautiful setting, in a dignified manner, and that they can use the technical possibilities to give the audience a magical experience.
In the heart of our Vasary Park, the BábSzínTér building was inaugurated in the summer of 2020, so this year’s Biennale will have 7 venues, including the BábSzínTér, which has been converted from a chapel to a puppet theatre.
Come and enjoy the experience! Fill the theatre halls with life, experiences and applause!
Take the magic of the performances with you, walk around our beautiful city! Visit the Rippl-Rónai Villa, admire the daffodils in bloom, follow the artist’s walks, experience the hospitality of Kaposvár!
Thank you to the staff of the ASSITEJ Hungarian Centre, the Csiky Gergely Theatre and the BábSzínTér for their organisation and for providing not only a venue but also a home for the Biennale!
Mayor of Kaposvár