The Colloquium of Ethnic
Minority Theatre – organized every two years by Figura Studio Theatre in
Gheorgheni – is the traditional multicultural theatre festival of Transilvania
for decades now. Its basic concept is that it provides possibilities for ethnic
theatre groups to work together.
The first was organized in 1978 at Sfântu Gheorghe. The next two editions took place again at Sepsiszentgyörgy in 1980 and 1992 respectively. After the third edition it seemed it was the last and ten years had to pass for the next one because in 2001 the Romanian Government – Department of Interethnic Relations proposed its continuation.
At this time there were ten ethnic minority theatres in the country: seven Hungarian, two German and one Jewish. At this time as well Figura Studio Theatre as an institution, lead by András Szabó Tibor, is less than ten years old and of all the ethnic minority theatres the smallest one. Despite this the community working here decides – since no other theatre undertook the organization of the festival – that they ground the Colloquium’s tradition here in Gheorgheni.
Although they have very little time on their hands, thanks to a strong dedication the festival’s fourth edition took place in 2001 at Figura Studio Theatre.
The most prominent novelty of the later editions is that beyond professional theatres a wide number of independent theatres and theatre groups are invited as well as theatres and theatre groups from abroad (Beregszászi Illyés Gyula Hungarian Ethnic Theatre, Cinka Panna Gypsy Theatre, Corvinus Teatrum from Szarvas).
In this sense the festival containing regularly about 23 theatre plays, book launches, concerts, bookfair and workshops tries also to touch on issues like belonging to an ethnic minority and what makes living in Middle-Europe Unique.