Union of the Theatres of Europe
The Union of the Theatres of Europe (UTE; French: Union des Théâtres de l'Europe) is an alliance of European public theatres. It serves to promote European integration through cultural interaction. It is an association that does intensive transnational theatre work with more than 10.000 performances and 3.000.000 spectators per season; offering festivals, exhibitions, workshops, collaborations with drama schools, colloquiums and co-productions throughout Europe. All these activities have united the 34 members (currently composed of 16 European countries, Israel and Russia) of the Union des Théâtres de l'Europe since its foundation in 1990.
The UTE was founded in 1990 by Jack Lang, then Culture Minister of France, and Italian theater director Giorgio Strehler. Apart from fostering European integration, their motivation also was the perceived threat to European cultural diversity posed by globalisation:
- "Already then we felt that the building of Europe required a firm stand against the unruly vagaries of the economic machine. Today we find ourselves faced with the same questions: how do we defend art within a market economy whose logistics are designed to standardise our way of life and thought so that we are reduced to a state of passive consumerism? Can public policies that support the arts be more effective?"
The UTE's stated mission is
- "to contribute to the building of the European Union through culture and theatre, to encourage a collective cultural movement that breaks through language barriers in order to develop an art theatre which is seen as a vector of fraternity among people. The UTE promotes productions and co-productions, theatre exchanges and shared experiences, while respecting individual identities and cultures. ... Etched in continuity, the sum of these activities helps in elucidating the objectives of artistic and cultural policies that aim to reinforce artistic cooperation and transnational circulation in Europe."
The UTE is a “multinational house”, an idea which corresponds to the so-called “Mehrspartenhaus” in German Theatre – that is, one major theatre with different departments, and in the case of the UTE one theatre that consists of seventeen national theatres but still remains one at the same time. This “multinational house” intensively discusses the questions of a European identity and the role of culture in its formation. Its goal is to promote cultural activities across national borders that respect the principles of the particular identities, a thing that requires common and continuous research. Its current programme focuses on projects that put new working methods to the test and connects experienced theatre creators with enthusiastic newcomers, projects which are close to the citizens of the different European cities, and all this on a long-term scale.
Members and structure
The UTE is governed by a General Assembly and a board of directors. The president is Alexandru Darie, director of Theater "Bulandra" (Teatrul Bulandra, Bucharest), and the vice president is Jean-Louis Martinelli, director of the Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers.
Today the UTE has 19 member theaters in 11 countries:
- Austria: Schauspielhaus Graz, Graz
- Bulgaria: SFUMATO, Sofia
- Czech Republic: National Theatre (Prague), Prague
- France: MC93 Bobigny, Bobigny
- Greece: National Theatre of Northern Greece (ΚΘΒΕ), Thessaloniki; National Theatre of Greece, Athens
- Israel: National Theatre of Israel, Habimah, Tel Aviv
- Italy: Piccolo Teatro - Teatro d'Europa, Milan; Teatro Garibaldi, Palermo; Teatro di Roma, Rome
- Portugal: Teatro Nacional São João, Porto
- Romania: Teatrul Bulandra, Bucharest; Cluj-Napoca Hungarian Theatre, Cluj-Napoca
- Russia: Maly Drama Theater, Saint Petersburg; Maly Theatre (Moscow), Moscow
- Serbia: Yugoslav Drama Theatre, Belgrade
- Spain: Teatre Lliure, Barcelona
- Georges Banu
- Victor Arditti
- Silviu Purcarete
- Tadeusz Bradecki
- Giorgio Ursini Uršič
- Csaba Antal
- Elie Malka
- André Wilms
- Lev Dodin
- Andrzej Wajda
- Jack Lang
- Patrice Chéreau
- Tamas Ascher
- Krystian Lupa
- Robert Sturua
- Anatoly Vassiliev
The UTE is headquartered in Bobigny, France.