ISSN 2451-2966


Andrea Tompa

And the Winner Is… Appointing Artistic Directors in Hungary


The current paper presents those processes which characterizes the appointment of a leadership of Hungarian cultural institutions. Public theaters, performing arts institutions and independent theaters stay in the focus of the paper. Looking at such cases as National Theater in Budapest, New Theater, Trafó etc.  the paper demonstrates political interference and intervention into the appointment of a leader of an institution by the ministry/local government. Also the paper analyzes the vulnerable legal frames and the weaknesses of these processes; lack of transparency of the processes, lack of understanding of what is of “public benefit”, lack of public and professional control over the processes result into politically biased decision making. The paper states that after the conservative political turn in 2010 these biased political decisions became a general practice; exceptions are rare.


public theater; Hungary; transparency; National Theater Trafó; independent performing arts

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Andrea Tompa

(1971), a Hungarian theater critic, writer and academic. Her major field of interest is contemporary Hungarian and world performance. Since 2015, she is the editor-in-chief of theater journal Színház [Theater]. She is resident lecturer at Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania. She has also published three novels. She lives in Budapest.