Réka Csűrös, leader of the Hungarian section of the Puck Puppet Theater of Kolozsvár (Cluj) has innovative ideas about the future of the festival that is next coming of age as it has come to its 17th edition this year. She would like to invite stage directors from abroad, local stage directors to work with Hungarian folktales and fairy tales rooted in the Transylvanian folk heritage and include classical fairy tales, like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.
– What is the international jury of the festival looking for?
– The jury usually regards the performances as a whole. So they are watching a performance and consider a text, the visual impressions, the sounds, style of the director, actors, how they perform and what they perform, the puppets, how they are made and if they suit the character of the performance. If all these small elements are in place and blend well, then the performance will get a prize.
– What acting style can we expect this year?
– We will see virtually all styles. We tried to select performances from every field of the puppet arts, meaning that we will have very modern and more traditional plays with very different puppets, also shadow play and pantomime – which is quite rare in Romania. That is why we invited a Ukrainian company: to show us pantomime acting. We tried to cover almost every technique
– Do the local and international performers get fresh insights, new professional motivation after the festival?
– We certainly hope so. We encourage them to stay during the whole festival, not only come, play and leave, but to see other performances and talk to colleagues. So yes, it’s a kind of opportunity for exchange and it’s also beneficial for different companies to be here, because besides performance we also have professional discussions. This year we also invited many festival directors, who would share their experience with us.
– Do other festival directors watch these plays and invite performances to their festivals?
– It does happen, yes. It’s a kind of a market too.
– How many children do you expect to attend the festival?
– We have around 7,000 children attending – both Romanian and Hungarian – and many adults. The afternoon performances are for adults.
– Who are this year’s participating countries?
– Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Georgia, France and we also have guests from Germany, Turkey and Great Britain.
– Who is sponsoring the festival?
– We receive regular support from the municipal council and the county council and we also have our own income. We get support from our sponsors and we also have media supporters.
(Images: Blanka Székely)