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Past Projects: ECETI

Eastern and Central European Theatre Initiative (ECETI) 


The Eastern and Central European Initiative (ECETI) began with the goal to put together the new generations of theatre artists in the region with the new leadership in the US theatre to see what might grow out of introductions made in a carefully-researched context.


DEAD DAGMAR or the little match girl by Ida Daniel and ghostdog. Presented at Bulgaria’s ACT Independent Theater Festival.

US Theatre Leadership Partners​
  • Susan Booth, Artistic Director, Alliance Theatre Company, Atlanta, Georgia

  • Chris Coleman, Artistic Director, Portland Center Stage, Portland, Oregon

  • Philip Himberg, Artistic Director, Sundance Festival Theatre Program, Utah· Marc Masterson, Artistic Director, Actors Theatre of Louisville / The Humana Festival

  • Des McAnuff, Artistic Director, La Jolla Playhouse, La Jolla, California

  • James C. Nicola, Artistic Director, New York Theatre Workshop, New York

  • Rob Orchard, Executive Director, American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • Molly Smith, Artistic Director, Arena Stage, Washington, DC

  • Les Waters, Associate Artistic Director, Berkeley Repertory Theatre


The Lady with a Lapdog, directed by Kama Ginkas at A.R.T.

Investment and Return

Over the project history of ECETI (including a planning year funded by The Trust for Mutual Understanding) nearly $500,000 was invested in this initiative, by the additional support of the Trust, other individual funders, the partner theaters, and governmental and other agencies in the region. This has so far resulted in some two dozen projects that were developed with our US partner theaters, who have initiated and followed through on invitations to artists – directors, playwrights, designers and dramaturges – from the region.

The Initiative has now resulted in these completed productions—there are other productions and projects not listed here planned for the coming seasons:

  • Janos Szász, director, Hungary, with design team led by Csaba Antal: MOTHER COURAGE, American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge, Feb/March 2000

  • Janos Szász, director, with design team led by Csaba Antal: STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, Arena Stage, Washington, April 2001

  • Janos Szász: MARAT/SADE at American Repertory Theatre, with movement director Csaba Horvath February/March 2002

  • Robert Alfoldi, director, Hungary: THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, Portland Center Stage, 2003 –

  • Eniko Esenyi, director, Hungary: at Arena Stage, Washington, 2003 – 04

  • Janos Szász, director, Hungary: UNCLE VANYA, American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge, 2002 –03, Romeo and Juliet, 2006

  • Kama Ginkas, Russia, American Repertory Theatre, THE LADY WITH THE LAPDOG,    2003 – 04

  • Romanian director Nona Ciobanu to Alliance Theatre and La Jolla Playhouse

  • Polish director Krzysztof Warlikowski to Sundance Theatre Lab, 2004, project at American Repertory Theatre in 2006

US Partners have participated in Research visits to Hungary, Poland, Russia, and Romania, including National Festival in Pecs, Hungary, Golden Mask Festival in Moscow and St. Petersburg, New Drama Festival in Budapest.

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