Tamás Fodor

* 1942  

  • "We were taught that there were three things that we couldn’t touch. First, it was forbidden to question the necessity of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Second, we couldn’t speak about the Soviet Union and third, we couldn’t discuss the leading role of the communist party. No plural ways of thinking, no other alternatives were tolerated. Different approaches which made people to search for other choices, were considered to be dangerous. It wasn’t made public why some plays were prohibited, or rather "couldn’t go", using the contemporary terminology of the bureaucracy. In general it was done because somebody thought that it would cause some troubles. So problematic things were rather prohibited. A very intensive self-censorship made that that initiatives from lower levels weren’t passed because those responsible for that level thought that others in higher ranks wouldn’t say yes, so why they should forward it. And this self-censorship was the worst."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Budapest, 17.11.2005

    duration: 02:10:18
    media recorded in project Oral History Archive - Budapest
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

No diversity in ways of thinking, no other alternatives were tolerated. Different approaches which made people search for other choices were considered to be dangerous.

Fodor_portre_regi.jpg (historic)
Tamás Fodor
photo: családi

Director, actor.   He was born on September 3, 1942 in Budapest. He was a founding member of the theatrical company Universitas in 1961. He acted in the company first as an amateur actor, then as a director. He got his university degree of Hungarian literature and pedagogy at the Faculty of Arts of Loránd Eötvös University in 1965. Between 1965 and 1967 he worked for Attila József Theatre, then from 1969 until 1972 he was on stage at the Literary Theatre. In 1971 he organized the alternative Orfeo Studio, an artistic community which has been known as Studio K since 1974. The Studio experimentalized new genres, new ways of presentation, and they focused on contemporary social problems. The artists of the company were under constant surveillance of the police because of their plays and their way of living. They began to build their community house in Pilisborosjenő in 1972 which was considered to be an underground community. There they hoped to live a genuine life without compromises which they can dedicate to the arts. In 1986 he and the company joined Szigligeti Theatre of Szolnok. He was appointed chief director of the theatre in 1987. Between 1984 and 1988 he gave also lectures at the University of Music. From 1990 to 1994 he was MP. Between 1997 and 2003 he was elected vice-chairman of the Association of Alternative Theatres. He got a Jászai Award in 1988 and he was decorated with the Knight Cross of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic in 2005.