The Mihály Csokonai National Theatre in Debrecen celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2015. The tradition of theatre in Debrecen dates back to 1798. The construction of the permanent stone theatre began to be considered in the 1840s. Finally, the municipal assembly approved it in 1861 and allocated finance for the project. The theatre, designed by Antal Skalnitzky, was completed in the autumn of 1864. Another year’s work was done decorating the exterior and interior of the theatre and it was finally put into operation in 1865. It has been operating under the name Csokonai Szinház since 1916. The continuing tradition, it’s anchoring in the national spirit, but also its varied repertoire of performances ranks it among the most popular venues for art in the country. The theatre is also the organizer of the DESZKA theatre festival, which is the only one in Hungary focused on contemporary drama and new theatrical texts.

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