The theatre was founded not only like a stone theatre in Košice but also like a touring theatre – so that it could have opportunities to develop its activities in the whole territory of Slovakia and also in the north-eastern part of Hungary which has become its natural and important place to perform. With time, this decision has been strategically proved as a good choice and even essential to life.
The story of the Theatre resembles also a story of a girl from folk literature whose task was to bring something and not to bring and to be and not to be. It wasn’t the role of the Theatre but it was dictated by cultural politics and society: it performed in Košice and at the same time it didn´t, it was a professional stone theatre and at the same time it wasn’t. It was independent but it didn´t have its own autonomy. It had its sister’s theatre but it wasn’t always positive nor clear. And although the Theatre was founded in 1969, it became independent in 1990. So after 21 years of existence, the institution could change the name from the „scene“ to the „theatre”. Even though the simple reason of foundation of the Theatre Thalia according to director Sandor Beke was that “the city where the trams run is able to support also the theatre.“, today the Theatre is well known for the touring theatre which travels and performs in smaller and also bigger towns and villages.
The political party‘s decision from 1959 suggested creating a new Hungarian regional theatre in Rožňava, the second one after Matesze (Hungarian regional theatre) in Komárno. 10 years later the Theatre Vox Humana was founded, but officially this name couldn’t be used – not even just for a while.
Vox humana is first of all a short-resonator reed stop on the pipe organ, named like this because of its supposed resemblance to human voice. The inspiration for the name of the Theatre can be found in the thoughts of the „Scottish hermit“ Zoltán Fábry, a writer, critic, who considered to resound the human voice, the human thought the most important in every situation. In 1969 the term human voice reminded the programme of the leader of the Prague Spring from 1968, Slovak politician Alexander Dubček „Socialism with a human face“ and the result of this similarity was an immediate prohibition of the use of this term. It was very necessary to quickly find another name for the Theatre . And it was found in Košice, in the acropolis of the Hungarian theatre from the foundation of the first theatre association using the Hungarian language in 1816. It was called Thalia, the Greek Muse of comedy. However, the institution was called the scene Thália, its logo still represents the main idea of Vox Humana. This idea has served as an inspiration for sculptor János Nagy who has created his traditional crying and smiling masks which are used by keeping one hand next to the mouth and then speaking, singing, shouting and reporting.
The first director of the Scene Thália was Sándor Beke, the first dramaturgist Sándor Gál. One part of the association was created by the progressive part of the Matesz from Komárno: Ferenc Lengyel, Ilona Gombos, Béla Várady, Mihály Gyurkovics, Zsuzsa Varga, László Csendes. Mária Kövesdi Szabó, Jolán Tamás, Eszter Bittó, György Érsek, Lajos Horváth joined the theatre from a selective procedure. The first premiere was comedy The Servant of Two Masters which was played on 29th November in 1969 at the cultural house in Gemerská Hôrka as the residence of the Theatre in Košice wasn’t ready. The creation of the space for the Theatre began at the big hall of Košice’s legendary Secondary Technical School of Jozef Szakkay which was used as a gym before. Most parts of the building works and reconstruction were done by the theatre ensemble’s members and colleagues with their own hands. The Theater in Košice arose from the school gym with a strong flow of enthusiasm and vision.