UTE - Union of the Theatres of Europe
An organisation that congregates some of the most important European public theatres, the Union of the Theatres of Europe (UTE) was created in March 1990, with the political support of Jack Lang, who was then the French Minister of Culture, and inspired by the vision of a “Europe of the Arts” steadfastly championed by Giorgio Strehler, an Italian stage director who presided over UTE until 1997. Transcending the limits of mere geographic community, the UTE was born with the intention of grouping together singularities, based on an understanding of the plurality of European “Art Theatre”. With that objective in view, it promotes a common cultural project that transcends borderlines, allowing for the regular circulation of projects and creators and overcoming language barriers while respecting the identity and cultural heritage of each one of its members.
In November 2003, the Teatro Nacional São João joined this network, of which it is the only Portuguese member. Thus it found itself acknowledged, in the words of Gábor Zsámbéki, who replaced Strehler as president of the UTE, as “a Theatre whose structure is absolutely determined by an artistic project”. Just one year later, the TNSJ hosted the 13th UTE Festival. It has also exchanged projects with some UTE members, presented its productions in all festivals held by the organisation since joining it and co-organised with UTE and the European Theatre Convention the Teatro Europa meeting: two days of reflection on cultural policies and their connection with the territory of theatrical creation (included in the programme of the Portogofone 2007 event). In November 2006, the TNSJ joined the Ad-Hoc Group, created by the UTE with the objective of delineating the organisation’s strategy for the coming years.