Sputnik Shipping Company, Budapest
Szputnyik Hajózási Társaság, Budapest
Sputnik, founded in January 2008 and led by Viktor Bodó exists as an independent theatre within the Hungarian theatrical scene. Structurally and economically it simply means that the company is not operating inside a conventional theatre building that is financed by either a local government or the state, therefore they need to apply for funds not only for production costs, but for operational costs as well. Sputnik strives to build and sustain a new theatre workshop environment based on experience gained in institutional, conventional theatrical routine. The company seeks to establish a form of extra-institutional theatrical existence that facilitates reflective and high-standard workflow: the nurturing of free creative processes, experimentation, and the research and revision of theatrical idioms are just as important as the performance of classics and contemporary works alike. As a gesture of mobility and flexibility, Sputnik opened its professional practice into the TiE (Theatre in Education) programme: they have designed “classroom-theatre” performances that are easily staged in impromptu circumstances and can serve as touring productions in high-schools.
Over the years Sputnik has developed a bipolar modus operandi that is unique in Hungary: each season they premiere just as many performances in Budapest as in foreign theatres. These international projects are significantly different from their usual domestic operation: the company play in famous European theatres, a crew of forty-fifty is involved in staging the performance, and the Hungarian actors play in a foreign language. Since May 2012 Sputnik is associated member of the Union of Theatres of Europe (UTE): in the organisation regrouping 18 theatres from 16 countries Sputnik represents Hungary as the only independent theatre group.