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Arpád Schilling

Born in 1974, he has been in the theatre since he was seventeen, originally as an actor, but soon left acting for directing. Schilling founded Krétakör in 1995, before he started his formal directing studies at the Budapest Academy of Theatre. During his studies he continued working with Krétakör, but he also staged several productions at the internationally known Katona József Theatre, as well as Chekhov’s Platonov (1999) with students of the Strasbourg National Theatre. His most important work with Krétakör in this period was Brecht’s Baal (1998), whose international success introduced Schilling’s name to the European theatre world. After graduating at the Academy in 2000 – as a student of Gábor Székely - , together with Máté Gáspár and with a handful of actors he established Krétakör as a permanent company, producing two to three performances in a season for an ever-growing public. His international career outside Krétakör has been marked by productions at the Schaubühne, Berlin, at the Piccolo Teatro, Milan and at the Casino of the Burgtheater, Vienna.  In 2003 Schilling directed a highly praised and internationally awarded Seagull by Chekhov (Siráj). This performance was a real breakthrough and made Krétakör – still independent –recognised in the Hungarian theatre profession and acclaimed world-wide. As artistic leader of the company he assured the expansion of its forces by inviting guest directors while he followed his own quest of constant renewal. In 2007 a threeman version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet (hamlet.ws), designed principally to be played in high schools, marked the end of an artistic period. In recent years Schilling has been shifting from well-known theatrical forms to focus on educational projects, site-specific and crossover experiences. In summer 2008 Krétakör was disbanded as a repertory company. Schilling and a couple of new collaborators are building up new activities based on projects around the theme of “escapologisme”.  Among his many prizes and awards one of the most important is the Stanislavski Prize he received in 2005. In 2008 he was made Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.