in memory of Dr. Nina Kiraly and Prof. Dr. Gyula Kiraly

Nina Kiraly


NINA KIRALY 1940-2018

Jászai Mari award winning theater historian, expert on Eastern-European theater

What is the theater of my dreams? –
- It’s not easy for me to answer. I usually dream and remember the images from my dreams. I write down the most interesting ones or tell my family members about them. I remember that my grandparents used to recount their dreams during morning tea and they interpreted them as signs of events to come. Maybe that’s where my interest in dream books come from, I have been collecting them in different languages in my library. But back to my answer. To sum it up in one sentence- through my life I am more and more convinced that my experience of theater history is the theater of dreams come true. I have witnessed classic drama come alive on stage dreamed up by the best actors, directors and designers of our era, experienced it as a revelation and treasured it as you’d treasure the best experiences of your life. To be able to trace the actor’s fate with Tadeusz Lomnicki in Beckett’s “Endgame”, Visotsky in Lopahin’s role, Lawrence Olivier as King Lear, Smoktunovsky as Prince Mishkin and Ryszard Cieslak as The Constant Prince-and the list goes on-means that I can hear their voice, their intonation and they lodged themselves in my mind like well known melodies. When you read a drama, you can more or less imagine the situation, the environment as per the author’s notes but if the action unfolds in its staged form created by a great artist, the theater piece emerges as an image from a dream. When the spectators absorb it emphatically, they are not only left with an imprint of the irrevocable finality and beauty of dream images but they can almost experience the joy of the creative process. And it does not matter how many times we see the same drama on stage later- the first big experience stays as the definitive dream come true: Igor Popov’s stage design for The Masquerade, Jerzy Grzegorzewski’s scenic design for Wyspianski’s works, Borovsky’s design for Chekhov and Bert Neuman’s stage form for Dostoevsky are like dream spaces for my favorite works. I think it’s not a coincidence that so many works of drama are preoccupied with the boundaries of dream and reality- Calderon, Shakespeare, Schiller, Oscar Wilde, Dostoevsky- this creates a play with life and dream-like art forms that is the essence of theater.
— Király Nina


Király Nina (Nina Petrovna Dubrovskaya) was born on October 17th, 1940 in Moscow. She graduated from the Moscow Lomonosov University in 1962, from the Russian Philology Department (Linguistics and Anthropology). That same year she conducts a research at the Slavic Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Department of Cultural History). Those years laid the foundation for her studies in the area of Theory of Culture and Communications at the Department of Cultural Semiotics (under the guidance of Y. Lotman, V. Ivanov, B. Uspensky). In 1964 she moves to Budapest, Hungary with her husband, Gyula Király.

1964-1994 – assistant lecturer, from 1973 associate professor at the Budapest Slavic Department, 1966-1968- PhD studies at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and in Poland under the guidance of prof. Z. Raszewski (Institute of Art History, PAN)

1973 – PhD (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) on the following topic: Polish National Theater in the 18th Century (400 pages)

1984-1990 – lecturing professor at the Jagello University in Cracow, Poland (Department of History and Theory of Theater), where she lectures on the theory of world theater and the history of 19th and 20th Century Polish theater. During this period she becomes Tadeusz Kantor’s official collaborator at his Cricot 2 Theater. She also develops contact with other famous Polish directors: J. Jarocki, W. Staniewski, A. Wajda.

1993-1999 – Director of OSZMI (Hungarian Theater Institute)

1999-2003 – freelance theater researcher, critic, artistic advisor for the International Divadelna Nitra Festival (Slovakia) and for KONTAKT (Poland), she holds seminars at A. Vassilyev’s Dramatic Art School theater in Moscow.

2003-2004 – advisor for International Theaters at Új Színház (Budapest).

2004-2005 – co-editor of Pamietnik Teatralny (heater periodical) in Warsaw published by the Institute of Art History

2005-2013 - collaborator at the Csokonai Theater in Debrecen (Hungary)

2008-2010 - co-author of international educational projects and seminars at the School of Dramatic Arts Theater

2010 - co-author of the project “Warsaw Lecture on Contemporary directorial trends” at the Studio Theater in Warsaw, Poland

2014-2018 - works at the Hungarian National Theater in Budapest


-  1975- L'Ordre du "Merite Culturel" (Ministry of Culture, Poland)

-  Member of the Polish Society of Theater History

-  Editorial member of  "Société Internationale d'Histoire Comparée du Theâtre, de l'Opéra et du Ballett” (Université de Paris IV – Sorbonne)

-  Member of the advisory board for „Theater magazine” (Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertoary Theatre, USA)

- 2005 - Witkacy Award  (Polish ITI)

- 2012- Jászai Mari Award


click on the links in red to read and download articles in pdf

A felvilágosodás kori lengyel színház problémái- Filológia közlöny, 1968 (188-197)

Проблемы польского театра Просвещения- MTA Acta Litteraria, 1968

A tizennyolcadik század Ju. Lotman felfogásában-Helikon, 1973 (546-552)

От дидактической повести к роману- 1971 MTA Acta Litteraria (259-269)

In memoriam Tadeusz Kantor. -   “Kultúra és közösség”. /Special  periodical number on Avantgarde Theatre/, 1990/4. – /Edited and  partly translated./

Krakkói Ulysses. /Ulysses from Cracow/, Színház, 1990, május

Mrozek-olvasatok- Jerzy Jarocki rendezéseiről, Színház, 1990, augusztus

A nemkövetkezetesség és a nemtiszta forma színháza. /Tadeusz Różewicz művészete/.-Tadeusz Rózewicz: a non-pure and non-consequence Theatre. – Színház,1991, szeptember

The biography of artist at the European Theatre in 19th and 20th Century. – Paper for the 4e Congres International sur l’homme et l’universe dans le Théatre européen. – C.N.R.S., Paris, 1991.

Zarándok és ellenálló./Pilgrim and Contestator/. Special issue on Central and east-European  Emigration. Ed. and translated. –“Kultúra és közösség”, 1991/3. Read review: Beszélő.

Retoryka polskiego dramatu poetyckiego okresu Młodej Polski./ The Rhetorics of the Polish Poetic Drama/. In: Dramat i teatr modernistyczny. Wroclaw, 1992, 75-103.

The Religious Theatre in Poland, Hungary and Russia of the 15-16th Centuries.- In: Esperienze dello spettacolo religioso nell’Europa del Quatrocento. XVI.Convegno.Roma,1992.

Russian  Characters in 19th Century Polish Romantic Drama. – In: Szlavisztikai Tanulmányok, Budapest, 1992, 241-251

Színház a hegyek között./A zakopanei Witkacy  színház/.- /Theatre in the  mountains. – Witkacy Theatre in Zakopane/ - “Színház”, 1992, május, 66-68.old.

Schulz i Kantor. – In: Teatr Pamięci Brunona Schulza./ The Theatre of memory of Bruno Schulz/. Gdynia, 1993, 132-143

The Modern European Drama in the Periodicals of Polish Emigracy. /The contradictions of reception as the conflict of generatiions/. -  Conference at the University in Poznan /Poland/, 1993. november.

Tadeusz Kantor. Halálszínház. Irások a művészetről és a színházról./Tadeusz Kantor. The Theatre of Death. Writings on art and theatre/. Ed., partly translated and essay:Ulyssesnek vissza kell térnie/ Ulysses must return/. Budapest, 1994. 330 pp.

Divadlo’94. Pilzeni nemzetközi színházi fesztivál. - /Review on the International Theatre Festival  in Plzen, Czech Republic/. – “Világszínház”, 1994/3-4.

Ünnep Holstebroban, 30 éves az ODIN teatret, Színház, 1994. február

Mentség és magyarázat, Színház, 1994. március

Ez nem álom, ez valóság, Vasziljev rendezéséről, Színház, 1994. július

Színrevalók. Kovács Ferenc  színpadi változatai. Preface.5-9 p. Budapest, Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó 1995.

Magyar Színpad-Kép-Írók. PQ’95 katalógus. – Catalogue of Hungarian Scenography. Awarded by Silver Medal on Prague Quadriennial’95. Ed. in English, German, Hungarian. Budapest, The Hungarian Theatre Museum and Institute.

Jan Kott. A lehetetlen színház vége. - /Theatre  Essays. Ed., partially translated and essay on Kott’s writings/. Budapest, The Hungarian Theatre Museum and Institute, 1997,528 pp.

Az egyszerűség legmagasabb foka./The highest degree of simplicity – on Hamlet directed by  Eimuntas Nekrosius/. – In: “Világszínház”, 1997.

Anatolij Vasziljev. Színházi fúga./Anatoly Vassiliev: Theatre fuga. Texts on Theatre/. First book edition of complete Vassiliev texts in the world, translated from Russian, French, German, English into Hungarian language. – Ed., translated and essay. Budapest, The Hungarian Theatre Museum and Institute, 1998.

Scene by Scene. Stage and set design for Imre Madách’s Tragedy of Man. 1883-1998.

/Prize at the Hungarian Book Week, 2000./ Ed., Preface. Budapest, The Hungarian Theatre Museum and Institute, 1999. 131 pp. Appendix: Madách  The Tragedy of Man in the  languages  of the World and on Stage. 29p+16p.

Világszínház. Theatre Quarterly in Hungarian  Language on Theatre  in the World. Special thematical numbers on  Hamlet performances in 20th century, sacred to Strehler and Brecht, on Asian Theatre  and  Theatre Anthropology,

Marionette Theatre, Jerzy Grotowski’s art / materials  of the conference: Grotowski, From Romaticism  to Art as Vehicle/, Theatre Iconography  and  number  sacred to Russian stage directors – Meyerhold and Evreinov. -  Selected, edited and partly translated.

Tanítványból Mester. Rec.: Eugenio Barba, The Ashes and Diamond land. In: “Színház”, Grotowski különszám, 2000.

The “War” and the “Soldier” as a topoi of Human Fate. (Aeschylus:Persians. Kleist: Prince of Homburg, Kantor: Wielopole). Text for the symposium of AICT on “Theatre and War”   held in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, 2000, May.

Rosjanin w polskim dramacie romantycznym. Stereotyp “wroga” i kategoria “zła”. In: Polacy w oczach Rosjan – Rosjanie w oczach Polaków. Wizerunek Sąsiadów I. Instytut Slawistyki PAN. Warszawa. Slawistyczny Ośrodek Wydawniczy 2000,175-189.

Dostoevsky: “Krotkaja” – teatr pamjati. (Dostoevsky: A Gentle Spirit – The Theatre of Memory). In: Dostoevsky Studies, 2000/4, 61-71. (The Journal of the International Dostoevsky Society)

Józef Szajna – a vizuális narráció színháza. (Józef Szajna: The Theatre of Visual Narration). – “Szellemkép”, 2000/3-4.

A belső okos sírás Bizánci motívumok a mai kelet-európai színházban. (The Smart Crying Inside- Byzantine Motives in Contemporary Eastern European Theater)– “Napkút”, 2001, április, 73-79.

Teatr jako opowieść ilustrowana (problemy ikonografii w badaniach teatrologicznych). – Theatre as Comic Strips (The Problems of Theatre Iconography). - In: “Teatrologia polska u schyłku XX wieku”. Kraków 2001, 201-207.- Teatr jak ilustrovana opovidj (Ukranian language).-  “ Proscenium”, Lviv, 2002/ 1(2), 70-73.

Ot ritmicseszkogo szlova k opere (Opernüje posztanovki Meyerholda i Vasziljeva). – (From rhytm of word towards opera). -  In: Meyerhold – vek rezsiszjorov. (Meyerhold: A Century of Directing). Paris, CNRS – Moszkva, IISZ, 2001 (Russian language).

Actor in the Author Theatre:”Acting With Your Whole Self” and “Not/Acting”. In: “FRAKCIJA” performing arts magazine, issue no.20/21, autumn 2001, 72-80.

A kortárs színház az idei nemzetközi fesztiválok tükrében. (The Contemporary Theatre in the mirror of the International Festivals)– “Szellemkép”, 2001/3-4.

“Az elődőkkel folytatott párbeszéd”. – (The Dialogue with the Ancestors). Rec. : Eugenio Barba: Papírkenu Budapest 2001 – “Ellenfény”, 2001/4.

Színházi dialógus- Magyar Nemzet, 2002.4

Budapest on Stage. – “UBU”. European Stages. European Theatre Review, no 24/25 April 2002, 7-11.

Lear király a budapesti Vígszínházban (King Lear at the Budapest Vígszinház)“Palócföld”, 2002.1 szám, 114-119.

A szerzői színház színésze (Actor at the Author’s Theatre). – “Palócföld”, 2002. 3-4.szám, 460-468.

Az emberiség vagy az ember tragédiája, Napkút, 2002/02, 42.

H7: nowa rola reżysera. (Grzegorz Jarzyna: Uroczystość). (H7: The New Role of the Stage Director  -  “The Fest” by Grzegorz Jarzyna) . “Notatnik Teatralny”, 24-25/2002, 165-176

Hamlet-performances in Central and East-Europe. – Teatrographia”, Athens, 2002, 38-48.

Letter from Budapest. – “Teatrographia”, Athens, 2002, 83-88.

Who Is the Author of the Performance? The Meta-language of the Non-verbal Theatre. Communication at the AICT symposium’97. – “The Fate of the Text iu Today’s Theatre”, Sterijino Pozorje, Novi Sad, 2002, 160-163.

Tadeusz Łomnicki: komponowanie roli. (Tadeusz Lomnicki: the composition of the role). –“Pamiętnik Teatralny”, 2002,1-4.

The Hero of the Contemporary East-European Drama in the Masks of the Ancient Greek Tragedy. –  “Teatrographia”, Athens, 2003.

Színházi dialógus, Magyar Nemzet, 2002. április 13., Kultúrgrund

Dosztojevszkij: A szelíd teremtés- Az emlékezés színháza, Palócföld, 2003.2., 197-205

Węgierski epizod biografii Gordona Craiga. (Korespondencja E.G.Craiga i Sándora Hevesi).  (The Hungarian Episode of Gordon Craig’s Biography. – Correspondence between E.G.Craig and Sándor Hevesi) – “Pamiętnik Teatralny”, 2003, 1-2.

Zaślubiny z czardaszem (Marriage with Chardash – Hungarian Theatre Interpretations of Witold Gombrowicz). – “Pamiętnik Teatralny”, 2004/1-4.

Prowincjalna Lady Macbeth w Budapeszcie (Provincial Lady Macbeth in Budapest - Opera performance staged by Attila Vidnyánszky). – “Ruch Muzyczny”, 2005/19.

“Elfelejtett emlékezet” Schulz-Gombrowicz-Kantor poétikája (“Forgotten memory”- The Poetics of Schulz-Gombrowicz-Kantor). – “Napkút”, 2005/3, 58.

Patris Pavis:  Színházi Szótár (Dictionnaire du Théâtre – translation into Hungarian  language). Scientific lecturing: Nina Király.  Budapest, L’Harmattan 2005.

Ars poetica Tadeusza Kantora (About Cricot-2). – “Konteksty”, Instytut Sztuki PAN, 2005/1, 77.old.

Utópia-Álom-Misztérium (Utopia-Dream-Mystery play – four performances of the Hungarian National Theatre) – „Palócföld”, 2005/3.

Misteria  Leona Schillera w europejskim kontekście teatralnym. (Leon Schiller’s mysteries in the context of the European theatre). – „Pamiętnik Teatralny”, 2005/1-2.

Vencsanje po Gombrowiczu (Wedding Gombrowicz’s way -  Slub in Ljubljana and Torun). – “Peterburgskij Teatralnyj Zsurnal”, 2005/december.

Instrumentarium (Jerzego Grzegorzewskiego). – “Notatnik Teatralny”, 2006/42

Duhovnoje prostranstvo geroev Lva Dodina (Spiritual space of Lev Dodin’s heroes – Dodin in Hungarian theatre critics). – “Baltijskije sezony”, 2006/15.

Poetikata na Anatolij Vasiliev (Poetics of Anatoly Vassiliev). - “Gestus” Teatralen Almanakh, Sofia 2006 (Bulgarian), 67-79.

Lejegyzéstől az elemzésig, (From Recording to Analyzing) Napkút, 2007/05, 114.

Kazimierz Dejmek: metamorfozy misterium  - od średniowiecza do Majakowskiego. Kazimierz Dejmek: metamorhoses of mystery – from mediaeval towards Majakovsky). –“In memoriam Kazimierz Dejmek”. – “Studies of Lódź University”, 2007.

Teatr Polski, Litwy i  Rosji XX wieku-The Polish, Lithuanian and Russian Theatre of the Twentieth Centur. Tczew 2007. Project EU .  Editorship: Nina Király, Agnieszka Koecher-Hensel.  In:  Powrót Odysa  Wyspiańskiego według Tadeusza Kantora, Jerzego Grzegorzewskiego I Kristyana Lupy (Wyspianski’s The Return of  Odysseus according to Tadeusz Kantor, Jerzy Grzegorzewski and Kristyan Lupa), 10-13.

bajka przydać się może (A fairy tale may be useful). -  „Teatr Lalek”, POLUNIMA, 2008/92/nr1, 19-22.

Ibsen w plenerze węgierskim (Ibsen in Hungarian Landscape). -  Ibsen czytany/Ibsen oglądany. Oficyna Wydawnicza Errata, Warszawa 2008, 199-217.

Dramaturg węgierski w hierarchii współtwórców dzieła scenicznego (The Hungarian Dramaturg in the hierarchy of the creators  the scenic work). – “ Notatnik Teatralny”, Wrocław, 2010.

A színész ösztöne + technika, (The Actor’s Intuitions + Technique), Napkút, 2011/3

Visszatérések, utószó a Jégszivárvány c. könyvhöz, Napkút, 2014

Színház és emlékezet, életút interjú Király Ninával, Szcenárium, II. évf. 3., 2014

Tadeusz Różewicz költői színházáról, Szcenárium, II.évf. 5, 2014

250 éves a varsói Nemzeti Színház, Szcenárium, IV. évf. 1., 2016

A krakkói Ulysses, Szcenárium, IV. évf. 3., 2016  

The Krakow Ulysses,   Szcenárium, IV. évf. 4., 2016

Teatralnoe cstenie romanov Dosztojevszkovo, (Театральное чтение романов Достоевского) Dostoevsky conference


Zarándok és ellenálló- Beszélő kritika,1992/1

Változatok az emigrációra- Magyar Nemzet, 1992-08

Kantor- A visszatérés- (Kantor- The Return) Beszélő kritika, 1994/4

OSZMI igazgatói kinevezés- Magyar Nemzet, 1994.05

Tadeusz Kantor a Lengyel Intézetben- (Tadeusz Kantor at the Polish Institute) Magyar Nemzet, 1994.11

PQ, Kurír, (1995.07)

Mennyit nyom a latban egy ezüst- (How Much is a Silver Worth) Népszabadság, 1995.július.15

Nina színháza, (Nina’s Theater) Kurír, 1995.08

Dán királyfi minden mennyiségben, (Danish Prince in All Quantities) Népszava, 1998.01

A végtelen gondolat- Jan Kott esszéiről- (The Endless Though- On Jan Kott’s Essays)- Népszabadság, 1998.01

Ablak a tragédia világára- (Window onto The Tragedy’s World), Népszabadság könyv kritika, 1999.11

Határtalanul - (No Borders- Tunde Trojan’s interview with Nina Kiraly) Trojan Tünde beszélget Király Ninával

«Балтийский дом»: «Дядя Ваня» Люка Персиваля и «Три сестры» Римаса Туминаса (interjú Ninával Tuminasról)

Jászai Mari díj, (Jaszai award) Magyar Nemzet, 2012.03

A kerítőnő-Peterdi Nagy László búcsúja Ninától (The Procuress- A Farewell to Nina from Laszlo Peterdi Nagy), 2018

Anatolij Vasziljev üzenete (Anatolij Vassilyev’s message, memorial 2018) megemlékezés, 2018

Remembering Nina Kiraly (by Patricia Paszt)

“We Understand Our Culture Better Through The Other’s”: Interview With Dramaturg And Theatre Historian Nina Király

The Theater Times, 2019