The Craiova National Theater celebrated its 170th anniversary in the service of Romanian culture

“Marin Sorescu” National Theater celebrated on June 29, this year, 170 years since a handful of enthusiasts gathered in Craiova to found an institution that spanned the centuries (XIX, XX and XXI): Costache Garagiali, Costache Mihăileanu, C. Serghie. Initially, the celebration of the Craiova theater would have taken place over three days, between June 27-29 this year, with the participation of national theaters from Iasi and Bucharest, members of the Romanian Academy, theater directors, directors of other cultural institutions. from the country. As the current pandemic has turned the world’s plans upside down, we have had to resize the anniversary.

Thus, on June 29, from 9:00 p.m., after the speeches of the present officials, of some honorary members of the theater, the digital exhibition was opened Screenings 170: theater from three centuries in Craiova, an artistic concept by Nicolae Coande and Vlad Drăgulescu, graphic concept – Roxana Banterle. At the same time, two volumes were launched during the event, which aim to celebrate the work of actors and theater collaborators. The first, Mirror of Time – a contemporary history in TNC interviews (2007-2020), is a book of dialogues with actors, directors, theater people and aims to be a unique panorama of this period seen through the eyes of those who carry on the art of theater. The volume, coordinated by Nicolae Coande, is the result of collaboration with several authors, including Marius Dobrin, Cornel Mihai Ungureanu, Corina Bărbuică, Lia Boangiu, Silviu Marancea and contains interviews with, among others, Ilie Gheorghe, Valer Dellakeza, Emil Boroghină, Mirela Cioabă, Natașa Raab, Tamara Popescu, Raluca Păun, Valentin Mihali, Bobi Pricop, Eugen Titu, Iulia Colan, Claudiu Bleonț, but also with Robert Wilson, George Banu, Oskaras Korsunovas, Mircea Daneliuc, Yiannis Paraskevopoulos, Mihai Măniuțiu, Laszlo Dragoș Buhagiar, Angela Molina, Manuel de Blas etc.

The second volume, New and old prophets about theater (SpectActor Chronicles), is a sum of the chronicles written and published by the theatrical chronicler Marius Dobrin about the Craiova performances from about the same period.

Brief history of the TNC

The National Theater in Craiova, which since 2003 has been named after the playwright Marin Sorescu, was founded in 1850 by Costache Caragiale (uncle of the great playwright Ion Luca Caragiale) and Costache Mihăileanu. In 1854, the destinies of the institution were entrusted to Theodor Teodorini, an artist with dramatic studies made in France and Italy, creator of a real school of Romanian theater in which actors such as Aristizza Romanescu, Constantin Serghie, Ion Anestin shone at that time. Clotilda Calfoglu, Costache Petrescu, Ion Fărcășanu, Ion Tănăsescu, Nae Petrescu, Maria Petrescu, Profira Fărcășanu etc. Towards the end of the 20th century, the great playwright Ion Luca Caragiale came to Craiova several times to attend rehearsals of his shows.

In 1912, the writers Emil Gârleanu, president of the Society of Romanian Writers at that time, and Liviu Rebreanu, the future great novelist, were called to lead the theater. The first will be the director of the theater until 1914, and the second will work as a literary secretary for almost a year. The two important writers and theater people impelled the development and professionalization of this institution, establishing new programs and directions in the further development of the theater.

Along with some of the actors from the old guard, Romuald Bulfinski, Constantin Radovici, Pandele Nicolau, Petre Sturdza, Constantin Mărculescu and Al. Dem. Dan, the first performers of Hamlet in the Craiova theater, Mia Teodorescu, Victor Antonescu, Al. Nanu, Marioara Fărcăşanu, Stela Poenaru, Fanny Rădulescu-Rebreanu, George Ciprian, Tudor Călin, Ştefan Braborescu, Aura and Mişu Fotino, Coco Demetrescu, the father of the poet Radu Gyr, Nicolae Neamţu-Ottonel, Alexandru Olarian, Remus Comăneanu.

One of the most beautiful periods in the history of the National Theater in Craiova took place between 1956 and 1959, with the arrival in Craiova of some of the graduates of the so-called Golden Promotion: Victor Rebengiuc, George Cozorici, Constantin Rautchi, Silvia Popovici, Sanda Toma, Amza Pellea, Dumitru Rucăreanu and their mentor, director Vlad Mugur, who together formed a team left in the history of the TNC institution

In 1973, on April 21, the new theater building was put into use, made by the architect Constantin Iotzu, one of the most appreciated architectural works in Romania at that time. The director of the institution was that year the great actor Amza Pellea. During this period, his literary activity was illustrated by the literary secretary and writer Ion D. Sîrbu, former political prisoner, who initiated in 1965-1972 the cycle of Experimental Conferences, during which he lectured on theater and poetry topics famous guests from Romania . In memory of the great writer, our institution has been organizing the Ion D. Sîrbu Colloquia since 2009.

In the period immediately following the fall of the communist regime, the institution of the Craiova National was famous worldwide and was invited to most prestigious international festivals. The exceptional performances created by the director Silviu Purcărete – Ubu Rex with Scenes from Macbeth, Titus Andronicus, Phaedra, Danaidele, Orestia, The Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, A Storm – have meant as many international recognitions, participations in the most important festivals in the world , such as the Edinburgh, Avignon, Holland Festival in Amsterdam, Wiener Festwochen in Vienna, Theater Der Welt in Munich, Shakespeare Festival in Tokyo, Israel Festival in Jerusalem, the Theater Festival of the Americas in Montreal, the of the Melbourne Arts Festival, the Sao Paulo Performing Arts Festival, the Stockholm European Theater Convention Festival, the New York Lincoln Center Festival, the Seoul Theater of Nations Festival and more. It is worth mentioning that in Brussels, the Craiova theater was invited, in 1996, to present its performances in the cycle ‘Great Theaters of Europe’. Silviu Purcărete’s performances, performed in over 35 countries, brought to the Craiova theater over 100 national awards and distinctions and 12 international awards of the highest prestige.

Along with the above-mentioned shows, show-events of that period are considered Hamlet directed by Tompa Gabor, with Adrian Pintea in the title role, Servant to two masters and So it is, if you think, in the stage direction of Vlad Mugur . The British magazine The Stage wrote of the TNC: “Sometimes you wonder if this company is not the best, from Brecht’s Berliner Ensemble, or perhaps from Peter Brook’s Royal Shakespeare Company” (May 29, 1997).

Among the many awards and distinctions obtained by the “Marin Sorescu” National Theater and its actors, we mention: the Critics Award for best performance and the Hamada Foundation Award for Artistic Excellence, at the Edinburgh International Festival, for the show Ubu Rex with scenes from Macbeth, obtained in 1991; Critics Award for Best Foreign Performance by the Quebec Theater Critics Association for Titus Andronicus in 1993; Diploma and Medal of the Brazilian Academy of Arts, Culture and History for the show Phaedra (1996). In 2000, the Romanian section of the International Association of Theater Critics (AICT) awarded the Craiova National Diploma of Excellence.

An important moment in the recent history of our theater is the founding of the “William Shakespeare” International Festival in 1994 (founding director, Emil Boroghină). The first five editions took place every three years, and since 2006, the event takes place every two years. A complex cultural event, the “William Shakespeare” International Festival is now regarded as one of the world’s great Shakespeare Festivals, with exceptional performances by Declan Donellan, Eimuntas Nekrosius, Peter Brook, Silviu Purcărete, Robert Wilson, Lev Dodin. , Eugenio Barba, Pipo Delbono, Yoshihiro Kurita, Oskaras Khorsunovas, Thomas Ostermeier, Yuri Butusov, Max Webster, Yukio Ninagawa, Robert Lepage.

The “Marin Sorescu” National Theater in Craiova really looked like a great team, a spiritual family, in which the protagonists, the stars of the company, Ştefan Iordache, Ilie Gheorghe, Valer Dellakeza, Leni Pinţea-Homeag, Tudor Gheorghe, were with them the excellent actors Valeriu Dogaru, Vladimir Juravle, Rodica Radu, Iosefina Stoia, Georgeta Luchian-Tudor, Remus Mprgineanu, Smaragda Olteanu, Valentin Mihali, Tamara Popescu, Mirela Cioabă, Ion Colan, Teodor Marinescu, Nataşa Raab, Angel Rababoc, Gabriela Constantin Cicort, Anca Dinu, Adriana Moca, Adrian Andone, to which were later added Sorin Leoveanu, double awarded with the UNITER Prize, Cerasela Iosifescu, Romaniţa Ionescu, Iulia Lazăr, Raluca Păun, Iulia Colan, Marian Politic, George Albert Costea and so on Recently, the exceptional actor Claudiu Bleonț, the multi-award winning director Radu Afrim and the talented director Bobi Pricop came to complete a list of artistic personalities that make the TNC “MS” band one of the most formidable in the country.