Sonntag, 01. August 2021

Podcast on the venues

last comments


| Print |

Theatrical Landscape of the Republic of Moldau

Article Index
Theatrical Landscape of the Republic of Moldau
Page 2
All Pages

Exoticism of the Presence

by Irina Wolf

The Republic of Moldova is a young state in south-east Europe with three and a half thousand citizens. It lies between Romania und Ukraine, and came into existence after the fall of the Soviet Union. Historically it has Romanian roots. The fully national theatrical landscape is mainly localised in the capital Chişinău, which is the most densely populated city of the country with over seven hundred thousand citizens. About ten repertoire theatres with fixed ensembles, as well as the four most important theatres, two puppet theatres and a national opera and ballet theatre, which all perform in the national language Romanian, are situated there. There are also two theatres that perform in Russian, as well as a culture and art centre named "Ginte latina": "Latin origin".

There is a large theatre in Balti, the second largest town after Chişinău in the north, in Cahul in the south, and a Russian theatre in Tiraspol in Transnistria, which all complete the theatrical landscape of the country. However, Transnistria doesn't strictly count as Moldovian: the eastern area on the border to the Ukraine declared its independence in 1992, which isn't recognized internationally. The ministry of culture and tourism and the respective city governments are in charge of the theatres.

Open on Mondays!
The rigid theatre system doesn't leave much room for experiments. One can't call it a really well articulated theatre movement yet. Since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, there have been many unsuccessful attempts of creating an independent theatre. Due to financial reasons none of them have lasted more than two years. Only recently, at the beginning of March 2009, has a free theatre opened in the cellar of one of the most important playhouses in Chişinău. The initiator of this new theatre called "Project 513" after the visiting club 513, is Mihai Fusu, who is a stage director, actor and theatre professor.

The daring aims of the 50 year old internationally committed artist have always openly displayed curiosity towards new ideas. His first attempt of a studio for contemporary drama was in 1996, and he founded the independent theatre group "actor's theatre" in 2006. The idea of project 513 is to lure the audience into coming to the theatre on Mondays, – all theatres in Chişinău are usually closed on this day – by means of recitals of poetry, readings or performances (for example Neil LaBute's "Bash").

Slave trade and other everyday problems
The METT (Mobile European Trailer Theatre) of the young author Nicoleta Esinencu should also be mentioned at this point. It is an independent theatrical group that was formed in 2007 and is seen as an international experiment, with only one premiere in Chişinău until now: The production of "Antidot" was shown in November last year as a part of the After-Fall project of the Goethe Institute. It was conceived as a somewhat exotic play in Chişinău.

Until 1991, drama and theatre life was characterised by tradition. Especially classical authors like Shakespeare, Molière, Chekhov, and Gogol were in the repertoire of Moldovan theatres. Only afterwards the works of young authors that had been forbidden were allowed to be staged, and the language of theatre averted from the metaphoric style. Nicoleta Esinencu's name is the most famous in Moldovan contemporary drama. This is not only because her plays ("FUCK YOU!", "Zuckerfrei", "Face control", "Moldova Camping") were performed in Germany in the last five years. Her texts are markedly politically and socially orientated and deal with topics such as discrimination and organised slave trade.