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Theatrical Landscape of the Republic of Moldau

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Theatrical Landscape of the Republic of Moldau
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Further important representatives of contemporary theatre are Dumitru Crudu, Constantin Cheianu, Val Butnaru, Nicolae Negru, and Irina Nechit, who work as authors, poets or journalists. Next to Nicoleta Esinencu, Dumitru Crudu (*1967) is the most successful and productive Moldovan playwright. Several of his works have also been translated into German: "Das blutige Verbrechen aus Bad Veilchenau", "Die Wahl des Alexandru Sutto", "Das siebte Kafana"( a text that was created in cooperation with Nicoleta Esinencu and Mihai Fusu), "Niemandsmenschen", "Bratschenkonzert für Hunde". Crudu's extensive dramatic works are rooted to immediate reality. The author varies the topic of each of his plays: the barely controllable flow of media, attempts at migration and its related misery, refugee disaster, and much more.

After more than ten plays, Constantin Cheianu (*1959) has been a great success with "Im Container" and "Volodea, Volodea" (a play written in rap) with both audience and critics. The first play deals with the young generation's migration to the "success promising" West, the second one with a topic that worries several countries of the former Eastern bloc: corruption. It is therefore even more surprising that this play was performed as "Made in Moldova" in the Republic of Moldova in 2009, and in the neighbouring country Romania as "Made in Est".

The past is taboo
Although he is less known abroad, Val Butnaru (*1955) is no less active. In the past 25 years he has written over ten plays. Similar to those of his colleagues, they are based on true stories of his fellow people and inspired by local incidents. In his play "Foto mit einem unsichtbaren Clown", Butnaru reveals the crises of freedom and human dignity in a society where humility and compromises prevail. Nicolae Negru (*1948) thematises the problem of Moldovan villages ("Das Tier"), Irina Nechit's is understood as a declaration of war against the changes of the transitional period that stirs the foundation of society. However, topics like the country's Soviet past, the starvation and mass deportations are nowhere to be found. Larisa Turea (*1952), a journalist, theatre and film critic, is the first one who dared to take a step towards this direction with her "book on starvation". The survey served as a template to an audio play that was made after a reading at this year's meeting of the "Atelier for contemporary drama" (ADC). It was a daring undertaking in a country that hits the headlines with its political upheaval.

Every season, the ADC takes place in a small hall of the national theatre Mihai Eminescu and serves as a platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences, a space where contact between theatre authors and decision makers is established with the help of readings. The cooperation of actors and stage directors is also strengthened by the presence of the author. Unfortunately, during its nine year existence, none of the productions performed in the ADC have been staged in the national theatre, and other theatres take up to four years.

Progress due to individual dedication
Although national contemporary drama is present, it appears as little as possible on the repertoires of the native theatres. The directors, who also stage direct most of the plays, decline the new texts, apparently because of a lack of money or because the plays do not guarantee participation at international theatre festivals. The Satiricus Theatre, also called "Theatre of social realism", tried to change this condition. Next to national Romanian classics (like I.L. Caragiale, for example), the director and only stage-director of the theatre Alexander Grecu aimed at staging contemporary playwrights. In December 2008, the first version of the theatre's festival took place, as a result of a three year project solely dedicated to Moldovan drama. Seven texts by authors between the ages of forty to seventy were shown.

The probably most important factor than drove the development of today's Moldovan theatre scene is Petru Vutcarau. In 1991 he founded the Eugène Ionesco Theatre, where he still works as a director. Vutcarau's modern and provocative productions in a laboratory-like atmosphere, especially those of French Romanians Ionesco and Visniec, have led to an aesthetic change in the theatre scene. As an internationally recognised stage director and actor, he managed to lure actors from all over the world to Chişinău and connect the Republic of Moldova to the world scene by organising the international and extensive festival BITEI. Petru Vutcarau wasn't nominated as a candidate for the "European Theatre Prize" in 2009 for nothing.

Back to the beginning

Read more about Nicoleta Esinencu.

Comments (1)Add Comment
written by moldauer, 07. November 2009
vielen dank für diesen text. darüber erfährt man in deutschland ja eigentlich nie etwas. ich bin sehr dankbar, dass das hier eine ausnahme ist.

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