Director of two of last season’s most “hunted” shows invited to two sections of the NTF (Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen and Lear(a) by William Shakespeare), ANDREI ȘERBAN is at the center of several events in this edition of the National Theater Festival that will arouse a lot of interest. Today, at Serendipity Teahouse (str. Dumbrava Roşie nr. 12), the Divan entitled Theater, a three-shift job features him as an exclusive guest, while the book launch at Löwendal Foundation is equally dedicated to him, as its object is the exceptional album Chekhov, Shakespeare, Bergman Seen by Andrei Șerban, whose author is the photography artist Mihaela Marin (Editura ICR, 2012) / a wonderful reconstruction of a great artist’s meetings with three titans of the stage: Chekhov (Uncle Vanya Hungarian State Theater in Cluj; Ivanov, Bulandra Theater; Three Sisters, Budapest National Theater), Shakespeare (Lear, Bulandra Theater), Bergman (Cries and Whispers, Hungarian State Theater in Cluj). Tomorrow at 22 another event will take place that, while confirming the stage director’s pedagogic calling, highlights his comeback, after many years, to / and in / the Bucharest National Theater.
Workshop on site. Shakespeare, Caragiale.
Andrei Şerban Traveling Academy, Mogoşoaia edition, July 2012
In July, over 70 young artists (not only actors, but also stage directors, set designers, musicians, scriptwriters, dramaturges, journalists and theatrologists) gathered at the Brancovan Palace of Mogoşoaia to participate in the fourth edition of the Andrei Şerban Traveling Academy, a program initiated by Corina Șuteu, and organized by the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York and Ion Sava Theater Research and Creation Center at the Bucharest National Theater.The workshop concluded with a public presentation of the improvisations / more or less polished stagings of famous Shakespearean plays and readings from Caragiale’s sketches / by the “actors” under Andrei Șerban’s exigent guidance. The audience was able to enjoy them while following an unusual path through the nooks of the Palace itself, as well as in the setting provided by the lake, forest, churchyard, gardens of the property, and the Brancovan family tomb. It was a unique, intense, uncommon experience for all those present / both the audience and the involved or passive witnesses.
A few months later, on the invitation of the National Theater Festival, Andrei Șerban attempts to recreate the atmosphere of the Mogoșoaia workshop in an at least as unusual space. More exactly, for just one evening, the Bucharest National Theater building site will turn into a stage on which a few “graduates” of the Traveling Academy will transfer the results of their work of last summer, when they worked in small teams that are now reformed for this show, a singular one in all the senses. Thus, Shakespeare, Caragiale and the youngest theater makers of tomorrow team up to reconstruct the Bucharest National Theater!
Sunday 28 October at 22, the audience will participate in this adventure alongside the young stage directors Vlad Cristache and Bobi Pricop (also present in Tomorrow’s theater section), the set designer Corina Grămoșteanu, the dancer and choreographer Sandra Mahvima, and of course a few actors, many of which are familiar names: Marius Manole, Rodica Lazăr, Emilia Bebu, Cosmina Stratan, Maria Obretin, Balázs Bodolai, Valentina Zaharia, Ioana Anton, István Teglás, Silvian Vâlcu, Ioana Manciu, Iulia Colan, Corneliu Ulici. They and the other young artists involved in the experiment are once again passionately joined by the appreciated musician Lucian Maxim.
“In the present-day life of turmoil, there is a tendency of inertia. The power of passiveness lurks on every corner. How can one fight inertia? By continuously working, with oneself and with others. That is why I always come back to do shows and especially workshops. Because if one doesn’t work, one feels one’s closing up, building protection walls out of fear. To open up, one must tear down the walls. In this sense, training workshops such as those of Mogoșoaia and Ipotești are necessary.
In theater, as in life, one needs trust. The Traveling Academy has managed precisely that: to create a climate of trust, in which young artists meet in order to search together for something different from anything they have ever experienced.”
“I have recently seen at the New York Film Festival a film about Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann and I remembered Andrei Șerban’s powerful staging of Cries and Whispers. On this occasion, I understood once again why the TravelingAcademy is to me a challenge to give Romanian actors and artists of various generations a chance to grasp the importance of meeting a very great artist and to become intimate with a unique creative lab. To find out that emotion is an unparalleled work tool, and to realize at the same time all the emotional impurities from daily life that assail you / that is the project of the Academy. After this journey, all the participants emerge purified and filled with positive energy. In the human and artistic context of present-day Romania, this is a very necessary experience, both unique and deeply regenerative.”
Corina ȘUTEU, initiator of ANDREI ŞERBAN TravelingAcademy
“Participating in the workshop as a peer to all the others / actors and stage directors, all of them young or very young / meant for me an extraordinary opportunity to live, be it for just a few days, ‘an artist’s life’, with all its struggles, efforts, pains and wants, but also its great joys and clamorous victories. Moreover, owing to Andrei Şerban and his vast knowledge of the theatrical profession, and not only, the workshop became an island of serene spirituality in an ocean of noisy vulgarity, and this is priceless.”
Alice GEORGESCU, artistic director of the National Theater Festival