The 22nd edition of the National Theater Festival is kicking off!
The last details about the most eagerly expected theatrical event of the year were announced yesterday at the press conference that took place at UNITER. Many audiovisual journalists from both the written and the electronic media were present, as well as NTF partners’ representatives, and theater people, among which Mircea Cornișteanu, director of Marin Sorescu National Theater in Craiova, Mihai Mălaimare, director of MASCA Theater (two of the directors included in the festival), and the actor Cristian Șofron, director of the Nicolae Bălcescu Cultural Center for UNESCO in Bucharest.
The following answered questions from the press: Alice Georgescu, artistic director and sole selector of the NTF, Aura Corbeanu, executive director of the NTF, Sorin Oprescu, Bucharest City Mayor, Victor Opaschi, secretary of state at the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, and Mihaela Păun, director of ArCuB / the Center for Cultural Projects of Bucharest Municipality.
Even if, whether we like it or not, the financial crisis has affected the configuration of the Festival conceived by Alice Georgescu too, preventing it from hosting, for instance, remarkable performances from Debrecen and Prague staged by Silviu Purcărete and Gábor Tompa, which could no longer be invited to this edition, the organizers strove to make up for it, preparing a rich, enticing assortment for the ten days of festival.
Announced yesterday and available at the new site www.fnt.ro, the full program of the event includes:
– 31 shows produced by 18 different institutions in Romania. Grouped in six sections, which according to the artistic director of the festival are rather guidelines (Focus: Silviu Purcărete, a stage director’s world; 2012 / Yours, Caragiale…; 2012 / Strindberg, forerunners, successors; Something for Everybody; Actors downstage; Tomorrow’s theater), the shows will be hosted by eight Bucharest venues.
– 32 related events with free access, scheduled daily, from morning till late at night, some of which under the sign of the authors to whom UNESCO has dedicated the year 2012 / I.L. Caragiale and August Strindberg. After their indisputable success in the previous edition, the workshops, conferences, book launches, reading performances and installations are completed by the NTF Divans, a series of meetings with famous theater practitioners (stage directors, choreographers, musicians, etc.). Andrei Șerban, Cătălina Buzoianu, Radu Beligan, Ion Caramitru and Dan C. Mihăilescu are only a few of the protagonists of these events that complement the show sections. The audience will meet them in the spaces put at their disposal by the host theaters, Löwendal Foundation, or I.L. Caragiale NUTCA, but also by the new partners of the Festival, Bastilia Bookstore, the OldCourtMuseum, and Serendipity Teahouse.
– 11 radio theater productions of works by I.L. Caragiale and August Strindberg, heritage or recent recordings of the Romania Cultural radio station and the National Radio Theater, are included in the NTF On Air and NTF Online sections throughout the Festival.
– “Latest News” is the heading under which the South-Korean show of The Lesson by Eugène Ionesco, a production of Theatre Troupe Georipae directed by Yountaek Lee, an original staging of the famous play, was included in the program. As this is the only foreign production to be presented at the NTF 2012, Alice Georgescu specified in the press conference that all the expenses incurred by this tour are borne by the South-Korean company alone.
In brief, 44 associated institutions, 526 artists and stagehands, 30 Romanian guests, 47 foreign guests, and 80 accredited journalists will participate in the most eagerly expected theatrical event of the year. On its 22nd edition, the NTF presents remarkable shows, exciting workshops and theoretical debates, but above all an occasion for joy: the genuine joy of dialogue, of meeting others.