In the press conference held on July 2, 2018, the National Theatre Festival team announced the official selection of the 28th edition of the NTF.
The event was moderated by critic Marina Constantinescu, artistic director and selector of the Festival, and was attended by over 50 journalists and theatre specialists who learned about the selected performances and about the new elements in the structure of the Festival. On the same occasion, the first major event of the Festival was announced: the Chekhov Workshop, under the guidance of Romanian director Silviu Purcărete, to take place in Sinaia this summer.
The press conference could be followed in live streaming broadcasting and can be watched both on the Festival official website – www.fnt.ro, as well as on the Festival official Facebook page, by accessing this link.
The conference opened with the list of the 30 national performances selected and commented upon by Mrs Marina Constantinescu among the 2017-2018 season, followed by six other performances under the title “Theatre and Society. Now”. The complete list can be consulted at this link.
Talking about the theatre season that has just ended, “a tough season, with many theatres fighting against financial pressure”, the NTF artistic director concluded, “I believe that Romanian theatre continues to deliver performance and value, mirroring life in this part of Europe, sometimes hard, but so different and special, as the joy of being together at the theatre still is one of the privileges of the world we live in.”
Marina Constantinescu mentioned that the 28th edition of the Festival is dedicated to famous Romanian artist Cătălina Buzoianu, and that the Centenary year will also be celebrated by the Festival, which will mark it by “one hundred events, all thought about and built with the public in mind.” That is why the 2018 edition of the Festival is organised under the sign of #fnt100.
Following its tradition, the National Theatre Festival also invited foreign performances, selected by Marina Constantinescu. The artistic director invited the coordinators of the foreign sections to talk about the respective performances.
Actress Ozana Oancea, coordinator of the foreign performances invited to be part of the NTF, mentioned that this year they are all gathered around the SCHAUBÜHNE AM LEHNINER PLATZ Theatre in Berlin, with Thomas Ostermeier, its artistic director for the last almost 20 years. It can been seen as a sequel of an old collaboration dating back to 2007, when two performances staged by Thomas Ostermeier were presented at the NTF Bucharest.
Here are the three foreign performances to be hosted in Bucharest this autumn:
- Miss Julie, after August Strindberg, directed by Katie Mitchell and Leo Warner – a production of Schaubühne am Lehninen Platz Theatre, a performance in which “theatre meets video art, and everything happening in the middle of the stage cannot be separated from what happens behind it.”
- Beware of Pity / Ungeduld des Herzens, by Ștefan Zweig, directed by Simon McBurney, actor and co-founder of Complicité Company in London, who declares to be “personally fascinated by the idea of consciousness in Zweig’s novel” and convinced by “the power of the consciousness of a whole generation who can lead to a series of determining actions, able to cause a disaster.” A co-production of Schaubühne Theater & Complicité and the first time the director works with the theatre in Berlin.
- Chekhov’s First Play – directed by Ben Kidd and Bush Moukarzel – produced by the young Dead Centre Company in Dublin, also presented at the Drama International Festival, a festival created by the Schaubühne am Lehninen Platz Theatre. The performance is part of a larger project of re-interpreting some plays “impossible to stage, on excessive and incorrect texts” by Anton Chekhov, Bertolt Brecht and Samuel Beckett.
The international dance performances to be seen at the NTF were announced by scriptwriter and choreographer Oana Răsuceanu, coordinator of this section of the Festival, who mention their being produced by companies who are famous both in Europe and worldwide. Here they are:
- Moeder / Mother – a production of Peeping Tom / Belgium 2016, by director and choreographer Gabriela Carrizo – the middle part of a trilogy about family members, initiated BACK IN 2014 by Vader (Father) and whose third part, Kind (Child) will follow in 2019.
- The Dutch company Nederlands Dance Theater, created 40 years ago, which was the focus of the festival in Edinburgh last year, brings to 28Th edition of NTF a collection of four dance performances by artistic director Paul Lightfoot and collaborating choreographers. Here are their titles: Shoot the Moon, Woke Up Blind and The Statement. The fourth of them, still work in progress, will premiere in The Hague (Netherlands) in September, and will have its international premiere in Bucharest in October, at the National Theatre Festival.
- OUTO – a USA production, the newest creation of dancer and choreographer Ana Maria Lucaciu with Nathan Griswold, an international premiere.
The press conference took also the opportunity to announce important details about the organisation and the structure of the Festival. Drama critic Oana Borş mentioned details about the new concept called HUB cultural FNT (NTF cultural HUB), which will be active during the whole period of the Festival: “The NTF HUB reunites all the major events connected to the Festival. It is a multi-art space, with Theatre as its linking element. It will host exhibitions, workshops and theatre-dance performances, film screenings, book launches, talks with creators and stage theoreticians, urban art events. The NTF HUB will be the meeting and information point, the point zero of the whole Festival.” It will be hosted by Hanul Gabroveni (ARCUB) from October 19 to 29, 2018.
The last part of the conference was dedicated to the Chekhov Workshop, dedicated to Romanian actors and led by director Silviu Purcărete. It takes part in Sinaia from 5 to 13 July, hosted by the Casino and the “Carmen Silva” Cultural Centre.
Here are (in alphabetical order)the 18 actors selected to take part in the workshop: Irina Antonie, Cătălina Bălălău, Mădălina Ciotea, Silviu Debu, Andrei Elek, Ada Lupu, Conrad Mericoffer, Paula Niculiță, Alina Petrică, Liviu Pintileasa, Bianca Popescu, Dan Rădulescu, Gabriel Răuță, Ada Simionică, Rareș Florin Stoica, Sânziana Tarța, Istvan Teglas and Ionuț Vișan.
“This year, the theatre workshop that has become tradition in the Festival will be guided by famous director Silviu Purcărete and will focus around Chekhov’s art, around the play “Three Sisters” and few fragments of “The Seagull”. It is the meeting of a huge director with 18 actors who have already gained fame in Romanian theatre, who are used to working a lot and are in touch with theatre art around the world, who have already worked with famous stage directors in important theatres in Bucharest and in Romania in general. On this occasion, we shall be able to show you the documentary film of the workshop, unintrusively made by artist Alexandru Condurache, who attends the workshop in Sinaia in order to catch on camera some of the creative moments, respecting the intimacy of such an endeavour which we trust and encourage”, said Marina Constantinescu.
The 28th edition of the National Theatre Festival will take place in Bucharest, Romania, from 19 to 29 October 2018.
The National Theatre Festival, 2018 edition
Producers: UNITER and ARCUB – The Cultural Centre of Bucharest Municipality
Financers: the Ministry of Culture and National Identity and the Bucharest City Hall, in partnership with the Romanian Cultural Institute
Main Sponsor: BRD – Groupe Société Générale
Photographs: Lucian Muntean