Romania 21

by Peca Stefan

 The story of a Romanian family – before, during and especially after the 1989 Revolution. The dream of a father – Ion – to build the perfect Romanian family. The saga of a country on its way to European integration. All the cultural stereotypes regarding Romania and more – mixed with current social issues in a musical cocktail revolving around a “snapshot scene” structure.


Ion meets Mio. He’s a jazz musician and works for the Political Police. She is a prostitute. They wed. Ion turns in his father in order to get a house. Ion wants a daughter. Mio gives birth to two sons – Theo and Vic. To the sound of a gunshot, communism falls. Ion becomes a senator. Mio becomes a nauseous TV star. Theo sells babies. Vic is gay and expelled from the family all the way to Iraq, in the army. Mio gives birth to Fifi, a daughter. Fifi becomes a pop star and porn actress. She gets killed doing a snuff picture for Frenchmen. Mio loses her mind and gets committed. Ion loses everything. Talking to God, he finds out he has to integrate Romania into the EU in order to overcome the pain. With the help of Vic, his outcast son, he finally does that… the Romanian way. Happy end with all Romanians flying off to Heaven.

 

Peca Stefan is one of the youngest Romanian playwrights. At only 23, Stefan has already won the dramAcum prize (the Romanian award for best new playwright) in 2002 and has been produced at the Bulandra Theatre in Bucharest (the second largest theatre in Romania). Stefan's education includes New York University and Stefan was one of the Royal Court International Playwriting Residents in 2005. Other Romanian productions of Stefan's plays include :Showdown, New York [Fuckin’ City] and The Sunshine Play (MONDAY Theatre @ Green Hours, Bucharest)  I H♥TE HELEN (ArCub Bucharest), 2 scenes in Ana Margineanu’s production of 89, 89… fierbinte dupa 89 (Small Theatre Bucharest), Romania 21 (Arad State Theatre, Arad – in production), Station (Comedy Theatre, Bucharest – in production), PunamiNils’ Fucked Up Day (Bulandra Theatre, Bucharest – in production). The Sunshine Play had its world premiere at the Dublin Fringe Festival 2005 and earned 5 star reviews in Ireland. The play is also performed at the National Theatre, Bucharest, starting December 2005 and will be performed in Stockholm, New York, London, Marseilles and Belgrade in 2006. Peca Stefan’s play U.F. was translated and published in French and had two public readings in Paris and Lyon (2004, 2005). Stefan's play Romania 21 was in a roundtable at the Lark Theatre, New York, in November 2005. Stefan is the founding member of the BLA Theatre Company and has started the Scrie o piesaprogram for high school playwriting. Stefan is currently the head writer of the one hour drama TV series California(Media PRO Studios, Romania). 

Waxing West

by Saviana Stanescu

WAXING WEST (A hairy-tale in four seasons) is a comic drama that traverses back and forth between Romania and New York, between past and present, between "the American Dream” and the American nightmare. A Romanian cosmetologist, Daniela, arrives in the USA as a soon-to-be bride in an arranged marriage planned by two over-protective mothers. As Daniela seeks to adjust to the new life with Charlie, a sexually repressed computer engineer, she is haunted by the ghosts of Romania’s former totalitarian leaders – Elena and Nicolae Ceausescu – who appear to her as vaudevillean vampires whose goal is to make her life miserable.

 

Saviana Stanescu was born in Bucharest, Romania. She has published four books of poetry Making Love on The Barbed Wire,  Advice for Housewives and Muses, and Outcast (all in Romanian), and Diary of a Clone (English). Stanescu’s published dramatic writing includes The Inflatable Apocalypse (best Romanian Play of the year 1999); Black Milk (four plays in Romanian and English) and Final Countdown /Compte a Rebours (winner of an Antoine Vitez Center Award, Paris). 

Her plays have been presented in the U.S., the U.K., France, Austria, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, and, of course, Romania. Recent New York productions include Yokastas (co-author Richard Schechner) at La MaMa Theater, Balkan Blues at the Fringe Festival and Waxing West at The Lark Theatre. In Europe, she was writer in residence at Kultur Kontakt (2001), a co-curator for the annual British and Romanian Contemporary Writing Seminar (1997-2002) and for Theater des Augenblicks’ (Vienna, Austria) Performing Arts Festival focused on the Balkans (2002). She has worked as the Interdisciplinary Projects Director for the Museum of Literature, Bucharest, and a theatre/arts critic for a few journals, TVRi and Radio Free Europe. 

Stanescu holds an MA in Performance Studies (2001-2002 Fulbright fellow) and an MFA in Dramatic Writing (John Golden Award in Playwriting), both from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Stanescu is currently an associate artist with The Lark Theatre Company, playwright-in-residence of East Coast Artists (director Richard Schechner) and adjunct faculty at NYU, Drama Department. 

Final Countdown

by Saviana Stanescu

FINAL COUNTDOWN (a Balkan Blues) is a dark absurdist comedy about love, death and balloons. Zozo, a homeless woman, confronts her weird past as the daughter of a professional mourner and an artist gravedigger as she copes with rape and murder in the present.

 Saviana Stanescu was born in Bucharest, Romania. She has published four books of poetry Making Love on The Barbed Wire,  Advice for Housewives and Muses, and Outcast (all in Romanian), and Diary of a Clone (English). Stanescu’s published dramatic writing includes The Inflatable Apocalypse (best Romanian Play of the year 1999); Black Milk (four plays in Romanian and English) and Final Countdown /Compte a Rebours (winner of an Antoine Vitez Center Award, Paris). 


Her plays have been presented in the U.S., the U.K., France, Austria, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, and, of course, Romania. Recent New York productions include Yokastas (co-author Richard Schechner) at La MaMa Theater, Balkan Blues at the Fringe Festival and Waxing West at The Lark Theatre. In Europe, she was writer in residence at Kultur Kontakt (2001), a co-curator for the annual British and Romanian Contemporary Writing Seminar (1997-2002) and for Theater des Augenblicks’ (Vienna, Austria) Performing Arts Festival focused on the Balkans (2002). She has worked as the Interdisciplinary Projects Director for the Museum of Literature, Bucharest, and a theatre/arts critic for a few journals, TVRi and Radio Free Europe. 

Stanescu holds an MA in Performance Studies (2001-2002 Fulbright fellow) and an MFA in Dramatic Writing (John Golden Award in Playwriting), both from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Stanescu is currently an associate artist with The Lark Theatre Company, playwright-in-residence of East Coast Artists (director Richard Schechner) and adjunct faculty at NYU, Drama Department. 

Stop the Tempo

by Gianina Carbunari

 The play is about three young people who met accidentally in a disco-club: “Space”. Maria is a 27 years girl who has three jobs, no stable relationship, nor sexual life and who decides to go out with her gynecologist. Paula used to be a copywriter, but she resigned because she had enough of selling “mothers” in stupid commercials. She is lesbian and her lover just left her for a guy and went with him to UK. Rolando is a DJ, but not cool enough for the standards, so he must push his tempo a little bit more. After they meet in “Space”, they decide to leave together with Maria’s car for a sex-match. Even if the ridiculous side of this sex-match appears very clear in their mind when they start doing it, the three guys desperately try to feel something “real”.

 

The car-crash is the only real thing that happens. They don’t know why, but they need to see each other after this. So they go to the same club they met for the first time. The only bad thing that happened that night was that Rolando lost his hearing. He can still hear his breathing, but the rhythm of his breath is different from the rhythm of the others. Suddenly it seems to him that all these cool guys, all these connected people look very strange. The two girls share his attitude, trying to imagine how this “cool” world would disappear if someone would just stop the sound and the lights. That’s what Paula does: she is the first one who experiments this. She goes and turns off the electricity in the whole disco-club. Her action provokes general panic, but it also brings the darkness and the silence in this crazy “Space”.

 

From this moment, disconnecting will become the most important activity for the three. The targets are: clubs, supermarkets, theatres, McDonald restaurants, malls etc. They even make plans to disconnect the televisions and their dream is to disconnect Romania.

 

Gianina Carbunariu is one of the most remarkable figures of the young artists of the Romanian theatre. She was remarked by the theatre critics since her debut with the play “ Unrealities from the Immediate Wilde East” ( 1999 ). Now, she is now studying stage directing, 5th year, at the University of Theatrical and Cinematographical Arts in Bucharest. When she made her debut as a stage director, Gianina Carbunariu achieved three remarkable performances : “ Isbjorg” by Havar Sigurjonssson, “ Luck helps the brave” by F. X. Kreutz and “ Stop the Tempo”. 

Insomniacs

by Mimi Branescu

 The Man and The Other Man meet in the middle of the night and go on a philosophical journey together to explore the nature of living. Towards the end they meet The Wreck and realize the repetitive nature of things.

 

Mimi Branescu was born in 1974 in Lehliu, in the Calarasi region of Romania. He studied acting at the Bucharest Theatre and Film Academy. As an actor, his most important creations include Lucentio in Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare (Bulandra Theatre); Bottom in Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare (Resita Theatre); Jerry in Zoo Story by Edward Albee (Targoviste Theatre); Valerio in Leonce and Lena by Georg Büchner (Targoviste Theatre). His first play, The Garbage Man, was produced in 2003 by the Act Theatre in Bucharest and by the Fanny Tardini Theatre in Galati. Other plays he has written include Hair Curlers (produced by the Nottara Theatre in Bucharest), The Dragons and The Panel at the End of the Bed (produced by the Maria Filotti Theatre in Braila). He also worked as a film actor in Coffee and cigarettes, directed by Cristi Puiu (Golden Bear in Berlin, 2004), in Filantropica, directed by Nae Caranfil and in "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu" (2005, winner – Un Certain Regard Section – at the Cannes Film Festival). 

Night Sings Its Songs

by Jon Fosse

 A modern day tragedy about two people who love each other desperately, but in an  attempt to find each other again they push each other to the extreme and spin  into a downward spiral of miscommunication.

Jon Fosse, the Norwegian dramatist, novelist and poet has written numerous plays, and also novels and poetry. He is one of the most performed playwrights in contemporary theatre – in 2002, there were 130 productions of his plays in Europe only. Fosse’s work is translated to more than 20 languages. He is the recipient of a number of awards and honours. He is often compared to Henrik Ibsen, and has become famous particularly for having created his own, unique theatrical language, through which he reflects his contemporary society. He creates an intense and poetic universe that irresistibly draws the audiences in. 

Death Variations

by Jon Fosse

Shocked by the suicide of their Daughter two ordinary people, a Man and a Woman, search for the meaning of the finality of and the reasons for her death.  Unable either to comprehend or accept the reality of the event, they enter a Time Tunnel, where they hope to find answers to their quest.  In an attempt to understand something their minds refuse to understand, they confront, and are confronted by, themselves from the past.  They trace their Daughter's life from the time before her birth until  after her death. Feeling ignored by her parents after they split up and afraid of experiencing more pain, she believes she finds salvation in solitude and her relationship with an imaginary Friend, who is always there for her.  She devises an image that would secure an idyllic life for her, protect her, make her feel happy, help her find peace.  She knows that person exists, she knows he has always been there.    And when he is not, she is waiting for him, looking for him.  She knows he wants to be with her all the time.  She needs to be with him for ever.  She follows him and won’t let him disappear even if it means jumping off the cliff in pursuit of his presence.  She jumps.  She is still alone.  She realises she shouldn't have done it, she wants to come back.  She can't. 

Jon Fosse, the Norwegian dramatist, novelist and poet has written numerous plays, and also novels and poetry. He is one of the most performed playwrights in contemporary theatre – in 2002, there were 130 productions of his plays in Europe only. Fosse’s work is translated to more than 20 languages. He is the recipient of a number of awards and honours. He is often compared to Henrik Ibsen, and has become famous particularly for having created his own, unique theatrical language, through which he reflects his contemporary society. He creates an intense and poetic universe that irresistibly draws the audiences in. 

The Robin-Anthems

by Nikoline Werdelin

 This is a tragicomic play about dying and different ways of dying: In each of the five brown hospital beds on stage, five dying men are sleeping. One after the other, they wake up and discuss women, victories, losses and the sorrow from having to leave early. However, by the time the sun sheds its first rays, most of them have given up their struggles.

 

Nikoline Werdelin is a cartoonist and director and was born in Copenhagen 1960. From 1981-84, she studied at the design school, with drawing and graphics as her main subjects. In 1984 she won a comic competition in the Danish newspaper Politiken, in which her comics have succeeded ever since. It all started with the award winning series Café during the same year when with a loving although cynical insight she hit the thriving café culture of the nineteen eighties on the nail. Other comics, of which many have been published in book form, include Homo Metropolis, Laura and Nugga and Her på bjerget (Here, on the mountain), in which the types and syndromes of our time have been awfully originally displayed.  Werdelin is not a misanthrope, but rather “the stubborn seismograph of lifestyles”. In 1997, she was awarded the Danish publicist award for her writing, which primarily revolves around comics, but which has evolved throughout the years, particularly to include the writing of plays. Werdelin made her debut as a dramatist with the manuscript and set design for the pop vaudeville UNDER DE GULE MÅNER (Under the yellow moons), 1987. Her breakthrough came ten years later with the lifestyle comedy LIEBHAVERNE (1997), in which the consumption-oriented generation keeps an open house for the big, egoistic staging of oneself. With DEN BLINDE MALER (the blind painter), 1999, Werdelin made her debut as a director in her tragic sex comedy about the narcissistic, women-consuming man. Once again, Werdelin shows off her personal talent for the witty, revealing dialogue, which has been the strength of her work since the comic strips. Furthermore, Werdelin has been very successful with the plays MINE TO SØSTRE (My two sisters), 2001 and BOBLERNE I BÆKKEN, (The Robin-Anthems) 2003. As a result of these two plays, she was awarded the price for best Danish playwright. MARTHAS TEMA (Martha’s theme) 2005, takes place, partly in the 1870’s Copenhagen – partly in the present day, whilst AKVARIEFUGLEN 2005, tells the story of a middle aged woman with a strong father fixation, and virtually no sexual experience. 

Pinocchio's Ashes

by Jokum Rohde

In the city of Königsberg, where the river runs through, a ban of art was made 12 years ago in order to strengthen the intellectual level of its inhabitants. In the streets the bonfires are still smouldering from burning books and artwork. In the outskirts of the city lies the old and now former amusement park, where the oracle used to predict the future of the people. In order to keep up the ban informers are sent out to locate any practices of illegal art. Marc Dutroux is such an informer and he discovers an old Pinocchio doll in the workshop of the cabinet-maker, Werner Bruun. The district attorney, Alexander Trocchi, puts Werner Bruun at trial accusing him of practising art. The judge Wolff, who has a motto saying “I don’t know the laws that well, but I know people,” sentences Werner to have his right hand cut of.


Werner’s business is ruined, and he goes to see judge Wolff to ask for some money for him and his mother to live of, his mother being the former oracle, Miranda. Wolff is in a strange way seduced by Werner to reveal his own urge to practice art and he declames some of his own and very banal poems. But Wolff also discovers that he has a certain power over Werner. A power he begins to use challenging the society and the laws he as a judge are working to enforce. Suddenly crimes begin to take place in the city, the first being a fire, that causes the death of some poor people sleeping underneath the old magenta bridges. Werner is accused of the crime and taken to trial. But this time Wolff let Werner go which makes him very popular with the people but not with Alexander Trocchi. Wolff begins to loose control of the situation and the next murder, a child murder, brings the whole city to a state of revolt. The chase for the murderer begins. But who is the real villain?

 

Jokum Rohde was born 1970 in Copenhagen, Denmark and theatre history, philosophy and theology at the University of Copenhagen. Rohde debuted as a novelist in 1994 with  Jonas´ Book. In the following years he has had his breakthrough as a playwright with a number of plays, among these the play Nero which opened at the Royal Theatre and has since been played widely in Germany.

 

In May 2004 Rohde was asked to write a play celebrating the marriage of the Crownprince of Denmark to the Tasmanian born Mary Donaldson. This resulted in the play Tasmanian Night which played at the Royal Theatre while being transmitted on television.

Jokum Rohde has also done a number of dramatizations and reconstructions of classics, among these a reconstruction of the unknown drama The Church by the very well known and notorius french novelist Louis- Ferdinand Céline. 

 

In 2003 he had a huge popular breakthrough with his dramatization of the Walter Scott novel Ivanhoe which the Royal Theatre produced in the woods outside of Copenhagen. In June 2006 Rohde will follow up on this outdoor theatre format with a dramatization of the Thor/Ragnarok- mythology also in a Royal Theatre production. 

In 2003 he wrote what is claimed as a modern European masterpiece Pinocchio's Ashes. It opened in the spring of 2005 to rave reviews at the central stage of The Royal Theatre and has since sold to other large theatres in Denmark and to the national theatre of Sweden, Dramaten in Stockholm Sweden. 

Time Out

by Zlatko Topčić

On a playground in Sarajevo, Bosnia, two basketball players are practicing for Olympiad, they consider themselves great talents and call themselves Pippin and MJ.  But our characters are very different from the great American basketball players from whom they borrowed the names – they lost their legs in the war and the Olympiad they are preparing for is for the disabled. During reversals they talk about life, how to handle it now – one believes that it would be better to be dead and another that there is a value even in this life as it is, and they are haunted by memories. The second part is in a bar in Germany, after they missed the most important shot at the Olympiad for handicapped. They meet a girl for entertainment there that is also from Bosnia and they finish together in the room – in a dream or in death?

 

Zlatko Topčić was born in Sarajevo on April 30, 1955. He graduated from Law School of the University of Sarajevo. Member PEN Center BiH I Association of writers of BiH.Director and art director Chamber theatar 55 Sarajevo. He has published the following collections of short stories: Životno pitanje (The Vital Question) (1981), Ptica iz drugog jata ( Bird From Another Flock, 1995), Bogumilske legende (Bogomil Legends) (1997)and Izabrane priče (Selected stories,2000); novels Čovjek niotkud (A Man From Nowhere, 1986), Kulin (1984), Košmar (Nightmare. 1997,1998,2000,2003.) and Gola koža (Bare skin,2004).The following collections of his plays have been published: Kolaps (Collapse) (1988), Izbjeglice (Refugees, 1998) Drame (Plays, 1995) and Time
out (2001). The following plays have been produced for the stage: Kolaps (Collapse, 1986), Kako Musa dere jarca (Musa and the Goat, 1993), Kulin ban (1995), Refugees (1999.) Plaza hotel (2000.) Time out (Bretton Holl,UK:Leeds,London-2002.) and Glavom kroz zid (MTM,2004.)
His stories and dramas have been translated to English, Polish, French, Bulgarian, Slovenian, Italian, Czech, Turkish and German, and they were included in several anthologies. He was also the scriptwriter for several documentary films: Odazivam Ti se, Bože (I Respond to You, God), Krv i mošus (Blood and Musk), Čudo u Bosni (Miracle in Bosnia), and U najboljim godinama (The Best Years Ever). Radio Sarajevo has produced seven of his radio plays.

 

He is the laureate of the most prestigious B&H literary award: THE B&H WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION ANNUAL AWARD FOR BEST BOOK PUBLISHED IN 1997, for his novel Košmar (Nightmare), first award at the anonymous concourse for film scenario awarded by Association of Film Makers of BH (Remake,1999.-World Premiere Rotterdam Film Festival 2003,directed Dino Mustafić),first award at the anonymous concourse for theatre plays (Time out,2000. and Glavom kroz zid, 2004).