Plays from Romania: Dramaturgies of Subversion
Lowlands; The Spectator Sentenced to Death; The Passport; Stories of the Body (Artemisia, Eva, Lina, Teresa); The Man Who Had His Inner Evil Removed; Sexodrom
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The plays included in the collection, edited and translated by Jozefina Komporaly and fully published for the first time in English, demonstrate broad variety in terms of form and content – ranging from family dramas to allegories, and absurdist experiments to modular texts rooted in open dramaturgy – and are the work of both individual playwrights and the results of collective creation. These works share a preoccupation with critically reflecting urgent concerns rooted in Romanian realities, and are notable dramaturgical experiments that push the boundaries of the genre. In addition, these plays also seek novel ways to examine universal experiences of the human condition, such as love, loss, abuse, betrayal, grief, violence, manipulation and despair.
This unique anthology celebrates the renewed vitality and variety of writing for the stage after 1990, and endeavours to place Romanian theatre in a forward-looking transnational context.
Lowlands ('Niederungen') by Herta Müller, adapted for the stage by Mihaela Panainte (German)
This stage adaptation is based on a volume of short stories by Herta Müller written in German in 1982 and focuses on the perspective of a child narrator, by way of a series of episodes that centre on mundane aspects of daily life in a remote village against the backdrop of the oppressive atmosphere of mid-twentieth century Romania.
The Spectator Sentenced to Death ('Spectatorul condamnat la moarte') by Matéi Visniec (Romanian)
This play is a bitter parody of the Stalinist justice system, which totally disregards the fundamental question whether the accused is actually guilty or not.
The Passport ('Kalucsni') by György Dragomán (Hungarian)
This play is set pre-1989 in a typical small town in the Transylvanian province of Romania, in which the lives of the various social classes, and the fate of the persecuted and that of those who persecute are closely intertwined.
The Man Who Had All His Malice Removed ('Omul din care a fost extras raul') by Matéi Visniec (Romanian)
This topical play is a sharp reflection on the voluntary servitude in which we place ourselves, often unawares, in conditions of our contemporary consumer culture, and a fierce critique of increasingly dominant tendencies to abandon moral criteria in political life.
Stories of the Body (Artemisia, Eva, Lina, Teresa) ('A test történetei') by András Visky (Hungarian)
The cycle Stories of the Body comprises four plays based on real life stories as experienced by remarkable women (including Mother Teresa and Italian Renaissance painter Artemisia Gentileschi), and are connected to various cities including Budapest, Cluj/Kolozsvár, Kolkata and Rome, from the 17th to the 21st century.
Sexodrom by Giuvlipen Theatre Company (Mihaela Dragan, Antonella Lerca Duda, Nicoleta Ghita, Zita Moldovan, Bety Pisica, Oana Rusu, Raj Alexandru Udrea), based on a concept by Bogdan Georgescu.(Roma)
This is a work of collective creation by members of the Roma Theatre company Giuvlipen, aiming to bring to public attention taboo subjects, to enhance the visibility of Roma performers and to experiment with new forms of theatre-making in a Romanian context.
Forlag: Methuen Drama
Format: 23 x 16 cm
«A diverse, potent collection of play texts that reveal some of the more complex and lesser-known facets of Romanian theatre culture and recent history … These playwrights have loud, interesting voices. Now that their intense, funny, bleak and thoughtful plays are accessible to Anglophone theatre makers, readers and audiences – in a series of sharp, versatile translations that range in tone and register from furiously hard-nosed to softly lyrical – I hope they are heard.»
«Acts as a manifesto volume of sorts – it offers various forms of dramatic expression hailing from Romania and admirably includes texts by ethnic Hungarian and Roma authors, two minorities that have played and continue to play an important role in local history … This volume is an important work of reference for anyone interested in theatre arts, and those studying contemporary performance will do well if they rely on this impressive publication.»
«The plays offer an impressive thematic and formal range, including verse and chorus-based works, and works that speak to their immediate contexts, as well as to broader human experiences … This is accomplished and important work. It will appeal to practitioners and scholars of theatre, and it will enrich courses on dramaturgy, directing, theatre translation and European theatre and culture.»
«Not only a literary, cultural, and critical tour de force, but also a collection in which every single piece – every single page really – represents an exquisite instance of playwriting in splendid English translation … An irresistible, must-have page-turner.»
2. Lowlands ('Niederungen') by Herta Müller, adapted for the stage by Mihaela Panainte
3. The Spectator Sentenced to Death ('Spectatorul condamnat la moarte') by Matéi Visniec
4. The Passport ('Kalucsni') by György Dragomán
5. The Man Who Had All His Malice Removed ('Omul din care a fost extras raul') by Matéi Visniec
6. Stories of the Body (Artemisia, Eva, Lina, Teresa) ('A test történetei') by András Visky
7. Sexodrome by Giuvlipen Theatre Company (Mihaela Dragan, Antonella Lerca Duda, Nicoleta Ghita, Zita Moldovan, Bety Pisica, Oana Rusu, Raj Alexandru Udrea), based on a concept by Bogdan Georgescu.