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Ion Caramitru: Open Letter

08 July 2019

I hereby address people - generally the spectators - especially friends and those who are not friends. When I debuted in the role of Eminescu in 1964 at NTB, director Sică Alexandrescu wrote to me a dedication on the book given at the premiere: "Dear Caramitru, who has talent and many enemies, you have a lot of talent, I wish you as many enemies! " I can tell my master that his wish is fulfilled. I have enough enemies both in the theatre, in the Parliament, in the Government and even in the street. We have reached maturity, beloved master! I have nothing to reproach myself, neither about my civic conduct, nor about my professional or material one. I have to reproach my trust in people and the naivety of forgetting what the Romanian always knows that the major, dramatic and sometimes even tragic surprises come from those for whom, in one way or another, one has only done good in life and career. From here to the media lynching I am experiencing, it is just one step. I have to defend myself, prove myself, undress in front of the world to show where it hurts and what I am going to do. Just as it was in communism. We have been through this. I am ready. I feel obliged, for the third time in the past twenty years, to save my honour. In 2001, at the initiative of the Ministry of Culture, I decided to compromise myself, in connection with UNITER. Eventually, I won in court a libel trial that ended with the criminal conviction of State Secretary Ion Antonescu, nicknamed "the Marshal". We then asked for moral damages of 1 Leu, because I was not interested in the material gain, but for the truth to come to light. Between 2015 and 2017, I was investigated in all the hypostases of a civil servant, by the well-known ANI body. In 2017, the file was closed. Today, I am preparing for the third trial. The accusations are pouring, I am already an offender, the land is almost flooded. But today, my cause is mainly the rescue from inactivity and bankruptcy of the National Theater of Bucharest and the main national institutions of Romania, in direct connection with the Ministry of Culture and National Identity, which is de facto responsible for our work. Alongside, another route to be approached, starting from the criminal charges and untruthfulness of some unscrupulous colleagues. I am ready for this too. I want to assure my friends that I do not need help, that I have the truth on my side and that I will fight to prove it. I just ask them to follow me in everything I do.  That is all.   Ion Caramitru 08.07.2019

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Summer schedule of the Box Office

01 July 2019

  In the time frame 1 - 31 July 2019, the NTB Box Office shall be open from Monday to Sunday from 2.00 - 8.00 p.m., and in the days with scheduled shows in the Amphitheatre, the opening times shall be 2.00 - 9.00 p.m.! In the time frame 1 - 30 August 2019, tickets are available exclusively online, and as of August 31st, the regular schedule shall be resumed.   Thank you for you understanding and you are welcome to the theatre!

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Ion Caramitru and several directors of cultural institutions, received at the Victoria Palace by Prime Minister Viorica Dancila

01 July 2019

Bucharest, July 1st, 2019. Following a written request sent to the Romanian Government in the last days, a delegation of directors from institutions subordinated to the Ministry of Culture will be received on Tuesday at Victoria Palace by Prime Minister Viorica Dancila. The delegation will include: Ion Caramitru, general manager of the IL Caragiale National Theatre of Bucharest, Andrei Dimitriu, George Enescu Philharmonic Director, Bianca Ionescu, manager of the „Ion Dacian” Operetta Theater and Calin Dan, director of the National Contemporary Art Museum. This meeting takes place following the appeal launched by several cultural institutions in Romania, following the budget cuts, which led to the partial blocking of their activity, but also to the dismissal of some collaborators. Only in the case of the National Theatre in Bucharest the budget was reduced by 2 million lei, and the amount of the own revenue chapter was increased by one million lei. The meeting at Victoria Palace comes as a result of discussions that a large delegation of culture leaders had on June 19th with Culture Minister Daniel Breaz, a dialogue that ultimately did not lead to any conclusion. Also, on Wednesday, a meeting of representatives of cultural institutions will take place with the members of the Committee on Culture, Arts and Mass Media in the Chamber of Deputies. We remind you that on Sunday afternoon, several hundred people, employees of several cultural institutions, as well as independent artists, gathered in protest in front of the Romanian Government, demanding unblocking the posts and returning to budgets allowing the institutions to function properly. Ion Caramitru, General Manager of the National Theatre of Bucharest, hopes to have a good meeting with Government representatives to unlock the unprecedented situation faced by both the largest theatre in Europe and other institutions under the Ministry of Culture and Identity national.   Translated by Simona Nichiteanu 

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(Unwanted) Season Ending

27 June 2019

We are for the first time in a position to be able to promise firmly only one premiere to theater viewers who expect the NTB season to restart in September! Therefore, the opening of the 2019 - 2020 TNB season will take place at the Studio Hall, with the premiere of The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, directed by Alexander Morfov, with Ion Caramitru, Ada Gales, Richard Bovnoczki, Alexandru Potocean, starring and supported by a large cast. Scenery: Gabi Albu, costumes: Liliana Cenean, choreography: Inga Krasovska, light design: Chris Jaeger.    At the limit of artistic survival due to drastic budget constraints, the IL Caragiale National Theatre, like many other cultural institutions, is bound to limit its activities for the time being, for the reasons you find explained largely by manager Ion Caramitru, in the text reproduced below: What we are now living not only in the National Theatre, but in all the institutions that are now subordinated to the Ministry of Culture, but also in the institutions subordinated to the City Hall, is unprecedented. (...) By law, the Romanian state budget should have appeared since November last year and voted to become operational as of 1 January 2019. In fact, it was only approved in April 2019, becoming operational only in the month of May. There have been situations of this kind, but not so serious. In order to reach the subordinated institutions, after it is assigned to the ministries, it takes a rather long time, so the zero moment, the moment when our theatre, for example, could start any activity, legally, from the point of view of the opening of funding, is the moment when the Minister approves the Minimum Programme. The Minimum Programme is a kind of sine qua non contract that allows the theatre management to do its job. We became "operational" only in mid-May. Until that time, we had no right to spend monthly than what the law permits us, that is, the 12th part of the budget of the previous year, so a small amount! From these sums we had at our disposal, we were able to make two performances, The Door Mat by Ion Băieşu, at the Studio and Class at the Black Box Hall. Two shows with relatively small expense. (...) As of May 15th, we were free to spend, you realize that in one month we could not open up funding, make sceneries and costumes, pay copyright contracts, book the room for other large-scale performances, etc. At this time, I cannot tell you what other performances will be created this year, because I cannot tell you what the current situation is! Until this year, NTB had an average production of eight shows per year. That means two productions in each of the four halls where we run our season, and it means a first every 6 months per hall! We could have produced more, but we did not have any funds and, more than that, we do not have enough people on stage to be able to ensure the autonomy of each scene. I have reported this to the minister, I have still sent to the ministry various documents, not a few, about this issue. This year, in the most fortunate case, we could achieve four premieres, half of last year's production. (...) Today we find ourselves in the totally aberrant situation in which the Ministry has dropped two million RON from the "Goods and Services" chapter and has increased our "own revenue" obligations by one million. In other words, we get less money for productions, and we are increasing the value of selling the produce that we can not actually do, or we make them half. All the monthly expenses for utilities (heat, lighting, air conditioning), for companies that provide maintenance on different areas, for security, fire, cleaning, etc. are made from the budget provided for in the Goods and Services chapter! In addition, all our managers have conditioned the Ministry's approval of the Minimum Programme Agreement by accepting under the signature of the following clause: "The manager of the institution has drawn up the minimum programme for 2019, ensuring the institution's maintenance and operation expenses during the financial year ". Such a thing can only be signed if you have the full budget, as calculated by all expenses! But we, at this time, do not have that. However, I had to sign in order to be functional. It is a terrible interference in the labour discipline and the rights someone has, but otherwise we should have ceased production and all the managers have signed this. So after the minimum programme was drafted, after the budget was approved by the Ministry of Culture in terms of accounting, taking into account the two millions that were omitted from the budget from the Goods and Services chapter and the increase in own revenues, - signed these documents, a new provision came, this time through the Finance Ministry, a communication whereby we are informed that we have the right to spend only 30% of the approved budget! In other words, after my calculations of "free thinking" artist, we are facing bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is related to the poor management of the entire Romanian financial system. There is a bankruptcy at sight. Although I was with the Minister together with 20 managers in the country, all the National Operas, all the National Theaters, the National History Museum, the Art Museum, Antipa, etc., with a document sent under my signature and theirs to discuss face to face of this bankruptcy which we are confronted with, we have not reached any conclusion. The worst thing is that we now have 54 external people to the theater (because although we ask for years for positions, we do not get it), 39 of which operate the stage. Basically, without these people the theatre can not function. But these people, hired through a labour agency, cost us 24% more, each. By law, they must earn the salary of the theatre employees, plus 19% VAT and 5% the agency fee. Among them are people of exceptional quality, people working in the theatre for a while, who have specialised and if we lose them, we would only suffer. We can not find anymore theatre specialised staff. If we had jobs, I would hire them immediately. I explained to the Minister, not once, that if we were to receive posts, we would achieve a saving. In order to be able to end the ministry talks that extended for over three hours, Mr. Minister told us to make an extra calculation of 30% of the budget we received, maybe something will succeed in the budget adjustment. I do not see any positive adjustment to the way the Romanian economy is working at this moment. I wrote an address to the Minister of Finance and to the Prime Minister. Maybe we can meet face to face. (Fragments reproduced from NTB Manager Ion Caramitru's presentation at the NTB staff meeting on Monday, June 24th, 2019)   Translated by Simona Nichiteanu 

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Roma Armee at NTB!

26 June 2019

On Wednesday, June 26th, 2019, in a premiere on the Grand NTB stage, in a unique representation, an extraordinary show produced by the Maxim Gorki Theatre of Berlin, which enjoys unanimous appreciation in the international media: Roma Armee, directed by Yael Ronen, European Prize laureate, Theater Reality (XVI Edition, Rome, 2017). "With clarity, optimism, poignancy and charm, this show places Pride as a response to harsh discrimination." (Peter Laudenbach, TIP, Berlin) Based on an original idea by Sandra and Simonida Selimovic, the show Roma Armee proposes a powerful story: At a time when neo-fascism threatens Europe, a group of actors initiates a supranational army for self-defense. Explaining the past injustices of the Roma throughout Europe, the Roma Armee starts the process of self-reflection and self-emancipation, starting a revolution for a peaceful, inclusive and respectful future for all Europeans.   The performers of the Rome Armee show are artists with exceptional biographies. Award-winning director and playwright Yael Ronen, native of Israel (now director of the "Maxim Gorky" Theatre of Berlin), considered one of the most exciting personalities of contemporary theatre, has also the reputation of one of the most involved - socially, culturally and politically - theatre people in Europe. She explores contemporary historical conflicts on the note of a poignant black humor.  The two stage designers of the show - Delaine and Damien Le Bas - were part of the selection of 16 artists of the Paradise Lost project - the first Roma pavilion at the Venice Biennial in 2007. The actors in the cast are Romnja, Roma and Traveler Roma from Austria, Serbia, Germany, Kosovo, Romania, England and Sweden, as well as Berlin-Israeli-German-Turkish gadjis. Components of this unique "Roma Army," they evoke, in a show of the utmost artistic quality, an impressive picture of the historical and recent injustices to which the Roma are subjected. Roma Armee is undoubtedly an exemplary contemporary Roma production, modern, at the confluence of the political cabaret and documentary theatre.    The organizer of the tour is the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture - IERAC, with the support of the Open Society Foundations: Cultural Exchanges, Youth Exchanges, Human Rights Initiative, Public Health Programme and the Goethe Institute of Romania.    The show - which will be subtitled in Romanian - is scheduled for Wednesday, June 26th, 2019, from8.00 p.m. in the Grand Hall of the "I.L. Caragiale" National Theatre. Public access is allowed from 18.45 onweards, because at 19.00 in the lobby of the Grand Hall, short greetings from the organizers (IERAC) and host (NTB) will be announced.  Tickets can be purchased at the NTB Box Office (in the Grand Hall lobby), as well as online on www.mystage.ro.   Translated by Simona Nichiteanu 

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ERIAC Presents "Roma Armee" in Bucharest

26 June 2019

The ERIAC will present at the IL Caragiale National Theatre of Bucharest (NTB), on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019, the play Roma Armee, produced by the Maxim Gorki Theatreof Berlin. This is the first time that "Roma Armee" will be presented in Romania. The show directed by the famous Yael Ronen is based on the original idea of Sandra and Simonida Selimovic. The play is the voice of Roma who are subject to multiple and intersected discrimination - Roma women, Roma young people and LGBTIQ Roma, depicting the beauty of multiple faces of diversity, but also the intensity of inner drama. Producer Yael Ronen, from Israel, promotes a powerful theatre, marked by black humour in the context of contemporary historical conflicts. She is currently working in Berlin at the "Maxim Gorki" Theatre and is considered internationally as one of the most interesting personalities of the theatre of her generation. As a director, as well as a playwright, she earned the Europe for Theatrical Realities Prize at the 16th edition of her prestigious awards, as well as the Austrian Nestroy Award for two of her plays. The cast of this show features exciting artistic personalities with a rich and varied artistic activity. Sandra Selimovic (the face of the billboard) is an actress, a director and a singer. Born in 1981 in Serbia, she migrated at the age of five with her family from Serbia to Vienna. Here, she  made her debut in 1994 and was remarked on the independent theatre stages. She performs mainly at the Dschungel Youth Theatre in Vienna and the former Theatre of the Moment. She is also a champion of women's empowerment within the Roma community, determined to combat anti-Roma discrimination. In 2010, along with her sister, Simonida Selimovic, actress and rapper, she founded Romano Svato, the first feminist and professional rhetorical theatre association. Another interesting figure is Mihaela Dragan, born in 1986, actress and playwright. She works in Bucharest and Berlin, and in 2014 she founded the Giuvlipen theatre company, in collaboration with other Roma, a "revolutionary theatre", according to Reuters. In 2015, she starred in "Aferim," the film by Radu Jude who won the Silver Bear for directing at the Berlin International Film Festival, and in 2017 she was the lead character of the short film "Black Magic" directed by Fanny Ardant. She is currently working in Berlin at the Maxim Gorki Theatre. Also Mehmet Ateşçi, a graduate of the Zurich Art Academy, is, since 2013, actor of the Gorki Theater, cast by well-known directors in numerous productions. Hamze Bytyci works mainly in Berlin, being attracted to acting, direction and pedagogy. He manages the online broadcast transmitter Radio Corel and organizes international film summer schools under the label Balkan Onions. In 2012, he developed his own interactive performance format with Hilton Room 437, devoted to social and political issues. Riah May Knight, singer, songwriter and actress from Sussex, England. She has written and starred in institutions such as The Brighton Dome and Roundhouse in London, Notre Dame and Houses of Parliament for the last ten years. Lindy Larsson, born in Sweden, studying at Stockholm College of Acting, plays on some of the major theatres in Sweden and together with director Charlotte Engelkes has created some shows. In parallel with theatrical activity, he plays in the orchestra Lindy & Bon Bon Band. About the last two, Berliner Zeitung writes: "Riah May Knight, the Romanian blonde who lives in England, and Lindy Larsson, a Roma from Sweden, play a duet with which they could easily win the Eurovison contest! And when Mehmet Ateşçi joins them, the hearts of the crowd are melting. " Orit Nahmias appeared in various theatre productions in Israel, then on Schaubühne, and in 2015 he joins the Gorki ensemble where he plays several parts, most of them in performances by Yael Ronen. Roma Armee is a powerful story, revealing the impact of stereotypes, but also the struggle to overcome them. The show communicates passionately, genuinely and intensely the realities of the Roma. With stage design and costumes created by the famous Roma artists Delaine and Damian Le Bas, "Roma Armee" is an inspirational example of the utmost artistic quality. Strategically set in Romania, the country with the largest number of Roma, the event aims at promoting the autonomous voices of the members of the Roma community, especially those who are subject to multiple and intersected discrimination. At a time when neo-fascism threatens Europe, a group of actors initiates a Roma army for the purpose of self-defense. The actors are Roma, Romnja and travelling Roma from Austria, Serbia, Germany, Kosovo, Romania, England and Sweden. They are also gadjii in Berlin of Israeli-German-Turkish origin - which means that the Roma Army is supranational, diverse and feminist. Explaining the past and present injustices of the Roma throughout Europe, the Roma Army starts the process of self-reflection and self-empowerment, initiating a revolution that provides for a peaceful, inclusive and respectful future for all Europeans. The Rome Armee show is produced by the Maxim Gorki Theatre, organized by the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC), and will be presented at the IL Caragiale National Theatreof Bucharest, at the Grand Hall, on June 26th, 2019, at 8.00 p.m. The show will be titled in Romanian. Public access is allowed from 18.45, because at 19.00 in the hall of the Great Hall, short greetings from organizers (IERAC) and host (TNB) will be announced. The event takes place with the support of the Open Society Foundations: Arts Exchange, Youth Exchange, Human Rights Initiative, Public Health Programme and the Goethe Institute of Romania. Tickets are available at the NTB Box Office (in the Grand Hall lobby), as well as online on www.mystage.ro.   Translated by Simona Nichiteanu  

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TNB has two shows at the "Myths of the Citadel" Festival

21 June 2019

Two of the premieres of the current season, from the National Theatreof Bucharest - an institution with a multifaceted cultural vocation - will be seen in Constanta, at the "Myths of the Citadel" International Theatre Festival, this year at the 4th edition . NTB was invited to present the concert Saftita ("Balkanic Project by Marius Mihalache") on June 21st, 2019, at 9.30 p.m. in Ovidiu Square and Once Upon a Time in Romania, a pantomime show directed by Dragos Huluba, to be performed on the stage of the "Oleg Danovski" National Opera and Ballet Theatre on June 25th, 2019 from7.00 p.m. Săftița by Marius Mihalache is a project performed with Marius Mihalache Band, endorsed by the "IL Caragiale" National Theatre at the beginning of 2018, being included in its permanent repertoire, within the Programme NTB Paratheatrical Music. The show was recently awarded at the UNITER Awards Gala with a Special Prize. The ingenious combination of the Balkan spirit and the Romanian soul, Saftitaof the great performer and composer Marius Mihalache is a multifaceted mirror, in which love, longing and waiting are found. Anyone in the audience can resonate by recognizing oneself in one of ... the show's characters! Those who approach you to the fascinating musical realm making the revelation possible are: Marius Mihalache - surnamed by a Romanian chronicler "Paganini of the dulcimer" - and his tremendously gifted team mates: Arabela Nicolau (vocal), Lorin Mihalache (drums), Marius Gagiu (flute, caval), Nicu Baran (bass). Once Upon a Time in Romania is an emotion-packed story, with average people in exceptional situations. A show where words mingle with pantomime, step, music and the exquisite gag. An engaging, challenging, humorous and nostalgic show about who we were during these 100 years, what love, laughter, grief were like. And maybe an answer to the questions of the youngest of us. Once Upon a Time in Romania ... and recounting this, four wonderful actors: Ileana Olteanu, Eduard Adam, Violeta Huluba, Dragos Huluba. At the previous edition of the Festival, NTB was present with another show popular with the audience, Magic National.   Translated by Simona Nichiteanu 

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Box Office

14 June 2019

  As of Friday, October 20, 2017 at 4:00 p.m., the NTB Box Office has moved to the Grand Hall Foyer! Spectators' access shall be made in front of the theatre, the main entrance from the University Passage (Nicolae Bălcescu Blvd.).   Translated by Simona Nichiteanu

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Natalia Calin, Winner of the UNITER Award

13 May 2019

NTB actress Natalia Calin was nominated as Best Supporting Actress and received the UNITER Prize at the Gala that took place at the National Theatreof Cluj Napoca. She received this distinction for the role of Mrs. Bologa in the show The Forest of the Hanged, after Liviu Rebreanu, script, direction and sound universe by Radu Afrim, production of the "I.L. Caragiale" National Theatre of Bucharest, at the 27th gala of the Theatrical Union awards of Romania. "I am Apostol Bologa's mother." Radu Afrim, thank you for the courage you had to bring me back to life, to call me into your fabulous worlds for this beautiful story. I would like everyone to see this show because it is wonderful, "said the winner on the gala stage. Natalia Calin's opposing candidates were: Sabrina Iaschievici, for the role of Masha in the show "The Seagull" by AP Chekhov, directed by Andrei Serban, Unteatru, and Mirela Oprisor for the role of Stella in the show "A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams, directed by Claudiu Goga, Metropolis Theatre. The nomination jury for the 27th edition of the UNITER 2019 prize gala was made up of theatre critics Monica Andronescu, Oana Bors and Mircea Morariu. The performances that were considered by the jury are those that premiered between 1 January and 31 December 2018. The final jury, which nominated the winners in the evening of the gala, consisted of: Vlad Ivanov (actor), Doina Modola (critic), Maia Morgenstern (actress), Cristian Pepino (director) and Viorica Petrovici (set designer). Translated by Simona Nichiteanu    About Natalia Calin

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The NTB Amphitheatre. An Outdoor Stage

19 April 2019

The outdoor amphitheatre is a unique stage in Romania, a place up the National Theatre, 24 meters above University Square. At NTB, from May to September, cultural and artistic genres, diversity and the summer (and cultural) debate meet under the summer night sky, at the very km 0 of the capital, in an exciting and varied nocturnal programme. Theatre and dance performances, jazz, rock or folk concerts, art films or the latest cinematic productions, meetings with artists will be seen and experienced this summer under the starry sky of Bucharest in the NTB Amphitheatre. Famous names and young artists, performances from the National Theatre repertoire, as well as productions of independent theaters will outline the summer experienced above Bucharest. When the city goes on holiday, we will meet you on the roof of the National Theatre, at the Open-Air Amphitheater, to open the Summer Season together! We have prepared an appealing and relaxing offer. Let us count this summer together unforgettable encounters, shows, concerts, movies and nights! The NTB Amphitheatre is an open-air cultural supplement recommended during springtime and summer, indicated against rainy clouds or canicular asthenia. It is also recommended as therapy for sea, mountain and holiday longing. The amphitheatre helps an audience suffering from excessive boredom at the office during the summer (and not only). Expert advice: If you go to the restaurant on the terrace, located under the open-air amphitheatre, you can see one of the most beautiful panoramas of the capital! Good to know: Tickets for May and June were put up for sale! Details on tnb.ro & mystage.ro.   Translated by Simona Nichiteanu                                                            

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