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NTB History

1852 – 1864 – The Great Theatre

1852 – 1864 – The Great Theatre
The Old National Theatre (1852-1944)

1852 – The Great Theatre opens in Bucharest, its first director being Costache Caragiale.

The Hall of The Old National Theatre
The Hall of The Old National Theatre

1853 – The great comedian Matei Millo performs for the first time in Bucharest the play “Chiriţa in the Countryside” by Vasile 
          Alecsandri; this show is the debut of the playwright in the theatrical repertory of the capital

1857 poster ”
1857 poster 

1861 – The national premiere of „Hamlet”, by William Shakespeare.

 

1864 – 1877 – The institutionalization of The National Theatre

1864 – The Great Theatre becomes a public institution for culture

1875 – Alexandru Odobescu, director of the theatre, writes on the frontispiece of the building: The National Theatre

1877 – During the War of Independence, the theatre organizes performances for the wounded soldiers and for the financial 
          maintenance of the hospitals. While watching the theatre shows, the public was being informed about the latest events on the
          battlefield.

 

1879 – 1918 – The rising years of the Romanian dramatic literature

I.L.Caragiale and Alexandru Davila
I.L.Caragiale and Alexandru Davila

1879 – The premiere of “A Stormy Night” by Ion Luca Caragiale.

1884 – The premiere of “A Lost Letter” by Ion Luca Caragiale, with Constantin Nottara playing Tipătescu and Aristiţa Romanescu
          playing Zoe

1909 -1910 – The premiere of Barbu Ştefănescu Delavrancea’s trilogy: “Sunset”, “The Hurricane” and “The Evening Star”, with
          Constantin Nottara, Petre Liciu, Ion Petrescu and Constanţa Demetriade

1912 – The premiere of „Hamlet” by William Shakespeare, with Aristide Demetriade as Hamlet; the show is performed until 1929

1916 – 1918 – During the First World War, the National Theatre’s company finds refuge in Iaşi

 

1919 – 1944 – The interwar period and The Second World War

1929 – The performance of “Master Manole”, a drama by Lucian Blaga, directed by Soare Z. Soare.

1931 – The theatre critic Ion Marin Sadoveanu starts the series of experimental conferences including dramatic fragments

1932 – The premiere of “Titanic Waltz”, a comedy by Tudor Muşatescu, with George Calboreanu, Ion Finteşteanu, Sonia Cluceru etc.

1934 – Two famous actors, Ion Manolescu and George Ciprian, perform, alternatively, the part of Richard III in the famous
          Shakespearean tragedy

1941 – 1944 – The directorship of Liviu Rebreanu; During this period, many theatrical events take place such as:
          “The Angel Announced Maria” by Paul Claudel, with young actor Emil Botta, “Mourning Becomes Electra” by Eugene O’Neill, with
          George Vraca performing 3 characters of 3 different ages; Valeriu Valentineanu, George Vraca and George Calboreanu
          performed successively the title role in “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare, an event known during that period as
          “the fight of the three Hamlets”

George Vraca, three appearances in “Mourning Becomes Electra” (1943?)
George Vraca, three appearances in “Mourning Becomes Electra” (1943?)

1942 - The National Theatre Museum is created through the efforts of George Franga.

Liviu Rebreanu, the director of the National Theatre, at the opening of the theatre’s Museum, on the 10th of September 1942
Liviu Rebreanu, the director of the National Theatre, at the opening of the theatre’s Museum, on the 10th of September 1942 

24 august 1944 – The building of the National Theatre, located on Calea Victoriei, is destroyed during an air raid, at the end of the
          Second World War

 

1944 – 1948 – The transition towards “a new world”

1944 -1948 - The assault of the Bolshevik-type ideology: playwrights and titles tributary to the ideological direction of the Party are
          imposed in the theatre: “The Citadel of Fire” by Mihail Davidoglu, “Recipe for Happiness” and “Bad Weed” by Aurel Baranga,
          “The Big Day” by Maria Banuş. Nonetheless, The National Theatre does not abdicate from its main goal and continues to be
          faithful to the big repertory: “Despot Vodă” by Vasile Alecsandri in 1945 (eliminated from the repertory because of its patriotic
          accents), “Mitică Popescu” by Camil Petrescu in 1945; the absolute premiere of “Breaking News”, a comedy by
          Mihail Sebastian with Ion Finteşteanu, Niky Atanasiu, Marcela Demetriad in 1946; “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare, directed
          by Ion Sava in 1946, with Marietta Anca and Emil Botta in the cast, “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare in 1948;

 

1948 – 1973

1948 -1951 - The satiric trilogy by I.L. Caragiale, directed by Sică Alexandrescu: 1948 – “The Lost Letter”, 1949 – “A Stormy Night”,
          1951 – “Carnival Scenes” with Alexandru Giugaru, Grigore Vasiliu Birlic, Ion Finteşteanu, Radu Beligan, Elvira Godeanu,
          Silvia Dumitrescu Timică, Ion Talianu etc.

“The Lost Letter” (1948)
“The Lost Letter” (1948)

1952 – The National Theatre celebrates 100 years of existence and receives the name of Ion Luca Caragiale.

1953 – The premiere of “The Inspector-General” by Gogol, with Radu Beligan, Alexandru Giugaru, Grigore Vasiliu Birlic,
          Marcel Anghelescu, directed by Sică Alexandrescu; a very successful show during the Moscow tour in 1956

Final scene from “The Government Inspector” by Gogol with: Eugenia Popovici, Elvira Godeanu, Alexandru Giugaru, Silvia Fulda and Ion Manu (1958)
Final scene from “The Government Inspector” by Gogol with: Eugenia Popovici, Elvira Godeanu, Alexandru Giugaru, Silvia Fulda and Ion Manu (1958)

1956 – The Paris tour with “Lost Letter” by I.L.Caragiale, directed by Sică Alexandrescu

Sunset”, 1956, with George Calboreanu, Elvira Godeanu and Eugenia Popovici
Sunset”, 1956, with George Calboreanu, Elvira Godeanu and Eugenia Popovici

1957 – Venice tour with “The Rude Men” by Carlo Goldoni, directed by Sică Alexandrescu with Grigore Vasiliu Birlic, Alexandru Giugaru,
          Radu Beligan, George Calboreanu, Silvia Dumitrescu Timică, Tantzi Cocea.

Alexandru Giugaru in “The Rude Men”
Alexandru Giugaru in “The Rude Men”

1965 - Eugen Ionescu at the National Theatre: “Exit the King” by Eugen Ionescu, directed by Moni Ghelerter; part of the cast:
          Aura Buzescu, Ştefan Mihăilescu Brăila, Valeria Gagealov and Nicolae Brancomir

 

1973 – 1989 – The National Theatre in a new building

SThe NTB Hall
The NTB Hall

20 Decembrie 1973 - The new building of the National Theatre is inaugurated together with its three halls: The Great Hall,
          The Small Hall and The Black Box. The initial project (1964-1973) was signed by the architects Horia Maicu, Romeo Belea and
          Nicolae Cucu and the resistance structure was projected by the engineer Alexandru Cişmigiu. The building’s architecture
          subscribed to the 60’s modernism movement, but the façade was left unfinished. The “hat” shape that became the building’s
          symbol turned out to be fatidic. The fact that the structure didn’t resemble a “house” at all but looked more like a hat,
          determined Ceauşescu to ask, in 1978, after a fire at The Great Hall, to reshape the theatre both on the exterior as well
          as in the interior
.After the changes, a new hall appeared: The Amphitheater Hall.

„ Mr. Leonida and the Reactionaries”, with Dem Rădulescu and Raluca Zamfirescu
„ Mr. Leonida and the Reactionaries”, with Dem Rădulescu and Raluca Zamfirescu

1975 - The premiere of “Old Fashioned Comedy” by Alexei Arbuzov, with Carmen Stănescu and Mihai Fotino,
          show performed for 15 years

1976 - The premiere of “Richard III” by William Shakespeare with Radu Beligan in the title role

Radu Beligan and George Motoi in „Richard III” (1976)
Radu Beligan and George Motoi in „Richard III” (1976)

1978 – “The Girl from Andros” by Terenţiu, directed by Grigore Gonţa; performed with great success during the foreign tours

        - The Foundation” by Antonio Buero Vallejo, directed by Horea Popescu with Ovidiu Iuliu Moldovan, Mircea Albulescu,
          Ilinca Tomoroveanu, Gheorghe Cozorici.

1983 – “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest” by Dale Wasserman, directed by Horea Popescu with Claudiu Bleonţ, Florin Piersic,
          Olga Delia Mateescu, Gheorghe Cozorici, George Motoi, Emanoil Petruţ, Costel Constantin and many others

 

1990 – 2005 – The National Theatre after 1989

1990 – Andrei Şerban becomes the General Director of the theatre; he directs: “The Greek Trilogy” (Sofocle – Electra,
          Euripide – Medea, Euripide - The Trojan Women) with Ilinca Tomoroveanu, Adela Mărculescu, Maia Morgenstern,
          Olga Delia Mateescu, Ovidiu Iuliu Moldovan, Ileana Stana Ionescu, Ioana Bulcă, Claudiu Bleonţ, Leopoldina Bălănuţă,
          Mircea Rusu, Florina Cercel and others.

        - “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare, directed by Andrei Şerban, with Ovidiu Iuliu Moldovan, Maia Morgenstern, Dan Puric,
          Gheorghe Dinică, Costel Constantin, Carmen Galin etc.

1992 – Andrei Şerban signs a new stage version of “The Cherry Orchard” by Chekhov with Leopoldina Bălănuţă and
           Ileana Stana Ionescu as protagonists

1993 - The national premiere of “Ghetto” by J. Sobol, directed by Victor Ioan Frunză, with Maia Morgenstern, Mircea Rusu etc.

1994 - “Ondine” by Jean Giraudoux is staged by Horea Popescu with Adrian Pintea, Marius Bodochi, Tania Popa and Mircea Albulescu.

        - “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare, directed by Beatrice Bleonţ with Teodora Câmpineanu, George Călin,
          Claudiu Bleonţ, Silvia Năstase, Constantin Dinulescu and others

1997 - “The Bacchae” by Euripide, directed by Mihai Mănuţiu, with Ovidiu Iuliu Moldovan, Florina Cercel, Marius Bodochi

        - Toujours l’amour, a show directed by Dan Puric with Carmen Ungureanu and Dan Puric

1998 – “The Name of the Rose” by Umberto Eco, directed by Grigore Gonţa, with Radu Beligan, Mircea Albulescu, George Motoi,
          Constantin Dinulescu and others, a world premiere

1999 – “The Lost Letter” by I.L.Caragiale, directed by Alexandru Tocilescu, with Ion Lucian, Ştefan Iordache, George Ivaşcu,
          Magda Catone etc.

2001 – “The Living Corpse” by L.N. Tolstoy, directed by Gelu Colceag, with Mircea Rusu, Ilinca Tomoroveanu, Maria Popistaşu,
          Maria Buză, Marius Bodochi, Mircea Albulescu, Simona Bondoc

        - Take, Ianke and Cadâr by V.I. Popa, directed by Grigore Gonţa with Radu Beligan, Marin Moraru, Gheorghe Dinică

2003 – “A Midsummer Night's Dream” by William Shakespeare, directed by Felix Alexa with Marius Bodochi, Irina Movilă,
          Monica Davidescu, Dan Puric, Marius Manole, Liviu Lucaci

2005 – “Don Quixote” based on Cervantes’ novel, a show adapted and directed by Dan Puric

For the current repertory, visit the Repertory page.

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