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The Door Mat, a New Premiere at NTB!

21 March 2019
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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(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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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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