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Gates Open Night - sixth edition

The 2017 edition of the event Doors Open Night enjoyed the presence of over 3.000 visitors! Along the seven hours of the event, the team of the theatre welcomed spectators at several events, some traditional, some new, with a free entrance.


This year, our thoughts and support went to the Estuar Foundation. Established in 1993, it is the first Romanian organization to create for adults with mental health problems a network of community and home day care services, certified and acknowledged at the local, national and international level. The Estuar Foundation is active in four Romanian cities, Bucharest, Ploiesti, Giurgiu and Cluj and serves yearly over 2000 beneficiaries.


The financial difficulties faced now by the Estuar Foundation determined us to return to the charitable character our event used to have from the first edition, when the Doors Open Night was organized for the support of our colleague, director Mona Marian. Funds collected on that occasion through your generosity had an essential contribution in the palliative treatment undergone by our colleague in her final months of life.


So, at the present edition of the event, the entrance remained free, but we encouraged donations for the benefit of the Estuar Foundations, of its beneficiaries and of our entire community. In exchange, every donor could help himself with lavender, generously provided by Casa Boian and "dressed" in our theatre's workshops.


Funds of over 1.000 lei were gathered.


The program of the event included workshops of dance, globe painting and theatre make up, but also a series of meetings with theatre actors. Together with the already traditional Questions & Answers Session with actors from the great stage, this year's edition of the theatre brought the new moment of Face-to-Face Meetings.

Theatre visitors were given the chance of 10-minute individual meetings with an actor. These meetings were touching not only for spectators, but also for our fellow actors, Angelica Nicoară, Anca Hanu, Sânziana Tarța, Ionuț Caras, Radu Lărgeanu and Cristian Grosu, who met face to face six spectators during one hour. In a series of interviews made with them a few days after the event by Eugenia Sarvari, the actors described their experience as follows:


Angelica Nicoară greeted enthusiastically this initiative, and confessed that: "It was wonderful. I had emotions for almost the entire day and I prepared for the meeting almost like for a performance, so I hereby declare I intend to repeat this experience next year. I do believe, though, ten minutes are a bit less for the meeting. There were so many spectators, both young and mature, with whom we discussed theatre matters, but also life matters. We talked heart-to-heart about them. I don't think we talked as actor and spectator, but as two people face to face, enjoying our meeting. I am grateful for this idea and for the fact that I was one of the first to participate to this premiere


It's hard to say which was the most touching meeting, because each of us is different, special. I've got the chance to meet special people, whom I would like to see again. One lady had a very funny reaction. When the bell rang and she was told she had to leave the box, she simply didn't want to go. I liked that some of them recommended me certain books to read.


There was something particular about those meetings. Our talks were different than the ones my colleagues had at the Questions & Answers Session (another moment of the Doors Open Night). I would love more people to take part in these gatherings, not just in press conferences, when critics ask questions, we answer, and everything remains an exchange of courtesies. I would like to hear their opinion, not just by reading a review on the board; perhaps this thing could happen during these face-to-face meetings, which are something completely different than the written word. The audience could tell us what they liked and what they did not, what they really think about how a certain thing could be done differently. I'm sure these talks would also be useful to us. It would only be helpful to hear where you could make corrections. There's no reason to get upset. It's a win. I think we should communicate more with each other, in a straightforward and honest manner. This experience was about complete honesty from both sides. It was very interesting. Congratulations for the idea".  


Anca Hanu: "It's an excellent idea that should be resumed next year, in fact, at every Doors Open Night. It's a good opportunity to meet people you don't know, who come so often to theatre, without you even knowing they were there.

I noticed a certain - understandable, I should say - shyness at first. I would feel the same in such a situation, otherwise wonderful in itself. I tried to avoid a formal tone, and discuss at leisure about anything - sport, nature -, but later there were, of course, questions about theatre, about our profession. Every meeting was different in itself. Every one had something specific. I found out some things about them as well, not just them about me. One girl did not necessarily want to ask me something, but just came to visit me, in a theatre box... we had to talk about something, and then I started asking her questions. Which I think was very nice.

Although I knew there are people who appreciated us, who often come to theatre, I was impressed by at least two of them. The main benefit was the meeting itself, a great way for me to practice in one hour ten-minute talks with six people. I had never done that before. It was a super-exercice".


Sânziana Tarța: "It's a very good idea. It was a real joy because I met some extremely nice people. Some of them had emotions. It was very good to see what are they curious about. Their questions were pretty similar. The only rather unpleasant thing was that several things were happening on stage at the same time, jamming the intimacy of the moment. It would have been great to have a special, quiet environment, dedicated to that event.

All my six encounters were interesting. To make the most of the short time, everything took place fast. It was like a soul meeting, though. I felt them very close. Somebody who came in even said he didn't understand why people had so many emotions, some of them waiting at the entrance not knowing whether they should come in or not. I thought it very nice that spectators felt we were something else and were surprised to find we were, in fact, just like them.

What did I gain from here? I got the proof that "clean" people still exist. I know they do, but perhaps we don't meet them at every corner. In a way, all six of them were wonderful people. This was the win. They wanted to get to know me, they cared about the books I read, about the music I listen. They could ask me anything, but the fact that they asked me that proves they were really interested".


Ionuț Caras: "It was strange. When I say that, I am thinking how two of them surprised me by telling me I didn't have to say anything. And they would speak instead. They started to tell me about their lives. Just like that. One of them even confessed some pretty intimate stuff. I realized people want to talk. Two meetings even resembled a patient's session with a psychoanalist. There was also a family with a child, who stared at me with his huge eyes and said nothing; he was very thrilled to be at the theatre. The last one was a nine-year old girl, alone. «What do you want to know?», I asked her. «I don't have curiosities. I am not curious by nature». And we just stood like that, without a word. Finally, she told me she was studying ballet.

It was interesting to meet those people. Normal people. I think such meetings should happen more often, with longer intervals. For at least fifteen minutes. It wasn't quite all right to have the meetings in the box, where there was a lot of noise. A protecting space would be better. What impressed me the most was meeting the family I mentioned above. They came for their little boy. They told me they come often to theatre. They saw The Trial, Sânziana and Pepelea, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. They were very caring with their child. It was a truly beautiful family".


For Radu Lărgeanu, the meeting was "honest, beautiful and welcome for us. I feel that we should have more often such meetings. Because our chances to see face to face our audience and talk to them are rare.

Some of them were actual fans. They had seen Sânziana and Pepelea six or seven times.

They asked me similar things: what made me study acting, what's it like to be an actor. One gentleman was very eager to know how are we able to handle our emotions. Ten minutes were not enough for me to explain him that... I was also asked things like «what's your favourite role?». I tried to explain them there are no favourite roles. That some of them just stick to you more than others. But all of them are favourite because they are all yours.

There was one little girl, I think she was in the second grade, who just stood there watching. Every meeting had something special. People are different, and so was meeting them. That's why I can't compare the eight-year old girl, who stood there watching in awe, with a child who had seen countless times Sânziana and Pepelea and could cite entire lines from the performance, or with the gentleman eager to know how we handle emotions. You can't really compare them. I don't know if this initiative helped people, but I'm sure it brought them joy. Just like it brought me too. I said it before, I think, that this kind of meetings with the public should happen more often. Ten minutes is not much, but it's a start for a real communication between the actor and the spectator. It's very important in order to get closer to the public and the spectator".


Cristian Grosu: "I was surprised by the proposal to meet the spectator in an intimate environment. «Alright, and where we'll meet?» «In a box.» Well, when I heard that, I really imagined the type of intimacy from psychoanalysis cabinets, with their red velvet. I met the spectators and I was extremely delighted to see they really wanted to meet actors. They asked questions. For instance, most of them asked me about the acting profession, while others wondered how could they become actors themselves. Others asked for advice, telling me about their issues with their parents, who did not agree with them joining this profession. It's a big deal when someone you've never seen before asks your advice. Someone was practically asking the advice of someone he both knew and did not know. I think that was impressive. I strongly support further such meetings.

What impressed me the most was meeting a young girl, who kept trying to tell me she had always wanted to become an actress, but wasn't able to surpass her emotional barrier. She was very tense, emotional, and perhaps her dream did not come true because of that problem. Even so, each one had a particular charm and strength. It was strange though that when you got to the root of the problem - because at first you had to put forth a feeler - the bell rang. Just like in parliament. So, I think you need more time for that. You simply did not realize how time flew. I sometimes peeped at my colleagues also and often saw them hugging the spectators. Which proves once again that this experience should be continued".



The evening began with dance, and all those who wanted could get on the great stage of the theatre to learn salsa steps, watched by the other spectators, who opted for staying in the hall. The great stage was the place where visitors could then follow the demonstration of the movement workshop held in the same day by choreographer Andrea Gavriliu, the projection in premiere of THE 2017 FILM BOOT, a film based on interviews with the audience of the theatre, and could listen the Christmas Carols concert given by Ioan Bocșa and the ICOANE Traditional Music Ensemble, the recital based on Cristian Popescu's poems, given by actors Alexandra Tarce, Narcisa Pintea, Cornel Răileanu, Dan Chiorean, Radu Lărgeanu, directed by Andreea Iacob, and the recital given by Nucu Pandrea on the leaf and at harmonica. The evening ended with the improvisation theatre performance JUST PUSH PLAY with Bogdan „Bob" Rădulescu, Dragoș Muscalu, Robert Pavicsits, Matei Rotaru and Vlad Pasencu (piano).


The theatre foyers were full and greeted visitors with a CHRISTMAS FAIR with objects made by children and adults with disabilities through the Derzelas Association, Estuar FoundationHandicope Associationthe Special High School for the Visually Impaired of Cluj-Napoca, along with Floarea TaFriandisePeyoRonna ArtChiramóLionboxBruiaj Arts.


At the third level, Doamna T Café pampered visitors with various goodies and hot drinks and became the place where spectators could relax during event breaks. The third level foyer also hosted a special recital of music and poetry, given by visually impaired young people, who rejoiced at the chance to sing and recite together with spectators of the National Theatre. In the same place, Alexa Visarion launched his most recent volume, Against Forgetfulness.


The program of the event:




6.00 p.m.-7.40 p.m.


held by Mario Dance Atelier and Latin Beat


In the evening of 9 December, salsa moves in the National Theatre of Cluj! Mario Dance Atelier and Latin Beat are looking forward to welcoming you to an electrifying evening with a lot of dance! Experienced instructors will teach you how to dance like true professional salseros. Open class, guaranteed fun. 


7.50 p.m.-8.10 p.m.

DEMONSTRATION with participants at the workshop held by choreographer Andrea Gavriliu


The workshop held by choreographer Andrea Gavriliu will take place Saturday, 9 December, on the premises of the National Theatre of Cluj-Napoca and will last about 5 hours. Participation is free, within the limit of 20 available seats, based on entry at the address The workshop is open for non-professionals in performance and dance arts, with the minimum age of 16 years. The results of the workshops will be presented on the great stage of the theatre.


8.20 p.m.-8.50 p.m.


film projection with and about spectators of the National Theatre of Cluj-Napoca


THE FILM BOOT has reached its third edition this year. The project started in 2015, and it invites spectators who participate at the OPEN DOORS DAY to get into our film boot and answer some questions. Based on their answers, we will make a short film, called THE FILM BOOT, to be projected at the OPEN DOORS NIGHT. This project is meant to enable us to know better our spectators and also give them back, through the movie projected, the thoughts they shared with us. 



9.00 p.m.-9.40 p.m.


with the artists of the National Theatre of Cluj-Napoca: Diana Buluga, Andrea Gavriliu, Ioan Isaiu, Dragoș Pop


9.50 p.m.-10.20 p.m.


held by Ioan Bocșa and the "ICOANE" Ensemble of Romanian Traditional Music


10.30 p.m.-11.00 p.m.


Poetry recital given by actors Alexandra Tarce, Narcisa Pintea, Cornel Răileanu, Dan Chiorean, Radu Lărgeanu. Directed by: Andreea Iacob


Cristian Popescu is one of the most interesting Romanian poets, who was born in 1959 and left this world in 1995, at only 35. He only published three volumes, "The Family Popescu", "Foreword" and "The Popescu Art", and remains largely unknown. However, those who do read his poems are openly enthusiastic and compare the poet to Mircea Cărtărescu or even to Mihai Eminescu. Popescu had schizophrenia, which made us choose his poems for the current edition of the Open Doors Night, meant to support the Estuar Foundation and its activity dedicated to people with mental health problems, so the more as Cristian Popescu wrote about his disease in the journal "Adevărul literar și artistic" and assumed it as such.

Haunted by the voices in his head, Popescu came up with possibly the most comprehensible definition of losing one's minds: madness is when you think you are more important than a World Cup football match. The 36 years of his life, lived in innocence and haste, could be a literary masterpiece. In the squalor of post-Revolution days, he used to preach to drug addicts, he wrote poems about sunburnt conductors from tram boots, and died each day a bit, so that the real death would have only little else to do, wrote Cristian Delcea in an article called "The Great Popescu. Poet, night guard, skier on the slopes of desperation".

It's our turn to recall his image, waiting for you to enjoy together some of his poems from the cycle The Family Popescu, read by actors of the National Theatre of Cluj-Napoca.



11.10 p.m.-11.35 p.m.


on the leaf and at the harmonica


Eugen Aloisiu "Nucu" Pandrea is considered a real phenomenon of contemporary music. Initiated in the mystery of leaf singing by his grandfather during childhood, the artist perfected his technique throughout the years: in the present, he plays masterfully musical pieces of various genres - from folk songs to classical works, rock and jazz plays. He gave concerts on local and international stages, next to famous artists like Gheorghe Zamfir and Nightloosers. Nucu Pandrea's dream is to create a school of leaf singers.



11.45 p.m.-01.00 a.m.

JUST PUSH PLAY - improvisation show

with Bogdan "Bob" Rădulescu, Dragoș Muscalu, Robert Pavicsits, Matei Rotaru, Vlad Pasencu (piano)


Just Push Play is an invitation to... performing. Everything is built on the spot, with no direction, no script, no sets. Nothin is pre-established, everything is... spontaneous. Any suggestion from the public can turn into a theatre scene, in a story, a discourse or, why not, in a song. Key words are: humour, interactivity and improvisation, while the remote control is in the public's hands. So... JUST PUSH PLAY!



6.30 p.m.-7.30 p.m.


Individual meetings with actors Anca Hanu, Angelica Nicoară, Sânziana Tarța, Ionuț Caras, Cristian Grosu, Radu Lărgeanu


The Open Doors Night gives you the chance to meet some of the actors of the National Theatre, in short moments of individual meetings.



6.00 p.m.-9.00 p.m.


held by Camelia Curuțiu - Zoicaș


Makeup is the technique that reshapes and transforms the face of an actor, that technique that modifies and highlights through shadows, lights and colour a great variety of feelings and human types.


Theatre makeup uses complex techniques based on blushes and special accessories that will enable the "make-up painter" to invent and create fictional characters, not on simple plans like in other arts, but on a live, human face, with wide, concave or convex surfaces". He/she will try to suggest through colour, shadows and lights a type of man with a special face, with the paleness or the dryness of the diseased or the old man, with the skin, blood pulsation and transparence given by youth".


This workshop addresses all those who want to enter and experiment for a few moments this ephemeral, fantastic live world, this fictional world full of shadows and colour, filled with psychology and artistic intuition.


6.00 p.m.-9.00 p.m.


held by Ilinca and Dora Baba



6.00 p.m.- 9.00 p.m.


held by the Day Centre for the Elder no. 2


The miniworkshop proposed for the event of the Open Doors Night at the National Theatre of Cluj-Napoca will show us how chocolate can turn into... jewelry. Moulded, sculpted, combined with lace or accessorized with beads, the classic chocolate can turn into delicate ornaments.





6.00 p.m.-01.00 a.m.



7.00 p.m.-8.00 p.m.


presented by visually impaired people


8.30 p.m.-9.00 p.m.

Book launch

Against forgetfulness by Alexa Visarion, Ideea Europeană Publishing House (in partnership with ICR), in the presence of the author                







CHRISTMAS FAIR with objects made by disabled children and adults through the Derzelas Association, Estuar FoundationHandicope AssociationThe Special High School for the Visually Impaired of Cluj-Napoca, together with Floarea TaFriandisePeyoRonna ArtChiramóLionboxBruiaj Arts


THE BOOKSHOP of the National Theatre of Cluj-Napoca




Event with lavender perfume by Casa Boian