The National Theatre of Cluj-Napoca is looking forward to welcoming you at the opening of the debate-production TRIALS AT THE THAETRE. FIRST EPISODE: HAMLET, which takes place in the great hall, Tuesday, 11 June 2019, at 7.00 p.m.. The production is directed by Ionuț Caras, with a video-design by Lucian Matei. The cast includes the actors Cosmin Stănilă (playing Hamlet), Irina Wintze (Gertrude), along with the special guests of the theatre: Cristian Grindean (Polonius), Roxana Mândruțiu (The Prosecutor), Gabriela Groza (The Defense Lawyer). Ionuț Caras will be the Master of Ceremonies.
Ionuț Caras is an actor of the National Theatre of Cluj-Napoca and Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Theatre Film from UBB. He completed many theatre projects, both as an actor, and as a director. He has innovative ideas in directing, which pursue alternatives to the classic theatre. The same experimental vein is pursued by his most recent theatre project GOOD TEXTS IN CRAZY PLACES.
He is currently working on a new project, Trials at the Theatre, a sort of confrontational production (made of speech duels), which is extremely popular in the United States, but is almost unknown in Romania.
For the first time in Cluj-Napoca, we are looking forward to welcoming you to an actual judicial stage confrontation, to the trial of a famous character of the world theatre, whose controversial behaviour has fascinated in the last 400 years hundreds of critics, psychologists and theatre historians all over the world. That character is Hamlet. The protagonist of the first episode of the series TRIALS AT THE THEATRE is Hamlet, the young hero of William Shakespeare's play, now put on a real trial for the murder of Polonius, on the stage of the National Theatre of Cluj.
Why has Ionuț Caras opted for this first trial:
"They All Want to Play Hamlet - is the title of a poem by Carl Sandburg. It might be so, who knows! We certainly all know about Hamlet. We think of a young man dressed in black, who holds a skull in his hand and wonders in a melancholy tone: To be or not to be? That's the question. And that is indeed all! We assume we know the play, we feel familiar with the young Danish prince's story. And yet... What are his reasons? Why does he want to take revenge? Why does he hesitate so much?
We try to analyze closely a specific scene, namely the killing of Polonius. Is Hamlet guilty of murder? Is he right to react in such a manner? Should he be sentenced or forgiven? We deal with this matter from a judicial point of view, assisted by two professionals in the field: Roxana Mândruțiu plays the part of the prosecutor, while Gabriela Groza, that of Hamlet's defender. You, the public, will deliver the verdict.
TRIALS AT THE THEATRE is a completely innovative project in Romanian theatre. I expect our endeavor to make you, the spectators feel responsible as well. You will have to make a decision after you see the scene and you hear all arguments. You will have to vote and decide the fate of a dramatic character. Does it seem easy? I wouldn't say so".
Contrary to the debate-productions which are so popular in the United States, but only focus on the long pro and against pleas, this theatre experiment from Cluj also chooses to represent on the stage, in front of the public, the moment of the killing. Only once the famous scene between Hamlet and Gertrude ends, the law professionals are invited on the stage: the Prosecutor and the Defense Lawyer, who will analyze the deed, standing for the prosecution and the defense, respectively. The spectators will be both jurors and judges. The public's vote is what matters, because the count of votes will decide if Hamlet stays alive or is sentenced to death.