The rehearsals for Visky András' production Porno, directed by Răzvan Mureșan, which has its opening in September 2019, have started at the "Euphorion" Studio of the National Theatre of Cluj-Napoca.
Visky András is artistic director at the Hungarian State Theatre of Cluj, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Theatre and Television from the Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Professor at Károli Gáspár University of Budapest, member of the "Széchenyi" Academy of Letters and Arts affiliated with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences from Budapest, and last but not least, a playwright in Lessing's sense of the term, and a writer. He wrote several volumes of poetry, prose, and especially theatre: The Escape, The Disciples, Juliet, Long Friday, Alcohol Drinkers, Born for Never, I Killed my Mother, Porno. The translation of his book The One who Sees the Voice - Márti Sipos in dialogue with Visky András was published at the "Camil Petrescu" Cultural Foundation, as a supplement of the magazine Theatre Today. George Banu said about the author: "I have known Visky András for a very long time, and I think our authentic, deep friendship relies on the outmost respect I have both for his texts and for his existential relation with the theatre. For him, theatre is not just smoke screen, is not posh entertainment, but an act of reflection, which we are invited to constantly reiterate in his performances produced with Tompa Gábor".
Visky András was kind enough to answer our questions and give us details about the writing and production of the performance Porno, which was already presented in theatres from the United States, France, Hungary, Poland, but also to share with us his thoughts about theatre.
Dear contenders, thank you for your participation! The jury have assessed your drawings and reached the following unanimous decision: there is no winner of the competition, since all submitted drawings matched only to a partial extent the given topic.
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The actor Ionuț Caras and his colleague Matei Rotaru have initiated the project Good Texts in Crazy Places, financed by the Sphere of Donors from Transylvania, and supported by the association Some People and by the National Theatre of Cluj-Napoca. Five productions have already taken place within this cultural project: Letter to my Father, by Franz Kafka (at the "Nicolae Bălcescu" HighSchool), NICHITANAUM, a poetic duel - in the boxing ring (at the Sport Factory), Bluffing with Surbelea (at the Painting Atelier of the Theatre and Opera of Cluj), Letters from the Front (at the no.1 Garrison Military Dorm from Cluj and at the National Theatre) and Old tales and new fables (in the attic of the History Museum of Transylvania from Cluj).
Ionuț Caras is now working on a different kind of project: Trials at the Theatre. These types of confrontational productions, conceived as speech duels, are very popular in the United States, but are almost unknown in Romania. The first episode announced is Hamlet's Trial, which takes place on the great stage, Tuesday, 11 June 2019, from 7.00 p.m. We asked Ionuț Caras to tell us about the Tuesday event, in order to help us understand the actors' approach.
Ionuț, what can you tell us about this Trial of Hamlet? Where from did you get the idea?
Ionuț Caras: I got it from Mr. Mihai Măniuțiu, who asked me if I such a project would interest me. He had noticed that I was keen on going off the beaten path, that I was searching for a theatre alternative, for a way beyond the classic, normal structure of theatre. Such a way was Good Texts in Crazy Places.
Măniuțiu found more from Eli Simon (who teaches Acting at the Irvine University of California, and has directed two productions at the National Theatre of Cluj, War of the Clowns and Clown Aliens) about this type of productions, which he successfully directs in his American university. I checked what they did, which was a long debate, rather than a scene performed, as we do. It was just an open evening where several professionals, such as prosecutors and lawyers, were invited. There is a huge interest in the United Staes for this type of debate-productions, their public has a different education from this point of view, they know more about laws and the judicial system, they can act as jurors. In short, the ordinary citizen is much more involved in this whole story. I just caught the idea and I started working on it.