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Cluj-Napoca National theatre will present the opening of the production Death and reincarnation as a cowboy by Rodrigo García, translation Luminița Voina-Răuț, Friday, 19 February 2016, at the "Euphorion" Studio. Director and set designer: Andrei Măjeri, and music arrangement by Katalin Incze. Cast: Elena Ivanca, Romina Merei, Sânziana Tarţa, Irina Wintze.

"Staged as a country thriller, the production Death and reincarnation as a cowboy, perhaps Rodrigo García's strongest and most controversial text, sheds lights on the daily infernos, fully exploiting the grimaces of laughter. The only voice implied by the playwright has been fragmented by the director and adapted to contemporary women, living examples of the wonder woman syndrome. The four actresses furiously, but lucidly, throw in our faces the human degradation, the visceral laughter and the impossible love, and their polyphony becomes a delirious confession, a post-absurdist puzzle. This floating island, the flickering reality in which Rodrigo García's extreme-contemporary text has been transposed on stage, is accompanied by country music hit songs, reminiscent of a lost era.   

The acting is willingly theatrical, through mechanized gestures, grotesque grimaces or obsessive heel sounds, permanently gliding through different rhythms, as a plea for saving colliding feminine universes. This type of playwriting invites to deciphering rather than visionarism, the immersion in García's chaotic world proposes a culture of the commentary, a second game in complicity with the text. «When disaster comes, it comes and it comes for us all!»" (Andrei Măjeri)

Opening of EVERY TZARA HAS HIS DADA (The Ghost of Elsinore)

Celebrating 100 years since the beginning of the Dada Movement, Cluj-Napoca National Theatre announces the opening of the production EVERY TZARA HAS HIS DADA (The Ghost of Elsinore) by Ion Pop, Ștefana and Ioan Pop-Curșeu, which will take place in the "Art Club" Studio, Tuesday, 9 February 2016, at 07:00 p.m. The production is made within the "Dada 100: life / art / museum" Project, realized in partnership with the Faculty of Theatre and Television BBU Cluj and Persona Association. 

"Borrowing the structure of the Dada play Mouchoir de Nuages (Cloud Handkerchief), the production Every Tzara Has His Dada brings to stage the impressive Dada artistic legacy, thus celebrating one hundred years since the emergence of this avant-garde movement that shook the foundations of traditional art and encouraged the modernist developments in Art History Dramaturgically constructed from Tristan Tzara's texts (manifestos, poetry, theatre), as well as from the correspondence with his friends and their writings, the production rememorizes, in a Dada manner, the biography of the poet Tzara, from his departure from Romania and the first soirees at Cabaret Voltaire, to the moment of the self-dissolution of the Dada movement, of Tzara's disconnection with surrealism and of his seeking refuge in studying the anagrams of François Villon's works. The spectators will witness a hallucinatory collage-story, in which the theatre opens its doors to the dada manifestos, the simultaneous poems, the black songs, the approximate man, the rituals, the friendships and discords of these young, exalted, art vigilantes, all appearing as happy and sad ghosts bearing avant-garde masks."  (Ștefana Pop-Curșeu)

Director: Ştefana Pop-Curşeu, set design: Filip Odangiu, Rareș Stoica, video and sound design: Rareș Stoica, choreography: Cătălin Codreanu, humbugs: Cristian Grosu, light design: Jenel Moldovan, cast: Filip Odangiu, Rareș Stoica, Cătălin Codreanu, Cristian Grosu, Ştefana Pop-Curşeu.

BZZAP! by Robert Cohen opens at Cluj-Napoca National Theatre

Cluj-Napoca National Theatre presents Friday, 29 January 2016, the opening of BZZAP! by Robert Cohen, translation Eugen Wohl, director: Răzvan Mureșan, set design: Radu Lărgeanu, Răzvan Mureșan, video design: Marius Mureșan, assistant video design: Cristian Grosu. Cast: Matei Rotaru, Cristian Grosu, Radu Lărgeanu, Diana Buluga, Alexandra Tarce, Patricia Brad, Miron Maxim, Cristian Rigman.


At Cluj-Napoca National Theatre, the director Răzvan Mureșan also staged two other plays by the American playwright: Machiavelli: The Art of Terror in 2011 and Moebius Strip in 2013. This is his third encounter with a Robert Cohen text, Bzzap, translated by Eugen Wohl. It's the story of a successful man, an adult and a child at the same time, with two secretaries, one of whom is also his mistress, with a frustrated and shopaholic wife, and undergoing psychiatric treatment for his phantasms. In a word, the story of a modern/contemporary man. The action takes place in a multifunctional space - an office, a hotel room, a space towards the other side that invades this side, all against an obsessive musical background - created by the director and by the actor Radu Lărgeanu. 


At the beginning of the year, the actress Melania Ursu left this world abruptly.

A graduate of the "I. L. Caragiale" Theatre and Film Institute in Bucharest, class of 1961, professor Moni Ghelerter, Melania Ursu belonged to a golden generation, a colleague of such great artists as Marin Moraru and Gheorghe Dinică.

Her career and life after graduation were juxtaposed, for almost half a decade, with the stage and the life of Cluj-Napoca National Theatre, a place which she honored with no less than eighty roles. Her talent was noticed very early on.

It is difficult to evoke the characteristics of great actor like Melania Ursu. I do believe, however, that what defined her were her talent and personality. A live, ardent, theatre personality, with multiple facets. She was gifted for tragedy, drama and comedy. She had the opportunity of great encounters.  She played in productions directed by such important names as Ion Olteanu,  Alexa Visarion,  Mihai Măniuțiu, Victor Ioan Frunză, but first and foremost, she was early on guided by the director Vlad Mugur, the manager of the National Theatre at the time. Her role as the Coryphaeus in Iphigenia in Aulis, directed by the Master, remains memorable. During their last meeting on stage, during the rehearsals for Hamlet, the testament-production of the director, Vlad Mugur would ask of her that genius look, that unique grandeur held only by great actors and which he knew Melania Ursu possessed.

The vigor of her appearance, her great capacity for emotion, the easiness to impress, in a word, her artistic freedom, would create in every performance a magic which would easily be transferred in the souls of the bewildered spectators. She was the beneficiary of repeated curtain calls, rapid success, of substantiated characters, if we are just to name the five characters she interpreted in the production The Public Opinion. This was Melania Ursu: shattering as Lady Macbeth, the Coryphaeus in Iphigenia in Aulis, The Mother in The Holly Week or interpreting ballads; heartbreaking as Sonia in Uncle Vanya,  reserved and funny as Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew, Filumena in Italian Divorce, Zoia in Gaiţele, or in her last role, as Béraldine in The Imaginary Invalid. She was a complete actress. She was equally powerful in her film roles: Lady Chiajna in The Return of Vodă Lăpușneanu, director Malvina Urșianu, Pelaghia Roșu in Mountains in Flames, director Mircea Moldovan, Vica in Pădureanca and Flames on Treasures, both directed by Nicolae Mărgineanu, Ana in The Green Grass from Home, director Stere Gulea, Irina in Red Apples director Alexandru Tatos et. al. Another trait of her talent was manifested in her teaching career, and as a result she briefly left Cluj for the Theatre Institute in Târgu Mureș. She returned to Cluj in the 90s, and was among the first professors of the newly-founded Faculty of Theatre.

She was a demanding and attentive professor for the generations of actors which she guided in Cluj or Târgu Mureş and which she followed and encouraged after they had completed their studies.

Through the years, Melania Ursu benefited not only from the appreciation of the public, but also that of theatre critics and she received numerous awards:  The award of the Theatre magazine for her roles in Public Opinion by Aurel Baranga and A Midsummer Night's Dream by W. Shakespeare (1970); The Award for Best Actress for The Shakespeare Bird by D. R. Popescu at the Iași Theatre Festival (1975); The Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Lady Chiajna in the film The Return of Vodă Lăpușneanu (1979); First prize for the role She in The starry sky above us by Ecaterina Oproiu at the "Cântarea României" National Theatre Festival (1985). 

At the UNITER Gala in 2012, she received the highest honor from her peers: The Lifetime Achievement Award.

She received the Medal Cultural Merit class I (1967); the Order Cultural Merit class IV (1969), The National Order for Merits, in the rank of  Knight (2002).

I would say that she was an inconvenient actress because of her tumultuous attitude, of her demands for great theatre, because of her resemblance to a Stradivarius violin that only responded to those who could truly handle her and listen to her.

May she rest in peace!

Her colleagues and all those who loved her can pay their respects on Thursday, 14 January, from 10:00 a.m. to 13:30 p.m., in the foyer of Cluj-Napoca National Theatre.

The funeral will take place on Thursday, 14 January, at 14:00, at the Central Cemetery, Cluj-Napoca.

Roxana Croitoru