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Short history

Marin Sorescu National Theatre in Craiova in the elite of European theatres

With a history of more than 170 years, awarded over time in all the meridians of the world, the National Theatre "Marin Sorescu" of Craiova is present among the great international theatres, with which it has participated in the most important festivals. A member of the European Theatre Convention (ETC) since 1995, the Craiova National Theatre is the first theatre from a Central and Eastern European country to join this international guild. The Marin Sorescu National Theatre in Craiova is a cultural institution funded by the Ministry of Culture.

1988 is the year Emil Boroghina comes as director of T.N. Craiova and, as he himself says, together with Silviu Purcărete he wrote one of the most beautiful and incredible pages in the history of the National Theatre of Craiova and the Romanian theatre. The great shows of 1988 and 1989 were called "Furniture and Pain" directed by Cristian Hadjiculea, "Uncle Vanya" by Mircea Cornișteanu, "The Dwarf in the Summer Garden" directed by Silviu Purcărete, "The Ark of Good Hope" staged by Aureliu Manea. The period 1990-2000 marked the establishment of the Craiova National Theatre in the forefront of the Romanian theatre movement and then of the European and even world theatre movement. Silviu Purcărete's exceptional performances, "Ubu Rex with Scenes from Macbeth", "Titus Andronicus", with the great actor Ștefan Iordache in the leading role, and "Phaedra", "Danaidele", "Orestia", "As You Like It" or "The Night of the Bargain", "Measure for Measure", "A Storm", signed by the same great director, have also meant international recognition and participation in the most important festivals in the world: Edinburgh, Avignon, Holland Festival in Amsterdam, Wiener Festwochen in Vienna, Theater Der Welt in Munich, Shakespeare Festival in Tokyo, Israel Festival in Jerusalem, Theatre Festival of the Americas in Montreal, Arts Festival in Melbourne, Performing Arts Festival in Sao Paulo, European Theatre Convention Festival in Stockholm, Lincoln Center Festival in New York, Theatre of Nations Festival in Seoul, etc.

In May 1997, the famous British magazine "The Stage" wrote about the National Theatre in Craiova: "You sometimes wonder if this company isn't the best put together since Brecht's Berliner Ensemble, or perhaps Peter Brook's Royal Shakespeare Company!". The laudatory exclamation was made possible by the theatre's excellent collaboration with a personality of the stature of Silviu Purcărete, who has directed seven shows here that have been triumphantly performed all over the world.

Craiova National Theatre was rated as one of the major genre institutions of the theatrical world at that time:

"This is BITE, the Barbican's new international theatre event, changing the London theatre scene forever. Over the season's twenty-two weeks we will showcase the widest range of international theatre talent ever brought to the capital - from Chicago to Craiova, Los Angeles to Tokyo, Brussels to St Petersburg."

Graham Sheffield - Artistic Director, Barbican Center - BITE'98 - ORESTIA programme booklet

In 2016, the Marin Sorescu National Theatre organized for the first time in Romania an edition of the Europe Theatre Awards, a prestigious theatrical event where the European "Oscars of Theatre" are awarded.

The National Theatre of Craiova is the first theatre in Romania to be awarded the "Cultural Merit" decoration in the rank of Commander, as a sign of special appreciation for the exceptional achievements of the TNC team (2004) and the "Cultural Merit" decoration in the rank of Grand Officer, category D - Performing Arts, in appreciation for the important contribution to the cultural development of our country, for the dedication with which it has distinguished itself in cultural life, by promoting quality artistic education among the young generation, proving its excellence at national and international level (2020). Also in 2020, the Custodian of the Romanian Crown, Princess Margareta, during a ceremony held at the Elisabeta Palace, conferred the "Nihil Sine Deo.

In the last 70 years, great actors and artists of the stage have distinguished themselves such as Remus Comăneanu, artist of the people, Margot Boteanu-Păcuraru, artist emeritus, Aurelia Teodorescu, artist emeritus, Ovidiu Rocoș, artist emeritus, Manu Nedeianu, artist emeritus; Madeleine Nedeianu, Silvia Popovici, Gheorghe Cozorici, Constantin Rauțchi (members of the Golden Promotion led by Vlad Mugur), Vasile Cosma, Ion Pavlescu, Ștefan Iordache, Ilie Gheorghe, Valer Dellakeza, Leni Pințea-Homeag, Sorin Leoveanu.

An important moment in the recent history of our theatre is the founding of the International Shakespeare Festival in 1994 (founding director Emil Boroghina). The first five editions were held every three years, and since 2006 the event has been held every two years. A complex cultural event, the International Shakespeare Festival is now regarded as one of the world's great Shakespeare Festivals, where exceptional performances directed by Declan Donellan, Eimuntas Nekrosius, Peter Brook, Silviu Purcărete, Robert Wilson, Lev Dodin, Eugenio Barba, Pipo Delbono, Yoshihiro Kurita, Oskaras Khorsunovas, Thomas Ostermeier, Yuri Butusov, Max Webster, Yukio Ninagawa, Robert Lepage have been staged.

With the year 2000, under Mircea Cornișteanu's direction, new important national and international projects were launched: "Romanian Theatre Values, European Theatre Values", a cultural event attended by guests from over 30 European countries; the project "Young directors, young set designers", now in its ninth edition; "SpectActor Meetings", "Ion D. Sîrbu", the project "Authors are in the hall", "Sundays of poetry in the theatre", editing the theatre magazine - "SpectActor", one of the few specialized magazines in the country (editor-coordinator, Nicolae Coande).

The great American director, Robert Wilson, staged for the first time in Romania (2014) on the stage of the Craiova Theatre - the performance "Rhinoceroses", an adaptation of Eugene Ionesco's play with the same title, a performance very well received at the international theatre festivals in Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Voronezh (Russia). The first edition of the International Festival of Young Directors, initiated in 2017 under the direction of Alexandru Boureanu, brought together theatre faculties from Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, in the desire to highlight the future artistic potential of theatre schools in Romania and Central and Eastern Europe. Together with the National Theatre "Marin Sorescu" in Craiova and the University of Craiova, the organizers of this festival were the Romanian Theatre Union, the National University of Theatre and Cinema "I. L. Caragiale" (U.N.A.T.C.) and Casa Studenților Craiova.

Since 2015, the National Theatre of Craiova organizes the "TNC Gala", a cultural event where the public of Craiova votes and can meet their favourite actors, with the extraordinary participation of some of the country's leading guests. The Marin Sorescu National Theatre in Craiova is the only theatre in Romania to have been decorated by the Romanian Presidency with the Order of Cultural Merit in the rank of Commander, "as a sign of special appreciation for the exceptional achievements of the TNC team, which have made this cultural institution one of the most renowned stages in Romania".

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