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White Room

by Alexandra Badea

Translation: Cristina Toma

Directed by:  Florin Caracala

Assistant Director:  Raluca Păun

Set Design: Ana Ienaşcu

Multimedia: Marian Mina Mihai

Image operator: Remus Vlăsceanu și Cătălin Corneanu

Video: Florin Chirea

Technical Direction: Cristi Petec

Prompter: Adrian Țîrcă

Cast:: Romaniţa Ionescu, Alex Calangiu, Claudiu Mihail, Gabriela Baciu, Ramona Drăgulescu, Cătălin-Mihai Miculeasa, Ştefan Cepoi, Corina Druc, Dragoş Măceşanu, Anca Dinu, Raluca Păun, Constantin Cicort

Premiere date: 2018, Decembrie 19

Duration: 90 min.

Genre of the show: Dramă

**show recommended for audiences over 16 years old

Synopsis

The daring visual, pictorial performance imagined by Florin Caracala is an essay about the dystopian reality created by the conglomeration of two realities, different in substance and manifestation, of the individual: the immediate and the virtual.

In a world where contemporary man needs to escape from immediate reality to dream, virtual reality offers the most suitable refuge to do so. Those captivated by this space of refuge are the victims of unfulfilled desires outside, an outside that cannot be found here, in the splendid isolation to which they are subjected.The show is a poetic radiography of a society that is faced with one of the greatest problems of man today: loneliness.

White room is a play written in 2016 by Alexandra Badea for students at the Saint-Etienne Theatre School in France, where she has been based for over ten years and where she has published 15 plays written in French, directed by herself and other directors. White room is translated into Romanian by the actress Cristina Toma, was presented as a play-reading at the Sibiu International Theatre Festival and is included in the "Anthology of FITS 2018 play-readings". We quote from the short presentation in that volume : "White room proposes a network experience that offers a double life, through long-term videoconferencing. In White room there are no avatars. You are your own avatar and you have to live your experience in your natural environment(...) The rule is simple: you never meet outside this setting, the web room. This double life can manifest itself in different ways, through romantic relationships, family relationships, fictional work relationships."

 Chronicles:

"I saw Black Mirror in a White Room. TNC's newest product is also one of its boldest. (…)Presented as a show-installation, the installation is supported by complex technical solutions, necessary to support the intrinsic message of the piece: virtual reality as an integral part of the life of the contemporary individual, dependent on technology. Characters who escape from everyday life in a virtual reality program, trying to forget, to dream, to find something or someone. (…) Not only the general theme brings White Room closer to the television series Black Mirror, but also the whole atmosphere created, a melange between anguish, dreaming and concrete, between the unbearable truth of the everyday and the refuge in the comfortable lie of the virtual.

Anda Simion, The black mirror is a white room, Scrisul Românesc magazine, no. 2 (186) / 2019, p. 21

 

"The media expand the fictional space beyond the stage and the way Florin Caracala handles them in the initial sequences of the show constitutes a double media exposure: as a playback-recording of reality: the introduction of the "players", unprocessed images, actors in real space, ordinary cameras versus the media as an artistic tool: emotions, feelings are reactivated in a maximum experience, between utopia and dystopia is the white room, an intensely poetic image, in chiaroscuro, the meeting between Yunis and Alice is detached as if from an art film. (…) here Alice "slips" not in a tunnel leading to Wonderland, it is a journey in search of the avatar-pair, the elusive Yunis who is not looking for anything, on the contrary, he wants to "simply" forget. Romanita Ionescu has exactly the dose of impatience, longing and self-delusion that Alice needs in her "misadventures". Alex Calangiu, in the role of Yunis conveys detachment, unmasked disinterest in virtual partners, and even this indifference makes him irresistible in Alisa's eyes. He is a loner, crossing the urban inferno he discovers in the "white room" a space of controlled interaction. (…)

Throughout the performance there are short "interruptions", satisfaction questionnaires that dryly measure the level of happiness/meaning of life/sexual life, Alexandra Badea's text and the directorial proposal offered by Florin Caracala are such a test/questionnaire that forces the audience to rethink their relationship with theatre, with the theatricality of their own lives always filtered and edited."

Daniela Firescu, Alice in the wonder room, Ramuri magazine, no. 3 / 2019

 

"White Room is rather a good essay that, through references in the text, footnotes and directing directions, opens windows of interest to related topics. Florin Caracala puts his approach under a motto, from Walter Russell Mead, which defines heterotopia (...) A key element in the show is the way the lines are spoken: most often in a whisper, with a warm, quasi-uniform tone. On the one hand, it is matched with the intimacy of the White Room, on the other hand, any variation related to the dynamics of feelings, to the invoked heterotopia, to chance in the end is evacuated."

Marius Dobrin, Beautiful (play) without a body, SpectActor magazine no. 1/2019

 

"What is White room? Maybe a run from the color to the aisle. The corridor where things regain consistency (be it ethereal), reality. However, the corridor does not exist. There is the illusion of it, a flawless digital construct, a mesmerizing hologram that you watch as you get caught up in the web of individual stories—the networking within the online network—that move away, collide, intersect, dance, they rub against each other, sometimes with eroticism (as in certain sequences between Friedlise – Gabriela Baciu and Heloa – Ramona Drăgulescu), at other times with lost tenderness (as in the interaction between Alice and the unavailable Yunis – Alex Calangiu).”

 Mădălina Nica, Camera obscura - not Nabokov's, SpectActor magazine no. 1/2019

*the students of the Department of Arts / Univ. of Craiova / promotion 2017 - 2020 participated in the filmed sequences

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