George Ciprian

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George Ciprian
Born Gheorghe Pană Constantin
(1883-06-07)June 7, 1883
Buzău, Romania
Died May 8, 1968(1968-05-08) (aged 84)
Bucharest, Romania
Resting place Bellu Cemetery
Nationality Romanian
Other names Gheorghe Constantinescu Ciprian
Occupation Actor, Playwright
Years active 1907-1968

George Ciprian (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈd͡ʒe̯ord͡ʒe t͡ʃipriˈan]; born Gheorghe Pană Constantin [ˈɡe̯orɡe ˈpanə konstanˈtin]; June 7, 1883 - 8 May 1968) was a Romanian actor and playwright. His writings make him a precursor of the Theatre of the Absurd.


Born in Buzău to a Greek baker's family, he attended primary school in Glodeanu-Siliștea, a commune near Buzău, after which moved to Bucharest with his mother. There, he attended Gheorghe Lazăr High School, together with Vasile Voiculescu, a future poet who had been born near Buzău, and Urmuz, an absurdist writer.

After graduation, Ciprian went on to study acting at the Bucharest Conservatory, where he was coached by Constantin Nottara.

His stage debut took place in 1907 at the Craiova National Theatre, as Şoltuz in Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu's Răzvan şi Vidra. He would star in a multitude of theater performances in theatres throughout Romania, as well as acting in several movies.

Ciprian died in Bucharest. The only theatre in his native city, Buzău, bears his name — was inaugurated in 1996 with a representation of Omul cu mârţoaga.


His first play, Omul cu mârţoaga (The Man and His Old Crock) had its premiere in 1927, and became very successful. His best known play is Capul de răţoi (The Drake's Head), written in 1938, and acknowledged as an early example of absurdist theatre, which draws on his adolescence and friendship with Urmuz.

Late in his life, he authored an autobiography, Măscărici şi Mâzgălici (translatable as "Jester and Scribbler"), which notably contains versions of several texts by Urmuz (as memorized by Ciprian), as well as details on the latter's final years.


  • Omul cu mârţoaga (The Man and His Old Crock), 1927
  • Nae Niculae, 1928
  • Capul de răţoi (The Drake's Head), 1938
  • Ioachim - prietenul poporului (Ioachim - Friend of the People), 1947
  • Un lup mâncat de oaie (A Wolf Eaten by a Sheep), 1947

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