Radu Stanca National Theatre
The Radu Stanca National Theatre (Romanian: Teatrul Național "Radu Stanca" Sibiu, abbreviation: TNRS) is a theatre in Sibiu, Romania, which began construction in 1788. It is one of the longest-standing theatres in Romania and one of the main structures that have contributed to the rise of the Sibiu International Theatre Festival. It is presently managed by Constantin Chiriac and its repertory includes performances in both Romanian and German.
In 1788, typographer Martin Hochmeister laid the foundation of a building dedicated to performances, as in one year he redesigned the function of the Thick Tower, which was part of the city’s medieval fortification walls. From this point on, the German-language cultural life of the town of Hermannstadt started growing, as city dwellers saw a varied repertory, inspired from both classical and contemporary works. Thus, the works of great authors, such as Shakespeare and Molière, or of iconic representatives of German Romanticism found an enthusiastic receiver in the audience in Sibiu, whose strong interest in drama would ensure the continuity of the first theatre in Romania.
This tradition of theatre in Sibiu, which up to that point unfolded in German only, was completed by a new dimension in 1868, when Mihai Pascaly's group performed the first show in Romanian in Hermannstadt. Most likely, during this representation based on a play by Vasile Alecsandri, none other than young Mihai Eminescu hid behind the curtain in his capacity as prompter at the time. This show enjoyed such a great success that it paved the way for other Romanian theatre groups, such as the Tardini-Vlădicești Group or the one led by Matei Millo, to perform for the audience in Sibiu.
Despite a fire in 1826, the theatre in Sibiu resumed its activity soon enough, thanks to the involvement of its founder, Martin Hochmeister. However, in 1949, another fire caused such great damage that the local administration had to move the theatre to its current location, which up to that point had functioned as a cinema. Still, this event marked a rebirth of the theatre stage in Sibiu, where Radu Stanca himself came as a director. As an iconic member of the Sibiu Literary Circle, Radu Stanca is credited with having ensured the revival of the newly named State Theatre, whose title changed after the death of the great artist, as a sign of homage to his tireless involvement in the city’s cultural life.
More than two hundred years after it was established, the “Radu Stanca” National Theatre in Sibiu (TNRS) is a constant presence in the national and international cultural life. Therefore, the Sibiu International Theatre Festival, set up in 1993, has become the most important performing arts event in Central and Eastern Europe, nowadays rivalling the festivals in Avignon and Edinburgh. Similarly, TNRS has played a decisive role in the granting of the title European Capital of Culture to the city of Sibiu in 2007.
Devised as a multifunctional body, whose main objective is to strategically employ cultural resources as a premise for the full development of the local, regional, and national community, TNRS, alongside the Sibiu International Theatre Festival, the Sibiu Performing Arts Market, the Volunteer Programme, the Department of Drama and Theatre Studies (drama, theatre studies – cultural management, choreography) within the “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu, and the International Platform of Doctoral Research in the Fields of Performing Arts and Cultural Management, has created an important platform dedicated to creativity, dialogue, and the mobility of performing arts professionals all over the world.
At the same time, together with these structures, TNRS has developed the Sibiu Walk of Fame, a section of the Sibiu International Theatre Festival that celebrates the most iconic names in Romanian and international theatre and film. Similarly, Fabrica de Cultură (Factory of Culture) was set up, a former industrial space turned into a complex of venues for conventional and experimental theatre and dance performances, as well as video projections, which also hosts some of the heritage performances of the National Theatre in Sibiu: “Faust”, “Metamorphoses”, and “The Scarlet Princess”, all of them directed by Silviu Purcărete.
The most recent TNRS project is the Digital Stage, an integrated video-on-demand platform, which comprises recorded performances or films inspired from the shows performed on the stage of the National Theatre in Sibiu or as part of the Sibiu International Theatre Festival. TNRS is the first Romanian theatre to hold such a platform.
Tours and distinctions
Iconic performances and remarkable collaborations
More than two hundred years after it was established, the “Radu Stanca” National Theatre in Sibiu (TNRS), managed by Constantin Chiriac, is a constant presence in the national and international cultural life.
Nowadays, the theatre has a team of permanent artists who contribute to the staging of 120 shows, in both Romanian and German. From 2001, TNRS has been on 520 national and international tours and has been invited to festivals all around the world, in Edinburgh, Avignon, New York, Brussels, Rome, Tokyo, Seoul, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Naples, Paris, Liverpool, London, Budapest, Bogota, Tampere, Poznań , Warsaw, Barcelona, Lisbon, Porto, Cairo, Yerevan, Tbilisi, Nitra, Athens, Thessaloniki, Belgrade, Varna, Lille, Tel Aviv, Omsk, and Chisinau.
With a broad repertory varying from Greek tragedies to innovative 21st century experiments, TNRS collaborates with notable directors from Romania and abroad, such as: Silviu Purcărete, Andrei Serban, Andriy Zholdak, Kushida Kazuyoshi, Armin Petras, Mihai Măniuțiu, Tompa Gábor, Alexandru Dabija, Yury Kordonsky, Radu Afrim, Alexander Riemenschneider, Radu Alexandru Nica, Robert Raponja, Masahiro Yasuda, Gigi Căciuleanu, Dragoș Galgoțiu, Zoltán Balázs.
- http://www.tnrs.ro/program - Official Website of Radu Stanca National Theatre
- http://www.sibfest.ro/ - Official Website of Sibiu International Theatre Festival