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Who’s this Playwright I.L. Caragiale Today? The Presence of Caragiale’s Plays on Romanian Stages in the Last Ten Years

Publication: Philologica Jassyensia, VIII (2), p. 111-121
Publisher:Institutul de Filologie Română „A. Philippide”
Abstract:The “Caragiale” phenomenon in the theatrical practice of the past few years is certainly worth analyzing rigorously. If we take into account that no less than eighty-four performances have been staged in the country on the most important dramatic stages as well as in alternative theatres and companies for the past ten years, the premises seem definitely promising. We would be tempted to see in the multitude of shapes taken by Caragiale’s work in the limelight precisely its stimulating depth. This generates our question – how efficient, how healthy is the perpetual reformulation, how favourable is the permanent search for the new and how favourable is the process of updating the plays in the context of the modern myths of the years two thousand? From this point on can the dispute of the principles begin, because some – spectators, but also practitioners – prefer the classic, and other feel the need to experiment, to doubt, to rewrite the patterns that are thought to be worn out. The landscape of stage directing formed around the work of the Romanian dramatist, especially in the last decade, is not only vast or simply different, but also inconsistent. From famous names of the national stage – such as Mircea Cornişteanu, Silviu Purcărete, Mihai Măniuţiu, Alexandru Dabija – to younger ones, or to tireless innovators such as Mihai Mălaimare, Mona Marian or Dan Vasile, the dynamics of the shows, of the messages or even of the texts of Caragiale, that have suffered considerable mutations, is surprising. As popular as the four comedies are (A Stormy Night, A Lost Letter, During the Carnival and Mr. Leonida and the Reactionaries), one avoids the smaller dramatic works, that represent the real source of Caragiale’s spirit: A Mother-in–Law, April 1st, Modern and Let’s Begin!. The potential of these texts can be exploited in the future with a real chance of success.
Key words:contemporary direction, topicality, updating, adaptation
Language: English

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