A SHORT HISTORY OF BULANDRA THEATRE

The Company was founded in 1947 as a public theatre subsidized by the municipal authorities. The new institution, named The Municipal Theatre, inaugurated with a group of nine actors under the leadership of the great Romanian actress, Lucia Sturdza Bulandra.

Bulandra’s activity has always been characterized by the coming together of important creators of Romanian theatre: actors, directors, designers whose productions have had a determining influence on both the evolution of the institution and the history of Romanian theatre.

In 1963 the name of the Company was changed to that of Bulandra Theatre and Liviu Ciulei became its Artistic Director. His various and rich experience (actor, stage director, set designer and architect) imposed a special vision upon the Company. A whole theatrical age is associated with his name.

Most of the leading Romanian actors were discovered and marked by Liviu Ciulei: Toma Caragiu, Octavian Cotescu, Clody Berthola, Gina Patrichi, Ileana Predescu,  Victor Rebengiuc, Mariana Mihuţ, Irina Petrescu, Virgil Ogăşanu, Rodica Tapalagă, Ion Caramitru. As a stage director he was interested both in classical, modern and contemporary authors: Shakespeare, Gorky, Büchner, Tennessee Williams, O’Neill and Foster. He also staged an excellent production of The Lost Letter, by Ion Luca Caragiale, Romania’s greatest playwright.

Under Ciulei’s leadership, Lucian Pintilie worked as a resident director at Bulandra, staging Carnival Scenes by Ion Luca Caragiale, The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov and The Government Inspector by Gogol. Other leading directors also worked in that period with the Company: David Esrig, Radu Penciulescu, Andrei Şerban, Vlad Mugur, Valeriu Moisescu.

       In spite of all the difficulties that marked the ’80s, productions of great success such as: Tartuffe, The Bigots’ Cabal, Hamlet (directed by Alexandru Tocilescu), or The Wasted Morning (directed by Cătălina Buzoianu) continued to be created.

       In 1991, Bulandra joined the Union of the Theatres of Europe.

       In August 2002 Alexandru Darie becomes the Company’s artistic director. Very soon he begins to implement a new artistic vision of a much broader spectrum. What follows is another great age in Bulandra’s history, a time frame marked with great performances and successes – both classical and modern.

       A new coherent and long-termed program for European cultural exchanges is now put in motion and its importance in the Company’s evolution makes it a milestone in Bulandra’s history. Cultural programs are launched with a desire to dwell in areas that were previously left unexplored such as the musical or the opera through the Bulandra Per Musica program that was to record two successes: Orpheus and Eurydice, a new musical version by Adrian Enescu of the classical creation by Gluck, directed by Alexandru Darie and Elizaveta Bam, an opera-bouffe by Irinel Anghel on the text of Daniil Kharms, directed by Alexandru Tocilescu. The unconventional theatre seen as an alternative to the classical repertory is something that is explored also through another program – Bulandra Underground – that aims to make the general public aware of other forms of making and understanding the theatre.
 
       Throughout these years the Company continues to tour abroad and to participate at foreign festivals whose numbers keep increasing – Bulandra answering invitations from countries like Italy, Spain, Colombia, Israel, Russia, Hungary, Mexico, Portugal, France, etc.