Reading the Tea Leaves - Pas de deux: Romanian Drama Then and Now
Peca Ştefan: COMPLETELY INVENTED TRUE STORIES ABOUT THE TOWN OF BAIA MARE (Poveşti adevărate complet inventate din Baia Mare) in a staged reading directed by Tamilla Woodard
RCINY continues its "Reading the Tea Leaves" program of performative readings with "Pas de deux," a series of events that highlight classic or established authors, in dialogue with new voices in Romanian literature.
The "Pas de deux" continues on March 16 with the young and already established playwright Peca Ştefan. His recent play Completely Invented Stories about the Town of Baia Mare (Poveşti adevărate complet inventate din Baia Mare), translated by the author, will have its first U.S. reading under the direction of Tamilla Woodard featuring actors Hugh Sinclair, Lanna Joffrey, Bill Gross, Carman Lacivita, Alexis McGuinness, Daniela Thome and musical director JR Pinna.
"Pas de deux - Drama" is preceded on March 15 by the internationally acclaimed author Matei Vişniec’s Decomposed Theatre
Completely Invented True Stories about the Town of Baia Mare(Poveşti adevărate complet inventate din Baia Mare) is the first of a series of plays initiated by the director Ana Mărgineanu in colaboration with Peca Stefan, that comprise the project “Only the Best about Romania.” Through interviews and rigorous research each play in this series becomes a portrait of the life and spirit of a different Romanian town, and together they make an unconventional analysis of contemporary Romania.
„Baia Mare is an ex-mining town situated close to the Romanian border with Hungary (approx. 12 hour train ride from the capital Bucharest – north). For hundreds of years Baia Mare was an important source of wealth first for the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and after that for the Romanian state. Basically it was the ‘gold mine’ for these states. But not only gold was among the prime resources – also copper, led and many other non-metallic natural resources. During the communist period the intense exploitation of Baia Mare (and its dozens of mines) led to Baia Mare becoming the most polluted town in Romania. In the 20th century the gold was exhausted and therefore the other resources became the primal goal for exploitation. Today, if all the factories and mines were to be closed, it would take 50 years to remove all the negative effects of pollution. The life expectancy in this town is 53 as opposed to 70 – the national average. I wrote the play after weeks of documentation and exploration of Baia Mare. However, the result is completely invented.” - Peca Ştefan
Peca Ştefan is considered one of the most powerful voices in Romanian contemporary playwriting. He studied dramatic writing at NYU (2003-2004), was a resident of the Royal Court International Residency (2005) and CEC ArtsLink Playwright in Residence at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven (2007, 2008). His work has been presented in Romania, the United States, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Holland, Russia, Bulgaria, Poland, Belarus and Serbia. His plays have won several awards, including the Heidelberg Stuckemarkt Innovation Award (2007) and London Fringe Report Award for Best Play – Relationship Drama (2006)
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