The International Theatre Festival in Sibiu, central Romania, is now in its 25th year
This year, Sibiu plays host to the 25th edition of the biggest performing arts festival in Romania. The festival was designed as a multifunctional entity and a creative space for new means of theatrical expression. The programme is extremely varied and includes the most representative productions of leading Romanian theatre companies, important international productions and street and outdoor performances held every day in the city’s squares, in the old town and the mediaeval Saxon fortified churches and fortresses near Sibiu.
The specialist press says the festival was the engine for Sibiu’s earning the title of European Capital of Culture in 2007, the year when Romania joined the European Union. The Radu Stanca Theatre in Sibiu, which organises the festival, has been at some of the most important festivals in the world, in Edinburgh, Avignon, Naples, Brussels, Seoul, Tokyo, Porto and Frankfurt. In a preview to this year’s edition, the founder and president of the festival, the actor Constantin Chiriac, said passion is the theme of this 25th edition, which will transform the city into an immense stage for 10 days.
Constantin Chiriac: “This edition brings together 3,300 artists from 73 countries around the world, who will be performing in 73 different venues with 69-70,000 spectators a day. The festival’s educational component is very important, it brings miracle, emotion, great quality to the spectators from Sibiu, from Romania and from all over the world.”
The cultural marathon opens with a talk given by the Paris-based theatre critic of Romanian origin George Banu and the new president of the Romanian Academy Ioan Aurel Pop. The first performances to be staged are from the Republic of Moldova and Norway. From Italy to Japan, from Spain to Russia and from Great Britain to India, the guest companies come from all over the world. Exhibitions, some of which are European firsts, cultural workshops and a book fair are held on the sidelines of the festival.
The Sibiu International Theatre Festival is a strategic objective of the Romanian Culture Ministry, which, together with the local administration, provides most of the funding for this event. The festival is also supported by the European Commission, foreign cultural centres and embassies in Romania, international networks and private sponsors, all of whom contribute to the festival’s 13-million dollar budget. This year, the festival has two honorary patrons, the Romanian president and former mayor of Sibiu Klaus Iohannis and Charles, Prince of Wales, whose passion for Transylvania is well-known.
(translated by: Cristina Mateescu)