In 29 years of post-communist
freedom, Sibiu is for the 26th time playing host for the most
important festival of performing arts in Romania. The festival has been
conceived as a multi-functional body and a space for creation, so that it may
allow for new techniques of theatrical expression.
The festival's cultural offer is
extremely rich: the most representative productions of major theatre troupes in
Romania, famous international theatre performances, street performances on a
daily basis in various places around the city, as well as in its medieval
citadels or fortified churches. Part of the performances under the aegis of
this festival will be also hosted by stages in Romania's capital city
Bucharest, in Cluj, north-western Romania or Medias, in the center.
According to critics, the
International Theatre Festival (FITS) was the main argument in favour of
obtaining by Sibiu the status of European Capital of Culture in 2007, the very
year of Romania's entry into the European Union. Thanks to the market offer
created by this festival through the Stage Performance Exchange, the Radu
Stanca National Theatre in Sibiu has been attending the most important
festivals of this kind in the world, in Edinburgh, Avignon, Naples, Brussels,
Seoul, Tokyo, Porto and Frankfurt.
According to Constantin Chiriac,
the festival's founder and president, this year's edition, due to unfold over
June 14th and 23rd, includes 540 events involving 3,300
artists from 73 countries, who will be performing in 75 spaces in front of 70
thousand spectators per day. These figures, he says, are placing FITS on the
first position in a world ranking as a unique festival.
During this edition of the
festival, six leading figures of the world theatre are to be given a star on
the Walk of Fame in Sibiu. According to the French ambassador in Bucharest,
Michele Ramis, the International Theatre Festival in Sibiu is part of
Romania-France cultural season, and no less than 28 theatre companies from
France are to arrive in Sibiu to perform in 76 shows.
The embassies of Japan, Germany,
Israel, China and Britain are also partners of this festival, a strategic
objective of the Romanian Ministry of Culture, which, jointly with the local
administration is the main funder of the event, that also has the support of
the European Commission, the foreign embassies and cultural centers in Romania
as well as of various international networks and private sponsors.
For the first time last year, FITS
had two honorary patrons, the president of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, who used to
be Sibiu's mayor for 14 years, and the heir of the British crown, Prince
Charles, known for his passion for Transylvania, where he has several
properties, as well as for the Saxon medieval architecture.
(translated by bill)