Ion Creangă Theater Manager of Ion Creangă Theatre
Ion Creangă
is a children's theater whose shows are inspired from fundamental themes of childhood mythology and oriented towards culture and education. The current repertoire includes: Pinocchio, Puss in Boots, If I Were Little Red Riding Hood, Cold Heart, Little Lord Fauntleroy, Prince and Pauper, Cinderella, Danila Haystack-Peg, White Moor, The Adventures of Meg the Witch, David Copperfield, Colored Balloons, The Little Prince, The Little Tiger Who Liked Pancakes, Prince Charming, Beautiful Ileana and the Witch, Master Pathelin's Farce. In rehearsal: Voyage to the West, Snow-white and the Seven Dwarfs, Playing Games (for children aged 0-3). December 24, 1965: Jack Frost, the pseudonym under which Father Christmas would visit Romanians' homes during the communist years, brings Bucharesters a wonderful gift – the first performance of the theater for children and young people: White Moor, directed by Ion Lucian. The newly-founded theater does not have an identity card yet. The founding decree of Ion Creangă Theater is issued on May 4th, 1965; in the same year is founded ASSITEJ – The International Association of Theater for Children and Young People, of which Ion Creangă Theater is a member, with Romania as a founding member. 2005: White Moor makes a comeback at Ion Creangă Theater; aside from its cultural-artistic significance, the show is a tribute to those who, forty years ago, gave life to the heroes and deeds from Ion Creangă's tale. The author thus became the patron of "the greatest theater at 13 Amzei Square." Stage direction: Cornel Todea; set design: Viaceslav Vutcarov; music: Nicu Alifantis; stage movement and fights: Bogdan Uritescu; choreography: Pastorel Ionescu. Cast: Lucian Ifrim, Cristian Cretu, Vera Linguraru, Anca Zamfirescu, Mihai Verbitchi, Cristian Irimia, Ionut Antonie, Daniel Tudorica.  PROGRAMS The Traveling Comedians: Interactive performances staged in unconventional spaces on special days such as March 8 (Woman's Day), June 1 (Children's Day), Easter, Christmas, etc. Pinocchio: During one season, about 6000 children, supported by foundations or from foster homes, are invited free of charge to the theater's performances. On special occasions, in partnership with associations or companies, they meet with actors and receive presents.  The Theater Club: Every week, at Studio auditorium, actors with pedagogic skills conduct theater workshops, the aim of which is to stimulate creativity and improve behavior through improvisation exercises inspired from theater. 60 children between 4-10 are participants. Hosts: The weekly performances are preceded by an introduction to the world of theater and showbiz, in a dialogue between hosting actors and the audience. The overall objective is to familiarize the young spectators with the atmosphere and the world of theater and to develop their interest in theater.  Francophony: Its objective is to stage French drama performances in French. Within the frame of this project, L'Impromptu de l'Alma, by Eugene Ionesco was staged in 1994, directed by Cornel Todea (first performed at the French Institute in Vienna), as well as La Farce de Maitre Pierre Pathelin, by an unknown author of the 15th century, first performed at the French Institute in Bucharest, 1998; Théâtre sans animaux, coupe-show by Bronches, Usa, Rumeurs, Monique, Exposition by Jean Michel Ribes, first performed at the Coup de Théâtre Francophony Festival, March 2004. Early Education: Theatre for children from 0 to 3 years of age. This program is the outcome of a partnership with the Step by Step Centre for Educational and Professional Development. It promotes the importance of education and positive experiences in the first three years of life, in the context of the marginality of a subject such as that of childhood and early education, given the current legislation and level of official instruction Until now two productions have been staged: Colored Balloons and The Cricket and the Ant.  The Foyer Exhibition: Graphic art by children, painting, photography and icon exhibitions are regularly organized in the showroom lobby. The very productions of Ion Creangă Theatre are a constant source of inspiration for children who are both show viewers and little artists.  "The 100, 1000, 1.000.000 Stories" Theater for Children Festival: The project is aimed at both ensuring the visibility of the Romanian artistic offering for the very young public and, on the other hand, promoting the complex role of children theatre, not only as a superior form of entertainment and relaxation, but also educationally and socially. The 3rd edition will take place between 6th and 13th of October 2007 and will contain a special section of shows for children from 0 to 3 years old. PROJECTS Training on Stage: A European Research Program: Training on stage, a new working experience model with competencies evaluation in performing arts, 2004- 2007: the project in which Ion Creangă Theatre took part as a partner, within the larger program Leonardo II, alongside Fondazione Aida, Italy; EUnetART-Holland, Carrousel-Theater an der Parkue, Germany, Agecif Training Centre, France; Agis Delegazione Interregionale delle tre Venezie, National Theatre, England, wants to achieve a model of professional formation, addressing young employees in the training period who work in the artistic field. The results of this project were a manual for young people who want to work as performers, professionals of the field and specialists in the domain of professional orientation and a software allowing self evaluation of knowledge and competencies. Small Size, the Net: The development of a European network for disseminating theater art aimed at an up to 3 year old audience, 2006-2009: a project carried out in partnership with the Step by Step Educational and Professional Development Center and six European theatres and cultural associations (La Baracca Testoni Ragazzi, Italy; Theatre de la Guimbarde, Belgium; Accion Educativa, Spain; GledališÄce za otroke in mlade, Ljubljana, Slovenia; Helios Theater, Germany; Polka Theatre, UK). The project will take place from November 2006 to August 2009; it is financed by the Culture 2000 program of the European Commission. Its main aim is to promote the importance of shows for children younger than 3 (in specific festivals, through shows, summer courses and workshops, website etc.)  Learning Tolerance / Spect-actors for Non-discrimination (2004- 2005): a project initiated by the Chance for Life Foundation together with Ion Creangă Theatre and the Parade, Estuary, Friends for Children foundations with the purpose of using shows as a forum that may trigger awareness of the different forms of discrimination at which social exclusion high risk people are subjected to among the population of Bucharest. Shows of theatre forum were presented within the project on the stage of Ion Creangă Theatre, as well as in schools and high schools of Bucharest Starting from October 2006 the project is unfolding at a national level, with the purpose of creating an organizational network in 14 cities of Romania where the method of Theater of the Oppressed to the benefit of local communities may be used. Shows have been held in 10 schools of each city and over 3000 spectator students were involved. The theatre is represented within the project by actress Marcela Andrei. Cornel Todea:
"More than 10 years ago, we organized a drama writing contest. It was a huge flop. Only those who seemed to have no idea of the actual present sent us texts. People who had no idea who their children and grandchildren were, let alone those of their neighbors. They were living in a different world… as if they had their ears and eyes closed. Through some strange miracle they had been excluded from the current dynamics of existence, that turns everything that is impossible today into tomorrow's mere routine. They seemed to have been left alone in the world of red pioneer scarves. We failed." "Sometimes I think it really wouldn't hurt if playwrights addressing children would take their time to watch cartoons… if they could see the titans, the super-cyber-puppies, the super-detectives… TV and cartoons have made room for fairytales in the world of theatre. We provide fairytales… the fairytale is a world of success for the one who starts out with few chances but who does, eventually, achieve victory. He vanquishes evil due to his persistent belief in honesty, in the truth, in justice, generosity and the chance of trying out once more, after having failed…" "An enduring group of 30 actors of all generations, with over 40 years of experience, allowing extensive representations, a technical stage equipment of the newest kind in terms of light and sound systems, a generous annual subvention allowing all of these – these are the terms of our success. A success we deserve also for our keenness on performing in the actual mother tongue of the children in the cities we are touring. The actors of TIC have been performing in Japanese, English, French, German, Greek..." 

by Cornel Todea