Success for the Shakespeare Festival. How the team from the Craiova National Theater managed to bring the universal Shakespeare in all homes

In times of pandemic, the cultural institutions are among those most affected. This includes, of couse, the theaters. This year, in Craiova, the International Shakespeare Festival should have taken place; the event is revealed to the public every two years, in order to receive and show all the facets of the great poet from Avon. Theater groups from all over the globe take the most beautiful control of Craiova and, in addition to plays, there are meetings, conferences and discussions, all meant to open the horizons of knowledge of everyone, from actors and directors to spectators. And to make Craiova be reborn.

However, those from the "Marin Sorescu" National Theater and the team from Shakespeare Festival found the recipe for success to a unique festival this year as well. No, we didn't feel the hustle and bustle of the halls, we didn't feel the smell of the actors playing right next to us, we didn't applaud so that they could hear us, and we didn't make friends like in other years, but we were #together.

"William Shakespeare - The Universal" took place online, between April 23 and May 3, on the Facebook page of the festival, but also on TV, in an intimate home edition, which gave us the opportunity to experience Shakespeare's work at the desired intensity, right from the comfort of our homes.

International Shakespeare Festival

Actors from all over the world opened their souls and homes for us, as the organizers said, to celebrate the life and work of William Shakespeare, each reciting a sonnet in the "Sonnets at Home". Each of them in their mother tongue, all exhibited a subjective Shakespeare, lived and felt differently by each, showing, again, how universal he really is.

Moreover, the Romanian Television, through TVR3, broadcasted 12 episodes of the series dedicated to performances based on Shakespeare's opera in Romania, and also on the MSNT page was revealed a video archive of shows made – how else - after the writings of Will.

On the occasion of this home edition - we hope that it’s the only one - we also learned about This Distemperature, a project of the Parrabola company from Great Britain together with community actors from Craiova, worked and edited by the participants in self-isolation. It is an imaginary dialogue between Shakespeare and the Environment, conceived and played in five audio acts, which can be listened to on the project’s website.

This Distemperature Parrabola

Also, on the social media page of the theater, fans received photo memories from other editions of the festival, to remember the actors and the scene that are so much missed from the heart of Craiova and beyond.

Last but not least, because greater powers than us dictated so, in the same period of the home edition, we remembered that two years have passed since the one and only great actor Ilie Gheorghe left this world. The moment could not pass without a proper memory, in which the unique, Sorescu's real Iona, talks about and plays Shakespeare.

Interview with Ilie Gheorghe about Shakespeare

For him, for this whole festival and for the whole Shakespeare universe, it is our duty to be optimistic and to think about the moment of reunion. How else, also through Will's words.

"But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.”. - Sonnet 18, fragment


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