In 2013, Nottara Theater, with the financial support of Bucharest City Hall and General Council launched the International Theater Festival Fest(in) on the Boulevard. Three editions later we can say that it is a real feast for the public to enjoy many zestful artistic delicacies.
Until now the festival has had two main sections: the comedy one and the one dedicated to all sorts of crises that have become part of our everyday life. In 2016 this second section will highlight family crises. When we chose this festival theme we could not have expected that even the Nottara family would have to cross the desert during their most severe crisis in the theater’s seventy-year history.
When Public Law 282/18 November 2015 referring to the mandatory measures for earthquake risk reduction was enacted, our theater was compelled to temporarily suspend its performances at its headquarters, at 20 Magheru Blvd.
We tried to procure a temporary center, but it was to no avail. We visited many deprecated, insanitary, or already occupied halls, in the hope we could find a place to constantly showcase at least part of our productions. It was not to be, but we did meat some wonderful people, who offered us performance space once in a while, so that the public would not forget us.
So, for eight months we had to organize eighty performances in thirty seven different locations. These long “tours” exhausted the actors and the technical crew, but they made us feel we belonged to a powerful, more united family. We did not leave any productions behind; on the contrary, we took them to their (happy) fulfillment.
In November and December 2015 we passionately rehearsed An Artist Family by K. Kostzer and A. Arias. While in the lecture hall director Alexander Hausvater worked with the actors rehearsing the text and building up the relationships in the play, in the large foyer downstairs composer Tibor Cári trained the actors to sing the songs in the production, and coreographer Viva Bucun trained them to dance. And in the foyer upstairs the actors tried out the costumes under the supervision of costume designer Stela Verebceanu, while on the large stage set designer Carmencita Brojboiu put the final touches to the set. All at the same time! We all worked of our own will, from 9:30 am to 10 pm., on a daily basis, seven days a week.
The show became a symbol both of our dispair and determination to reject injustice. For twenty-some years nobody bothered to question the totally unprofessional expertise that sealed our building at 20 Magheru Blvd.with the infamous red sign. That is why a single day was enough for a law that had noble intentions, but desastrous consequencies (as it had neither a methodology, nor any solutions) to put an end to a 70-year uninterrupted activity.
This is how An Artist Family became a symbol, as it mirrored our recent misfortunes, using theatrical means. Fortunately Nottara Theater’s family crisis has reached its final moment. Coming back home at 20 Magheru Blvd. is the best thing that could have happened to us and it indicates that a normal life is possible, even in Romania.
We thank all those who stood by us during our ordeal: journalists, audience, politicians, theater personalities. They helped us go further and defeat an outdated system.
We also thank all those who did not stand by us, because they made us stronger in our will to overcome.
We invite all of you to our festival, with 31 performances from theaters in Bucharest: Bulandra, Metropolis, Nottara, Odeon, The Art Theater; other cities in Romania: Arad, Brasov, Braila, Cluj Napoca, Constanta, Iasi, Timisoara, Târgoviste; and foreign countries: Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, Croatia, Kosovo, The Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Slovenia.
Marinela Țepuș (manager) and Nottara Theater Family