CLASSFEST 2022 in Chişinău, Republic of Moldova …
Exactly 12 years ago, the KulturPreisEuropa went to Chişinău "as a mediator in a small country of great importance between East and West", acting in the middle of the EU turntable. Today, Moldova has that role again, albeit in a different context. Since the Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine, the small country is once again seen as a hub, providing a safe haven for war refugees and war wounded from the East to cross over to the West, to other European countries. At the same time, the inhabitants of Moldova themselves are under constant fear of a war-torn future.

Life goes on, a certain amount of everyday life is lived in the country and in the capital Chişinău. This includes culture and theater. Daily performances bear witness to this. An important festival for the education of young theatrical talent also took place for the 11th time in early December. After a pandemic break, the Academy of Music, Theatre and Fine Arts, Chişinău, had invited other universities to present productions of their respective classes in the field of theater and to conduct dialogue on an international level.

The invitation of Prof. Dr. Svetlana Tartau as the person responsible for such a CLASSFEST was accepted by participants from various countries. From Austria came the University of Music and Performing Arts from Graz. AIDAS, International Academy of Dramatic Arts had come from France, Paris. The hosts, Academy of Music, Theatre and Fine Arts, welcomed from Romania the National University "I. L. Caragiale" for Theatre and Film, as well as the "George Enescu" National University of Arts, both from Iasi and the "Lucian Blaga" University of Sibiu. Further, the Romanian University of Arts from Târgu Mureș and the "Ovidius" University, Constanța, presented productions of their theater classes from the 3rd/4th year, respectively graduation.

From these productions, an international panel of experts was to select the three best: Paolo Alessandrini (l.), founder of the Theater Academy "Sofia Amendolea" in Rome, Italy, Polish (monodrama) actor and voice coach Mateusz Novak (r.) and journalist and president of KulturForum Europa, Dieter Topp, Germany reviewed all the performances to find out the ones in which the young drama students showed outstanding performances.

As winners of this year's festival of theater classes of different universities, the graduates of the Moldavian Academy cheered for the award of their physical expressiveness and sensitive use of language in the final production "Human Love" (Bogoslavski). "Harlequin's Triumph" of the French Academy was awarded for preservation and further development of the art of Commedia Dell' Arte. Participants from Graz celebrated their win for exploring the classic Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare) in a contemporary and subtle way.

Getting to know and exchanging with other schools, teachings and forms of performance at CLASSFEST 2022 was made good use of, trying to explore the others and broaden one's own horizons in workshops and discussion rounds - a successful and important undertaking for participants of the educational institutions and the daily spectators, who made lively use of the free admission to the performances.