14 Days of Intensive Theatre - Festival - Experience at High Level in Romania - The Theatre of the City of Piatra Neamț Hosts the Festival for the 34th Time


"Theatre as a safety zone" was the 2023's slogan of the late summer Piatra Neamț Theatre Festival in Romania. Curator Gianina Cărbunariu thought up this slogan as synonymous with a space to develop survival strategies, crisis management and ideas for creating a meaningful future.

"The safety zone is not to be confused with a comfort zone. When the safety zone disappears, it has to be reinvented," was her statement, because it offers a framework for critical thinking and common understanding and serves as a guarantor of respect for humanistic values, solidarity, honest and genuine dialogue, she continued.


"Here, actors and audiences alike should be able to perceive inspiration, generosity, irony, vulnerability, difference, courage, empathy, aesthetic risk-taking and the exchange of ideas together. ... We celebrate life and trust that humanity will prevail in its confrontation with the absurd or with injustice." Gianina Cărbunariu, one of the few authors and at the same time director of her plays, managed the leap and recognition starting from Romania also sustainably abroad.


With 26 Romanian performances, the 34th edition of the Piatra Neamț Theatre Festival offered local audiences, visitors from Romania and abroad productions that put up for discussion relevant topics and pressing issues of today's society, created by authors with a personal, impressive and provocative artistic language.


The international section "Something to Declare" presented six productions by playwrights from the Czech Republic, Bulgaria/Germany, Ukraine/Germany, Slovenia, Kosovo and Belgium, whose works have already successfully circulated in the European space, at festivals and on tour. Five of the authors came from Eastern European countries that are confronted with similar problems: Migration, precarious employment, difficult economic, social and political situations - in the case of Ukraine even dramatic ones.


Three productions from the outgoing season were contributed by the Piatra Neamț Theatre: Apocalypse of the Housewives (directed by Nicoleta Esinencu, a writer and director from the Republic of Moldova), The Rhinos by Eugene Ionesco (directed by Radu Iacoban) and the premiere of here. melancholy (directed by Irina Moscu from a text by Daniel Chirilă).


This was the first production in the framework of the UNLOCK THE CITY! project, funded by the Creative Europe 2021-2027 programme and developed by an international network of theatres, academies and universities.

The aim was and is to create a context for reflection on how the performing arts, combined with scientific research, can contribute to rethinking the urban landscape in the aftermath of a pandemic.

Workshops and thematic courses will now lead to twelve theatre productions (in Romania, Italy, Spain and Belgium) by ten European artists. The plays produced by the Theatre of Youth are written by Irina Moscu, Bogdan Zamfir and Daniel Chirilă.


Book presentations and cultural magazines, concerts, documentaries and feature films, installations and exhibitions by Romanian visual artists were also on offer.


Once again, the otherwise rather remote town of Piatra Neamț was a national and international meeting point to explore artistic territories and places of reflection in the " security zone". The festival has developed into an attractive national and international hub for qualified theatre in Romania, especially in the last five years, thanks to the strong commitment of curator Cărbunariu, who is also the head of the theatre.


To list all the performances of the festival here would go beyond the scope of this article, and it would be unfair to highlight individual ones, as most of them were on a similarly excellent level. However, those interested may be advised to follow the festival's internet site. https://www.teatrultineretului.ro