2021 brought theaters back onto stage. Theater director Sandu Grecu


With positive and negative moments, 2021 is coming to an end and what it generated leaves an imprint on the destiny of the person, family, the country. IPN spoke with those who care and have what to say about victories and failures, hopes and letdowns, achievements and losses. How 2021 was for man and theater dorector Sandu Grecu, president of the Theater Union of Moldova.

“The most important thing in 2021 was the return of the theaters to the stage. Even if we were able to perform with the halls 30-50% filled, we managed to secure half of the incomes planned for 2021,” said Sandu Grecu, noting that the Theater “Satiricus. Ion Luca Caragiale” that he manages during the pandemic made effort to adjust on the way, both from artistic and from financial viewpoints. “We worked more abroad as we could gain more there. At home we could sell only half of the tickets. But we recovered the losses by our international tours. The theaters in the Republic of Moldova are not 100% financed by the state. That’s why we had to cover the other costs representing 20-40%, including for salaries, social insurance, maintaining of the building, new plays,” said Sandu Grecu.

The pandemic forced the theater to switch over to a new form of work – remote work. A part of the employees, being sick, worked while in quarantine, from home. The theater didn’t stop work. “The information technologies enabled us to keep pace with the current requirements,” stated Sandu Grecu. “The pandemic brought us quietness and success. As we performed less, we had time to put on more plays and to prepare them better. Without evil there would be no good”.

The theater managed to stage several important plays. The first is “Quarter Princess” that was presented at the international festival in Sibiu – the largest and most important festival in Europe that involved over 1,000 troupes from all over the world. The second play is “The Home” by a work by Maxim Gorki, which was produced together with Dumitru Agriș, Moldovan stage director who settled in Moscow and who is among the best theater directors in Russia. The third play is “Parliament or Commission of Inquiry” by the play of Romanian dramatist Mirel Taloș, ex-MP with three political terms in Bucharest.

The Theater Biennale is the most important event produced by “Satiricus” Theater in 2021. The festival held in October involved over 20 theaters from all over the world. There were presented different plays by style, artistic view and esthetic platform. Amid the pandemic, the festival was a respite for national and foreign theaters that took part in the event. The next edition of the Biennale will take place in 2023.

After the government in Chisinau was replaced, Sandu Grecu hasn’t seen concrete changes in the authorities’ attitude to culture. “Any new government usually remembers the culture at the end. We hope they will ultimately wake up and at least the current government will realize that not the economy or domestic and foreign policy, but culture and education are the most important in a state. The economy, the domestic and foreign policy, the change in the voters’ mentality derived from culture and education. Only by investing in culture and education, we will be able to have another citizen, another voter in the Republic of Moldova, patriots who care about this piece of land.”

“The Republic of Moldova needs professionals. Professionalism is related to education and culture and necessitates investments. The professionals are not appreciated even today, regrettably. I’m afraid politics brings a lot of amateurism in many areas, such as the economy, culture, foreign policy, education and justice. I expect quality and professionalism from the current government. The professionals should not be divided into “of the right” and “of the left”. Society, the education, institutions, culture, the economy should not be politicized. If we do not politicize, we will be able to build a better country, a Switzerland. The amateurism of the 1990s is now repeated in politics. But then many things were forgiven as it was the period of romanticism in politics. That period is over. We must switch over to pragmatism. I’m bothered by non-professionalism and amateurism,” stated Sandu Grecu, noting Moldova needs a ‘country project’ that is different from a project designed by an NGO.

Sandu Grecu is from Colibași village. In 1983, he graduated from the Institute of Arts. In 1985, he worked as an actor at Andrei Vartic’s theater. In 1990, he founded the National Theater “Satiricus” that he has managed until present.