During pandemic, plays moved to TV and online

Together with the halt in a number of activities owing to the pandemic, the national theaters also ceased operations. However, they provide recorded plays on TV or online. Under the decision taken by the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission, the activities inside theaters remain suspended at least until August 1. In such conditions, the theaters analyze the way in which the actors will return to the stage. 

“There is a wise saying “Bad things lead to good things”. If we try see the good side of things, we only gain and learn something,” the director of the National Theater “Eugene Ionesco” Petru Vutcărău has told IPN. “This is what we try to do now – to take things as a lesson and see what we can do. Inspiration takes you where you don’t expect. We try to find new forms of contact with the public. This is the online environment for now, but we are preparing for direct contact with the spectators as everyone knows that acting is a living art and it needs the spectator’s pulse, the exchange of energy between spectators and actors, the conveyance of new emotions. This pause is for thinking about the theater’s role, how should acting look like in the future.”

“Eugene Ionesco” Theater has launched an online marathon to bring together all the 30 seasons held so far. “We thought that those who know us less, those who know us not much and those who do not know us at all should be able during the endemic to see our best plays of the past 30 years online, in retrospect,” stated Petru Vutcărău. He noted that they plan to return to plays with spectators in September and until then will try to have rehearsals as the pause turned out to be unexpectedly long, but the players, as the athletes, dancers, musicians, need training, a continuous creation process. They are also considering the possibility of staging plays in the open air or inside, by obeying all the anti-pandemic rules.

Sandu Grecu, director of the National Satiricus Theater “Ion Luca Caragiale”, said their last play was staged on March 9. Since then they have had rehearsals online and every weekend broadcast plays online. They prepared the settings and costumes, including for the premier of “The Inspector”. If rehearsals in theater halls are permitted, in about a month this play could be put on. Because of the pandemic, the theater suffered losses of over 1 million lei, which was to be collected by staging plays inside and outside Moldova as the festivals and tours abroad are an important source of income. Owing to the pandemic, the production of two international plays was put off until next year. One play was to be directed by a Russian stage manager, while the other one by a Romanian stage manager.

Sandu Grecu has told IPN that they could return to the hall, by maintaining the distance, or could improvise a stage in the theater’s yard, in the open air. The pandemic developments in Moldova are 50% contingent on the people who should be more responsible. “It goes to the level of culture and this once again shows that the theaters, education, culture in general are very important in any state. Any state, any government, any country should realize that by culture we can become a civilized state and can forge a powerful economy. Regrettably, we lag behind in the field of culture. Many said the people will change amid this pandemic, but we see that not exactly to the better. We should ponder over more on our existence,” stated Sandu Grecu.

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