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Echoes of Gordon Craig in the Romania of the 1930s and 40s

Author(s): Liliana Alexandrescu

Journal: Studii si Cercetari de Istoria Artei : Teatru, Muzică, Cinematografie
ISSN 0039-3991

Volume: 5-6 (49-50);
Start page: 137;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: theatre theory and esthetics | interbellum Romania | mask and Über-Marionette | Camil Petrescu | Haig Acterian | Dragoş Protopopescu | George Mihail Zamfirescu | Ion Sava

Europe between the two world wars was marked by contradictions and intense quests. In the world that emerged from the first global conflagration, Romania found itself at the border zone between the new post-revolutionary Soviet state, with its growing totalitarian character, and the old Western democracies undermined by new totalitarianisms. As much from the territorial point of view as from that of ideologies, Romania is a place of meeting and confrontation between different currents and ideas, and different social and esthetical models, in the exploration of which Romanian intellectuals, artists, and writers become fervently involved. Traveling and reading bring them close to the inciting artistic life of the great cultural capitals of Europe: Rome, Paris, Berlin on the one hand, Moscow or Leningrad on the other. In theatre, to Stanislavski’s theories, already known from before the war, is now added the discovery of Meyerhold’s, Vakhtangov’s or Tairov’s experiments, combined with the fascination inspired by the stage accomplishments of Max Reinhardt, Copeau, Bragaglia, Piscator or Karl Heinz Martin. Towering above all, however, at the crossroads of several ways, is the tall, prophetic figure of Craig, “the instigator” of numerous stage creations everywhere in the world. Craig’s theories were circulated in various Romanian periodicals in more or less fragmentary form, as examples of innovative theatrical vision, but they also became the object of keen analysis. This paper traces the echoes of Craig’s conception among Romanian theatre thinkers and practitioners.

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