The Sibiu Theatre Festival – a cultural catalyst

The Sibiu International Theatre Festival (FITS) is a cultural catalyst for Romania, the minister of Culture and National Heritage, Hunor Kelemen, said, on Tuesday, in the opening conference of this year’s edition of the festival. “If the human being comes of age at 18, then we may say the Sibiu festival, which is now on its 17th edition, is also about to come of age. In the meantime, it started a tradition and it allowed Sibiu to preserve the quality and energy of the European Cultural Capital. Just as in the past years, FITS will act, this year as well, as a cultural catalyst for Romania, a festival in which all theatrical forms are represented,” the minister of culture underlined. The director of the Festival, Constantin Chiriac, argued, in turn, that the Festival is “a central point” in the landscape of European drama and performance arts. He added that only 26.3 per cent of the festival budget came from the Romanian public purse, while the rest is the result of international partnerships. “The Ministry of Culture made an effort which greatly strained its budget. (…) If the central government is under any obligation, its obligation is to promote genuine values, to promote those Romanian values which may be held up anytime and anywhere in Europe and outside Europe,” the minister of Culture said.

After managing to make itself known on the European cultural scene, FITS gathered at this year’s opening conference important cultural figures, including the president of the Romanian Cultural Institute, Horia-Roman Patapievici, the Japanese ambassador to Bucahrest, Natsuo Amemiya, representatives of the Italian and Chinese Embassy or the director of the Polish Cultural Institute, Jaroslaw Godun, and Fabienne Reuter, the head of the Wallonie-Brussels delegation to Romania. The Sibiu International Theatre Festival, on its 17th edition, will take place between May 28 and June 6, and will bring together participants from 70 countries, who will present 350 events, in 66 venues. According to the organizers, the theme of this year’s edition is “Questions”, and the estimated number of spectators a day is 35,000.

The festival’s cultural offer is, as usual, varied, comprising representative productions of the great Romanian and foreign theatres, street performances in the old city and in the medieval cities and fortified churches around Sibiu, theatre-dance shows (flamenco, ballet, contemporary dance), puppet shows, light and music shows, pantomimes. Schauspielhaus Zurich (Switzerland), together with Teatro Galibardi di Palermo (Italy) and Bart Production, will bring the latest shows of one of the major directors in contemporary theatre, Peter Brook. Titled “Warum warum”, Peter Brook’s production is a meditation on theatre, trying to find its roots and reasons of being, and features the actress Miriam Goldschmidt from Burgtheater (Vienna).

The programme of this edition of the Sibiu International Theatre Festival will include, for the first time in the history of a Romanian festival, a heritage section, comprising the most representative productions of the “Radu Stanca” National Theatre in Sibiu.

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