April 28th saw the premiere, “Much Ado About Nothing” by internationally acclaimed director Andrei Serban, at the Comedy Theater in Bucharest.
Andrei Șerban, is a Romanian-born, American theater director who is known for his provocative visual images and his unique, as well as often controversial interpretations of classical works. A major name in twentieth-century theater, he is renowned for his innovative and iconoclastic adaptations and stagings. He has won numerous international honors and awards as well as grants from the Ford, Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations and is a tenured professor at Columbia University, where he heads the MFA acting program.
Mr Serban returns to Romania frequently, where he is highly respected and celebrated, to stage shows that draw in young audiences and raise the country’s profile. In his own words, his latest show is a contemporary, “not for free” installation. “I came to Romania to help with the theater to say something of civic importance,” he said in an interview with Bucharest FM.
The translated Shakespearean comedy is based on a present-day interpretation by Lucia Verona. Using the classic work as a map, Daniela Dima’s and Andrei Serban’s adaptation of the show, searches for a road, a path to deflect the human nature of our day. The audience is amused and wondering what will happen around the world when the world turns upside down. And the answer from this show comes as a resounding “Nothing”, nothing can affect our focus on the daily happenings of our lives.
The production is framed as a multimedia theatrical show, with live scenes on stage and backstage delivered in tandem with pre-recorded sequences and live images which are projected on a cinema screen. “The video cameras with direct-on-screen footage on the stage, which we use in our show, are the mirror of today’s climate”, says Mr Serban.
For three hours, on stage, in the hall, on the lanes, in the foyer, on the stairs, in the toilets, in the backstage, in the yard of the venerable institution in the Historic Center, Şerban and his people produce one of the most spectacular theatrical happenings of Bucharest in the last decades .
The show’s projections and live assemblage are made by Andu Dumitrescu, the costumes are designed by Doina Levintza and the musical moments are signed by Raul Kusak (spouse of our very own Ana Kusak, a partner at our firm). The choreography belongs to Stefan Lupu.
“I have been looking for a new form of theater, a form that has never been done in Romania”, Mr Serban says. According to the overwhelmingly positive reviews, it certainly looks like he has succeeded in delivering precisely that.