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GPS EUROPE | MOGOSOAIA, ROMANIA | This is how they breed the future generation of theater actors in Romania. A new edition of the Andrei Şerban Traveling Academy recently took place in Romania from July 8 to 21.
The 4th edition tackled works by Shakespeare and Romanian classic playwright Ion Luca Caragiale (the centenary of whose death is celebrated this year).
The academy consists of two consecutive intensive workshops held by acclaimed U.S.-Romanian theatre director and teacher Andrei Şerban from July 8-14, and July 15-21 respectively, and gathered more than 60 actors, director, set designers, choreographers, playwrights and musicians.
The Andrei Serban Traveling Academy was launched in 2007 at the initiative of Corina Şuteu, the director of the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York. It has become a framework program of the Romanian Cultural Institute, gathering for each edition a diverse range of partners in Romania and the U.S.
The academy has been conceived as a laboratory for young actors in Romania under the innovative guidance of prominent director and inspiring teacher Andrei Şerban, allowing participants to “evade from what one already knows and reinvent oneself from scratch,” as one of the participating actors referred to his work in the Academy’s workshops.
The previous editions of the Traveling Academy focused on the Tanacu real story (2007), the work of Brâncuşi (2009) and Mihai Eminescu (2011).
Andrei Serban was born in 1943 in Bucharest, Romania. He studied directing at the Theatre Institute in Bucharest and in 1969, he received a Ford Foundation Grant, which took him to La MaMa Experimental Theatre Center in New York City.
In 1970, he traveled to Paris to study at Peter Brook’s International Centre for Theatre Research and in 1977, he directed Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard at the Lincoln Center in New York. The production starring Irene Worth and Meryl Streep won a Tony Award for Best Revival.
Over the years Serban has worked with A.R.T, LaMama ETC, the Public Theater, Lincoln Center, Circle in the Square, Yale Repertory Theatre, the Guthrie Theatre, A.C.T., and the New York City, Seattle and Los Angeles Operas. In Europe, he has worked at the Welsh National Opera, Covent Garden, Théâtre de la Ville, Helsinki Lilla Teatern, and the Paris, Geneva, Vienna, and Bologna Opera Houses. Several of the operas he directed in Europe have been released on DVD.
The traveling academy’s fourth edition was organized by the Romanian Cultural Institute and RCI New York, in collaboration with the “Ion Sava” Theatre Research Center (The National Theatre Bucharest) and the “Brancovan Palaces” Cultural Center in Mogoşoaia (Centrul Cultural Palatele Brancoveneşti), which hosted the workshops, and with the support of MARA Society.