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Open Doors Fest(ival) in Cluj-Napoca
May 24 - May 26, 2002
In front of the National Theater (Avram Iancu Square), where Sunday's production of Vlad Mugur's Hamlet started the Vlad Mugur Memorial Week.

Vlad Mugur died last year in Müunchen (his permanent residence) aged 74, a month after the birth of his Hamlet in Cluj.

Since I couldn't find a biography in English, here are the highlights of Vlad Mugur's career. Most of the notes below are based on Roxana Croitoru's brochure.

Vlad Mugur graduated as valedictorian from the Theater Institute in Bucharest with Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. In 1956 he became first director at the celebrated National Theater in Craiova, wherefrom he moved in 1958 to the National Theater in Bucharest. In 1965 Vlad Mugur assumed directorship of the National Theater in Cluj, where in 1971 several of his productions are banned. Vlad Mugur leaves to Germany (through Italy) the same year, and starts his career in exile with several programs at Radio Free Europe. After teaching in München and Stockholm, Vlad Mugur mounts plays by Chekhov, Brecht, Goldoni, Dario Fo in Constanz, Hannover, Bern. He is acclaimed for his production of Walter Jens's Der Untergang in Würzburg. He registers the Vlad Mugur Ensemble in München, which will be subsidized by the city following the successful production of Martin Walser's Zimmerschlacht (Massacre in the room) -- where he collaborates with stage director Helmut Stürmer, born in Timisoara and living in Germany since 1977.

Between 1990 and 1995 Vlad Mugur works in Münster and also mounts productions in Bucharest and Budapest; takes over directorship of Giulesti Theater in Bucharest, which receives a new name: Odeon Theater. With various theater companies in Romania, Vlad Mugur directs plays by Goldoni (The Liar, The Servant of Two Masters, The Venetian Twins), Walter Jens, Ionesco, P. Handke, Chekov's The Cherry Orchard, E. Labiche (The Lourcine Street Affair), Pirandello.

For his outstanding career, Vlad Mugur received the UNITER (Theatre Union of Romania) award in 1999. In 2001 he was distinguished with the National Order Steaua Romaniei (the Star of Romania), Romania's highest honor (presented post-mortem to his wife, Magda Stief, on May 26, 2002).

Vlad Mugur's Hamlet won the UNITER award for best play of the year 2001.

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cover
Romanian Rhapsody:
An Overlooked Corner of Europe

By Dominique Fernandez,
Ferrante Ferranti (Photographer),
Claudiu A. Secara (Introduction).
Algora Pub, 2000.


Romania Revisited:
On the Trail of English Travellers,
1602-1941

By Alan Ogden (Photographer).
Center for Romanian Studies, 2000.







Caroline Juler describes places in the cultural and geographical landscape of Romania which you will most likely miss without the help of this book. From Moldavian church iconography to road trip tips and mentions or miniportraits of (Romanian, Hungarian, German, Armenian, Jewish, etc.) writers, architects, artists, and other figures of historical importance in the history of Romania, Caroline paints an intricate, deep but accessible, picture of Romania, and it does so with care, love, a discerning eye, and an informed appreciation of Romanian history and culture. Relying on English-language publications and the field notes of six years of research, Caroline Juler's book benefits greatly from the author's training as an art historian and experience as a journalist and writer.

Copyright © 2001-2010 Raluca Preotu. All rights reserved.