Autumn is the harvesting season, isn’t it? Harvesting which is done in a rush, nowadays, as we live in a world that is always in a hurry. We gather the crops, we sort them, we comment on them and we rush to criticise them. And it is also in a rush that we praise them. In its race for current events -perhaps out of a wish to keep up with what is new, without missing a thing – the press will reflect what it can, as much as it can and as best as it can.
Following an ordinary summer, in which the newspaper pages presenting cultural events included anemic, more than succinct reviews of some performance and especially announcements about the premieres to come in the fall, a summer in which the theatre sections of cultural magazines presented reviews, as usual, and hardly ever an interview with a person working in theatre or an idea for debate, the harvesting season brought the XIIth edition of the Young Actor’s HOP Gala in September. And the press ‘did its job’ – that is announcing the event and the winners of the contest! Although resigned to the shallowness and speed of a passing life, Yorick has searched through printed and virtual pages, eager to find impressions about the performances by would-be actors in Mangalia, during the first days of September. What has it found out?
That the organisation of the contest involved great financial efforts by the Romanian Association of Theatre Artists UNITER, that the future does sound pretty good – according to the unanimous opinion expressed by established theatre critics – but the deficiencies in theatre educational institutions are still noticeable in the performances given by young actors, that the ‘group’ section was mostly dominated by performances intended for purposes and occasions other than the contest in question, etc. However, it was unable to find any article, any festival booklet – anything that would reflect the spirit, the atmosphere, and the features of the edition that had ended the previous month. It could only find boring lists of names and awards, and impressions about ‘what was not working’ and ‘what was not right’ as well as about a potential new beginning, expressed in a rather imperative and paternalistic manner. So old Yorick has chosen a few texts:
‘Fall Announcements’ (http://www.dilemaveche.ro/index.php?nr=291&cmd=articol&id=11421) and
‘Good Things, Bad Things’ (http://www.dilemaveche.ro/index.php?nr=293&cmd=articol&id=11511), by Alice Georgescu,
‘How to Triumph Over the HOP’ (which is a play on words, as the name of the festival – ‘HOP’ – means ‘obstacle’ in Romanian, http://www.observatorcultural.ro/TEATRU.-Cum-se-poate-trece-HOP-ul*articleID_22407-articles_details.html), by Doru Mareş,
‘Our Theatre, Your Theatre and Everybody’s Actors’ (http://www.observatorcultural.ro/Teatrul-nostru-teatrul-vostru-si-actorii-tuturor*articleID_22408-articles_details.html), by Iulia Popovici and
‘Ştefan Iordache – the Good Spirit of the Young Actor’s Gala’ (http://www.artactmagazine.ro/stefan_iordache___spiritul_bun_al_galei_tanarului_actor.html), by Cristina Modreanu.
The age-old jester has also noticed the somewhat optimistic tone of the comments and the conclusion that ‘it can be done’, while reading that embarrassing moments were no longer part of the performances during the festival, performances which were given – in this edition – by sixteen young actors. That’s about all the jester on duty has found out about the reflection of the 2009 HOP Gala in the press, and now he can hardly wait to read about the thoughts of those who will comment on the festivals to come this crisis fall.
Translated by Silvia Bratu, MTTLC, 2nd year