When theater outreaches its artistic role and starts to get involved in the social climate of a country, then it becomes one cultural landmark for each individual to take into consideration, regardless of the social class they belong to. Theater makes the unreachable things reachable and each spectator can embark on this research journey that is destined to open your eyes and widen your horizons concering the world we live in. On one freezing October Monday morning, I attended the conference which discussed the role played by theater within society. The debate was hosted by Romanian journalist Pomipliu Onofrei, and the speakers were Gianina Cărbunariu (Romanian theater director, whose theater shows reached an international succes), Fabio Tolledi (playwright, artistic director of the Atragali Theater and president of the International Theater Insititute of Italy) and Alexander Stillmark (president of the International Theater Institute of Germany).
Fabio Tolledi: I think that it is very important to restart to consider the importance of theater as the common place, the people that use words in order to describe the story in which they believe in. And in this way we can share the common realities that we have. The European culture is nowadays suffering from a crisis. The role of theater is very important- to create the shared sense of living, to overcome something. Otherwise, there is no sense for theater.
Alexander Stillmark: We have to accept that we are in a certain sense helpless, but helpless in a way that we are powerfull. Sometimes the authorities are in fear of our stagings, to hear the words, the message. It is very important to deliver the message in order to save the world, not to find a solution. We are thinking with a paradox on our minds – we don’t believe what we know. Although we have the information, we do not believe it.
Gianina Cărbunariu: Personally, what I really think that theater can do is to try to restore the history of the common people, the history that can actually reveal the great history in a very accesible way to me, the spectator. I was always interested in listening to the stories of people whom were situated in the whirlwind of things that they did not ever comprehended. They did not understood why those things happened to them, because they had absolutely no blame concerning that matter. Such wars took place ever since the world began and they are still going on to this day. It is true that the fighting strategies have changed. The wars are different now than in the past. Some of them are very wicked, they do not emerge as great conflicts. They are hidden ones. We are in a permanent war against ourselves at some point. As an artist, I choose to speak about some realities in conflict and I do not make art for the sake of art. I do not consider myself a social activist either. I believe the artist works with conflict. He has a moral duty, given the ethics of the profession to apprehend these conflicts that occur in our daily reality. I do not believe in harmony, My shows do not reach a harmony.I as a director do not reach an harmony with theme, even after completing the research process. After completing the research I happen to be more conflictual with that subject, I have even more questions towards that reality.