This was the last day of the Gala Star festival and one that brought you excellent shows and the awards - the young people's award - Award Stefan Iordache, best female actor, best male actor and then the Star Award, where the actor's name goes on a star in front of the theatre!
The first show was "Nebuna Dupa Tine" (Crazy for You) by Emmanuel Adelly performed by Giogiana Elena Popan (no director listed, set by Tudor Lucanu). As I was walking into the theatre that afternoon, I saw what appeared to be a homeless woman sort of huddling near the door. I thought this to be strange as one doesn't see homeless people in Bacau as we do in Sacramento. Sure enough it was Popan as she came sidling into the studio performance space.
A small cafe table and chair had been set upstage. Popan came in as a homeless woman chatting with several people in the audience then began to take a bottle of booze out of her back pack along with a string of pearls and opera length gloves. I wished she had taken off her coat too, but perhaps that was because the space is small, there were many people in the audience and I was hot!
As she began to transform to the woman she once was, she would sing at times - I'm crazy about the boy, dancing and then running around the room. She'd stop by the table for another swig of booze and lurch over to an audience member, then start singing and running. My Romanian friend confirmed my idea that the plot of the show revolved around Popan's character's unrequited love. To end the piece someone (her friend?) came up to her and hustled her off as you would do a homeless person.
Her emotional energy was great and it was another show that I thoroughly enjoyed, although I think it might have been more effective if it had 10 minutes trimmed off.
The final show in competitiono was "Koi" by Shoichi Ozawa as performed by Yoshiyuki Shibata (directed by Den Fujita, set by Masako Saanami). Although reminiscent of Hemingway's "Old Man & The Sea", this was a more Buddhist version. Against a series of vertical logs with a fishing net draped across it, a man keeps trying to catch a large koi year after year. When he is old, he finally catches the fish, but takes pity on it as it is as old as he is, so he lets it go. Then Shibata performed a delightful little dance which involved animated movements and might have been of the Nihon Buyo variety which is performed in theatrical entertainments.
After a short interval, while the jury (actors Coca Bloos,
Mircea Diaconu and theater critic Saiu Octavian) and the young people's jury made their decisions.
The Stefan Iordache Award went to Radu Botar for "Bufonul Regelui", best female actor award was won by Giorgiana Elena Popan for "Nebuna Dupa Tine". Best male actor was a tie awarded to Radu Botar for "Bufonul Regelui" and to Yoshiyuki Shibata for "Koi". The Star award went to Aaron Braxton for "Did you do Your Homework".