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by Reactor

Created by Panna ADORJÁNI, Raul COLDEA, Hermina CSALA, Radu DOGARU, Petro IONESCU, Bogdan OLARSON, Kinga ÖTVÖS, Oana MARDARE, Adi TUDORA

Premiere: 2018

Date I saw This Show: 28 November, 2019

 

What I Saw

 

Presented in the basement of Három Holló Café, this piece explored the intersection of Romanian and Hungarian identity. Devised by the company of six performers, the play started with the ultimate bad-theatre cliché—having the performers (already present in the space when the audience enters) stare intently at us. This observing went on for more than fifteen long minutes. It was a relief when they slowly crawled towards us and began addressing us in whispered tones. We were told that each member of the group had tested their DNA to discover their genetic makeup and national ethnicities (the piece’s title is a reference to this) and were invited to wander over to where the resulting pie charts and bar graphs depicted the company members’ origins. The loosely-structured scenes that followed had some nice moments, the best of which was a beautifully-sung duet of a Romanian folk song, but on the whole this felt like an uninteresting first draft, albeit deeply felt by the actors. As an American, I am quite conscious that my view of what constitutes race and racial prejudice is vastly different from that of many Europeans. Nevertheless, it was difficult to appreciate the piece, which felt mired in its own solipsism.

About the Artist

Founded in 2014, Reactor has gradually increased and grown its aspirations and projects. It’s major focus is on supporting young artists (Fresh Start – residency programmes), contemporary dramaturgy (Drama 5 – dramatic writing residencies) and educating the audience (Teen Spirit, a platform dedicated to teenagers, MiniReactor with programmes for children) The shows, in their diverse repertoire of theatre productions, often discuss current themes. 

 

Its openness towards people and ideas has turned Reactor into a catalyst for the creative energies of Cluj and of Romania. It has become an accessible place to people of all ages and all social backgrounds, where artistic experiment is encouraged through freedom of expression.

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