Der Zuschauer

A Journal of Essays and Reportage on Drama, History, and Literature

Archive for February 2010

Dramaturgy in Bucharest

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Rhine Maiden as Roaring Girl

It was bad enough when I first moved to Bucharest to work as a dramaturg at the State Opera. Wolves had begun to make forays into the outer suburbs. Every truck I saw on the street seemed to me at least to have just run over the playwright, Mihail Sebastian. Balzac novels seemed to be overflowing in the bookstores. Then the wild bears came into the inner ciy. The recent presidental election was said in the newspapers to have been altered or affected by a paranormal psychiatrist. I was put to work on a libretto based on “the truth about Vlad, the Impaler.” People began to bruit it about that vampyres had returned to the city. Highly anti-semetic vampyres. I wasn’t sure about that but bears began to appear downtown soon after the wolves had moved in from the suburbs. People began wondering if Romania was a Balkan nation. A lot more women in Bucharest wore stockings and garters than do so in America. Vlad the Impaler, was a tough script to work on and more and more of my female colleagues had stopped doing thier eyebrows so it seemed as if the world in the east had grown much colder and hairy. I noticed the werewolves straight away. They began to appear in green rooms and at cast parties. They wore tuxedos and made it clear dramatists were not seriously important in the theatrical world, and dramaturgs even less so. It was difficult to tell the male from the female werewolves and I began to consider whether I should go back to Kansas, or at least the Iowa Writing Workshop. Then she, or it, put her hand on my thigh, my inner thigh, and I fell into a trance. Time passed. Then the Romanian Air Force introduced a new jet-biplane to its arsenal. Submarines were said to be active in the Black Sea with names like the Jason and the Medea. Dismemberment opened at the National Theatre. I seemed to be the only person in the city to not have a widow’s peak. I began to read Herodotus aloud in a late night cabaret. This was deemed highly controversial. It was suggested I stay at home after dark, eat, sleep, and read.

Stanley Richardson,
Der Zuschauer

Written by herrdramaturg

February 5, 2010 at 10:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized