Teatrul de stat Constanța

Constanta State Theater (TSC) is a public cultural institution, under the authority of the Constanta County Council. It is a repertory theater, the only institution of its kind in Dobrogea region. The theater was founded in 1951 and has functioned over the years under several names. It has an artistic and technical staff of 70 employees and 14 collaborators. The theater hall has a capacity of 270 seats.

From inception to the present day the theater had had many titles: "State Theater of Constanta" during 1951-1970, then it became "Theater of Drama and Comedy" between 1970-1974. Its title changed to "Drama Theater" between 1974 and 1992, then it changed again in 1992 to "Ovidius Drama Theater" which remained until 2004. Between 2004 and 2007 it was named "National Theater of Constanta". Finally, in 2007, it returns to its original name of "State Theater Constanta", which remained until now.

The first headquarters of the State Theater was the "Elpis" Hall, on the Aristide Karatzali Street, on the scene of which, since 1894, Romanian opera, operetta and theater troupes have shown numerous performances for the locals. The inaugural performance of Constanta State Theater was I.L.Caragiale's comedy "A Lost Letter", a masterpiece of Romanian stage art.

In the "Elpis" Hall, Constanta State Theater had its headquarters until February 1952, when, with the approval of the city authorities, it moved to the Hall of Festivities of "Mircea cel Bătrân" High School, the current headquarters of "Oleg Danovski" Opera and Ballet Theater. Prior to taking over, the beneficiary had carried out fitting works to make the building meet the requirements of a professional theater. In 2004, during the reorganization of the cultural institutions of Constanta County, "Ovidius Drama Theater" was merged with "Fantasio" Theater, under the title "Constanţa National Theater", and was moved to the building on Ferdinand Blvd. 11, the building of the former theater "Fantasio", where it operates until today. Conditions here are more modest in every respect, from the auditorium with only 270 seats and continuing with other features.

In recent years, despite the fact that the space has been reduced - the theatre building is undergoing a rehabilitation process and the artistic activity has moved to a Studio Hall, with less seats -, the evolution of Constanta State Theatre is prominent. The year 2021 brought two nominations at the UNITER awards, the first nominations in 24 years, for Constanta theatre. One of the nominations resulted in the Debut UNITER Award for Diana Mititelu, director of "Games in the Backyard". In 2022, Constanta State Theatre won the UNITER award for the Best TV/teleplay performance for "Ziua Z", directed by Bobi Pricop, and director Irisz Kovacs was nominated for the Debut Award, for the TSC production "8 Fathers".

2023 will remain in the history of Constanța State Theatre as the year in which we received the AWARD FOR THE BEST PERFORMANCE, UNITER jury thus certifying that TSC is part of the Romanian theatre’s elite. The awarded performance is "Seaside Stories" directed by Radu Afrim. Also, two of our theatre’s actors were nominated for Best actor / actress in a supporting role Awards. The UNITER Best Performance Award was strengthened and celebrated as well by theatre critics, festival curators, and by our loyal audience. In 2023, TSC added five more productions to its repertoire, participated in over 20 theatre festivals and tours, organized the second edition of SEAS - Performing Arts Summer Season, a first edition of the International Street Theatre Festival - SEAStreet and 25 other events and cultural partnerships.

Throughout its many years of existence, since 1951, our theater has had great actors, great directors, has staged plays written by great Romanian and foreign dramatists and can pride itself to this day with many country premieres, i.e. shows that saw the light of the Romanian scene for the first time in Constanta, such as: “Il ritorno dalla villeggiatura” and “The Antiquarian's Family” by Goldoni, “The Night of the Iguana” by Tennessee Williams, “The Trojan War Will Not Take Place” by Jean Giraudoux, “The Devil in Boston” by Lion Feuchtwanger, “Didactic Opera for Small Children and Prospective Dictators” by Andonis Doriadis or performances that we are currently playing, as "King Rat" by Matei Vişniec and "The Murder of Gonzago" by Nedialko Iordanov.

The theater has always benefited from first-hand actors (Vasile Cojocaru, Ileana Ploscaru, Jean Ionescu, Emil Sassu, Longin Mărtoiu, Virgil Andriescu, Eugen Mazilu, Diana Cheregi, Liviu Manolache, Lucian Iancu, Lică Gherghilescu, Iulian Enache, Ana Mirena, Elena şi Titus Gurgulescu, Emil Bârlădeanu, Nina Udrescu, Cristina Oprean), but we have also younger, talented actors, striving to overcome their masters. Among these, some are graduates of the theater faculties in Bucharest, Cluj Napoca, Craiova, Iasi, etc. or graduates of the Arts Faculty from the "Ovidius" University (Georgiana Mazilescu, Laura Iordan, Laura Crăciun, Adrian Dumitrescu, Lana Moscaliuc, Marian Adochiţei, Liliana Cazan, Florina Stănculeț, Alina Manțu, Turchian Guzin Nasurla, Dan Cojocaru, Andrei Cantaragiu, Remus Archip, Mirela Pană, Andu Axente, Luiza Martinescu etc.).

Experienced and prestigious actors of the Constanta theater have also successfully directed, over the years, performances: late Vasile Cojocaru, Lucian Iancu, Virgil Andriescu, Liviu Manolache, Iulian Enache, Dana Dumitrescu are among those who showed their multifaceted artistic personality.

Over the course of time, Constanta theater has diversified its forms of activity (intra and extra muros): outdoor productions, especially in the summer season, on the seaside; experimental studio, especially for Arts students; the Ancient Theater Evenings of Histria, Constanţa and Mangalia (1978 and 1981); theater weeks or "theater galas" with the generic "Romanian Theater and National Tradition" and "Contemporary Theater Gala" with elite Romanian playwrights of all times (Caragiale, Blaga, Alecsandri, Rebreanu, Lovinescu, Sorescu, Sălceanu). "The Ancient Theater Evenings" represented, in the annals of the Constanta Theater, an important moment that now finds its continuity through the International Theater Festival "Myths of the Polis". The first edition of "...Evenings", in 1978, had nine performances, of which only one was played on stage, the rest taking place in natural environment, archaeological sites, without any special arrangements: Histria Fortress, Dobrogea Mountains, Roman Edifice with Mosaic, the National Museum of Archaeology and History in Constanta, "Tropaeum Traiani" Monument from Adamclisi, "The Papyrus Tomb" in Mangalia.

"Atreus Family Legends" directed by famous Silviu Purcărete was its main event. The director chose the Histria fortress. The performance was played without artificial light, without amplification, benefiting from the acoustics of the place. The actors, dressed in grey, blue, violet and black colour gowns, came murmuring a tune, carrying a huge mask on their shoulders, an oversized copy of one of the antique masks of actors discovered at Callatis in the 1960s. In the end, the mask on fire, laid on a raft, slipped slightly on the waters of the lagoon, like a strange message sent on waves. Today, that mask is the emblem of the "Myths of the Polis" Festival, organised for the first time in 2014.

In 1957, at 2000 years from the birth of the Latin poet Ovid (who lived in Tomis between 8-17 AD, on an exile ordered by the emperor Octavian Augustus), local authorities organized "The Bimillenial Celebration of the Birth of Ovid": archaeologists, professors, historians, museographers, theater people have proposed a rich cultural program for honouring the memory of the spiritual patron of Constanta.

Constanta theater came with the offer of an absolute premiere, "Ovidius" - a tragedy in verses written by the poet, playwright and professor Grigore Sălceanu, a son of the city.

To this were added recitals from the Ovidian poetry - "Sorrows" and "Letters from The Black Sea". The diversity and the amplitude of the repertoire, leading to the achievement of valuable cultural acts, were goals of Constanta theater throughout its activity. From Caragiale to the ancient tragedies incorporated in "Ancient Theater Evenings", from classical Romanian and universal dramaturgy to existentialist, modernist, postmodernist works, the list of performances includes everything that is most valuable in dramaturgy. Romeo Profit, who was for a long time literary secretary of the theater, wrote: "From Aeschylus and Sophocles to Shakespeare and Goldoni, from Schiller and Ibsen to Pirandello and Arthur Miller, all the famous names of the universal literature were on the stage of the theater. Romanian drama was the most fully addressed through all its most valuable works."

Between 1983 and 1989, the theater published the magazines entitled "Mosaic", "Summer Traces" and "Harlequin", which included significant information about summer season, renowned actors and singers, as well as memories, hilarious happenings during performances, backstage humour, and also fun games, rebus and photos.

Most of the theater’s actors were engaged in this editorial approach, some of them writing, others translating or drawing cartoons and caricatures. At that time publishing was hard to conceive without special party approval and mandatory censorship. The newspapers were spread in Constanta through the personal efforts of the actors-journalists.