Gianina Cărbunariu (1977) is widely considered the "enfant terrible" of Romanian contemporary drama. She started studying directing in 1999 at the I. L. Caragiale National University of Theatre and Film Arts in Bucharest. Three years after having started her studies, something changed in the Romanian contemporary drama environment. Together with three fellow students, Cărbunariu co-founded a new drama competition that soon became a very interesting platform for new playwrights. This group, called DramAcum, offered a fresh look at Romanian theatre, the strongest since the fall of communism. Not only did DramAcum encourage new dramas, it also resulted in new translations of works written in less widely-circulated European languages.
Cărbunariu’s first play, Stop the Tempo is her most internationally known work and was later considered by critics as “the cream of the generation of new playwrights”. In 2004, the play was invited to the Wiesbaden Biennale (Germany). Since then, it has been performed on stages in Paris, Berlin, Dublin, New York, Istanbul, Vienna, Nice and Leipzig. Her second play, Kebab, which was initiated at the Royal Court Theatre in London where the artist stayed as an international artist-in-residence, was banned by a private theatre in Bucharest, a few days before the premiere, because of its “indecent language.” After having been supported by the Teatrul Foarte Mic in Bucharest (a group that also encouraged Cărbunariu’s career as a theatre director), Kebab became one of the most frequently toured productions abroad; it caught the attention of theatres around the world, from Japan to the UK and from Denmark to Greece.
For the last two years, Cărbunariu’s name has been consistently put forward by Romanian theatre critics for the Europe Prize for New Theatrical Realities. The 33-year-old artist has has been short-listed by the Romanian media as one of the 100 most influential women in Romanian society today.
Production Teatrul National Radu Stanca Sibiu and Théâtre National/Bruxelles. In collaboration with Festival d’Avignon.