Hannah Wolf is a director, dramaturg and educator, originally from Juneau Alaska. She’s worked and trained with SITI Company, Perseverance Theatre, Vineyard Theatre, Superhero Clubhouse, MOZAWA, Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant, The Secret City, Writopia Lab and The Kennedy Center. She’s a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab and is currently on a Fulbright grant in Bucharest Romania, where she’s directing, teaching and relearning how to eat meat. You can follow her adventures at Romania plus Hannah equals a Blog. Everything she writes is her own opinion and does not represent Fulbright, the US or Romanian governments.
Blognews, trends, insights
So what has the drive to make work in Romania taught me? I learned that art that has nothing to lose makes for theater that is fierce and always has something to say.
I sit in theaters today and I question who this contemporary audience is and if they find themselves represented onstage. The demographics of the audience are different, theater to theater, town to town; the National Theater attracts older audience members who go to be seen, the independent spaces usually play towards a younger crowd, similar to the Broadway, independent and regional audiences in the US. But the one unifying factor is that the work isn’t made for the audience, it’s made for the artist.
In the middle of the National Theater Festival and National Independent Theater Festival in Bucharest, the divide between idependent theatre and state theatre—artistic freedom and money—becomes clear.
“Is all new theater here about communism?” I ask my friend and host, Ioana Moldovan, after seeing yet another play about the fear, terrible transgressions, and bloodshed that Romania went through between 1945 and 1989.