Gianina Carbunariu

Article Bio Works Projects Images
border, conflict, dream, emigration
Performing Arts (docu-performance, theatre)
Europe, Eastern
created on:
September 17, 2007
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Please note: This page has not been updated since September 25, 2007. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
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Gianina Carbunariu


Gianina Carbunariu-Staging the newspaper facts

The Romanian contemporary reality influenced this young theatre director and playwright to concentrate on the most infernal, painful, grotesque and rotten subjects. Gianina Carbunariu writes and stages work for the 25-30 year-old generation; a generation which is facing a transition period fraught with issues such as immigration and unemployment. She empathises with this generation who dream of going abroad, but which is psychologically divided by the dilemma "home or not home/staying or leaving?". She fights back against this dilemma with incisive texts and brutal mise-en-scene. The theatre of Gianina Carbunariu does not have victims or innocent characters, but survivors in blue jeans, warriors, fighters for their life and for their place in the world.
Gianina Carbunariu focuses her performances on conflicts that she identifies in contemporary society. For Gianina Carbunariu, it is essential to seize a conflict. It´s not the "reality" she is looking for, but the reality in conflict.
From this perspective, Gianina Carbunariu, together with three colleagues (Andreea Valean, Radu Apostol and Alexandru Berceanu) created the group DramAcum, meaning “current drama” and “drama how”, posing the question “how to write drama today?”. The project, which launched in 2003, is searching for young dramatic writers (under 26 years old) and examines two themes: the collective work of the playwright and the director, and the connection with reality. DramAcum works more as a mediator for the young playwrights, integrating them into a theatrical team.
After her graduation from the National University of Theatre and Cinema Studies in Bucharest, she decided not to be part of an institutionalized theater, but to present her performances in non-conventional spaces. Her first project after graduation was Stop the Tempo (2004-2005), which contains scenes in which the actors´ surly voices complain about the state of the theatre. The piece was first staged in a loud, smoky café in Bucharest with the actors using flashlights as their primary lighting. The story concerns three youngsters coming from different social classes: a dj, his fiancée who works in the world of advertising, and a third character that survives by doing three demanding jobs. They decide to sabotage the public electricity supply as a protest against "time" that runs too rapidily. They engage in a sort of "soft" terrorism, turning off the electricity in some nightclubs and supermarkets. The text was also an experiment of different shapes and styles: it is a collage of poetry, dialogue and daily conversation.
In 2004, following a 3 month residency at the Royal Court London she created the play Kebab, performed for the first time in Bucharest in 2005 under the title Mady-Baby-Edu. For 3 youngsters, Ireland becomes the dream country. But the dream becomes a nightmare when their hopes are destroyed as they are confronted with the realities of prostitution. Gianina Carbunariu rewrites everyday news but without looking for the sensational; rather she searches for the reasons which forced this story to happen.
Collaborating with visual artists who created video inserts for her performances, her most recent project, Sado Maso Blues Bar, dares to overcome the space concept and opens the stage towards the city. The streets with their architecture, the overcrowded buses, the traffic, homeless people, ordinary citizens, all become characters in the performance.
Author: Corina Oprea


Gianina Carbunariu, Director and Playwright, born in Romania, in 1977. After studying French and Romanian Literature, she focused on directing. In 2002, together with other directors, she started the DramAcum project, winning the Award of AICT (International Association of Theatre Critics of Romania. From 2003, she participated in numerous festivals, writing and directing workshops in Romania, Poland, Germany, Ireland. Bulgaria, France, Macedonia etc. In 2004 she undertook a residency at Royal Court London.


Sado Maso Blues Bar

Production / Performance,


Production / Performance,

Production / Performance,

Stop the Tempo

Production / Performance,

My name is Isbjorg. I´m a lioness

Production / Performance,


This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the partner institutions.

Black/North SEAS

The SEAS Platform 2008-2010

(02 December 05 - 31 December 10)
Mady baby edu.
Mady baby edu.