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German State Theatre Timișoara

Mother Courage and Her Children

by Bertolt Brecht
Directed by Victor Ioan Frunză

THE PLAY


The thirty-year war represents for Anna Fierling, a cateress for soldiers, also called Mutter Courage, a good opportunity to sell her merchandise. Negotiating a little too much for the release of her son Schweizerkas, who had run out luck while managing the regiment financials, Courage witnesses his conviction, only to later lose her elder son, Eilif, as well. But war goes on, and Anna Fierling still hopes to be able to take advantage from it, even after Kattrin, her dumb daughter, becomes a victim of the imperial troops, of whose attack on the town of Halle she warns its citizens about, beating the drums. Mutter Courage lacks emotions and has learned the lesson of life, has a sense of humour and, at the same time, has a genuine sense of reality, being in exchange sentenced to cope with a tragic and permanent paradox: she trades in order to provide as a mother, and she cannot be a real mother because she is devoted to trade.

Brecht writes the text in 1939 starting from the novel Grimmelshausen, the depiction of the life of Courasche, the great female con artist and adventurer. The play has its world premiere on April 19th 1941 at Schauspielhaus Zürich, Therese Giehse being chosen for the leading part (Directed by Leopold Lindtberg), whereas Bertolt Brecht and Erich Engel's staging from 1949 in Berlin would bring main performer Helena Weigel world renown.

Back to GSTT, the play was also staged by Mauritius Sekler in 1958 (the leading part belonging to Margot Göttlinger) and by Stefan Andreas Darida, in 1988 (with Ildikó Jarcsek-Zamfirescu in the leading part).  

THE STAGE DIRECTOR

Victor Ioan Frun one of the today's most respected Romanian stage directors. Since his graduation from the Theatrical and Cinematic Art Institute in Bucharest in 1981, Victor Ioan Frunză has staged over 60 dramatic, opera and television productions, being employed by highly ranked theatres in the country and abroad. Between 1990 and 1993 he was the managing director of the National Theatre in Cluj, and until 1994 he lectured at the Music Academy in Cluj (Opera Management Department) and at the Theatre Academy in Târgu Mureş (The Stage Management Department).

Among his numerous stagings we mention: - The Cherry Orchard, by A. P. Chekhov, (Budapest National Theatre) - Don Juan, by Moliere (Galaţi Drama Theatre) - Ghetto? by Joshua Sobol (Bucharest National Theatre) - Falstaff, by William Shakespeare (Cluj National Theatre) – A Midsummer Night's Dream, by William Shakespeare (Cluj National Theatre) - Becket, by Jean Anouilh (Cluj National Theatre) - Satyricon, after Petronius (Târgu-Mureş National Theatre)  

- Lorenzaccio, by Alfred de Musset ("Csiky Gergely" Hungarian State Theatre in Timişoara)

- Pigplay and Kid's Stuff, by Raymond Cousse ("Csiky Gergely" Hungarian State Theatre in Timişoara)

- The Lesson, by Eugène Ionesco ("Csiky Gergely" Hungarian State Theatre in Timişoara)

- Hamlet, by William Shakespeare ("Csiky Gergely" Hungarian State Theatre in Timişoara)

He was awarded 19 major prizes, and distinctions at home and abroad, as well as the Directing Award of the Romanian Association of Theatre Artists (UNITER), the Directing Award of the Romanian Section within the International Association of Theatre Critics (AICT), the Best Staging Award and two directing awards at the National Theatre Festival; a nomination for the best staging from the Critics Association in Hungary. He was distinguished with the Order of "the Star of Romania" and the rank of Knight.

Premiere: December 13, 2003, 7 p.m.

Cast

Mutter Courage
Ildikó Jarcsek-Zamfirescu

Kattrin, mute daughter
Simona Vintilă

Eilif, the oldest son
Colin Buzoianu

Schweizerkas, the youngest son
Radu Vulpe (a.G.)

Sergeant major / General
Boris Gaza

Recruiter / Lieutenant
Mircea Dragoman

Cook
Georg Peetz (a.G.)

Preacher
Harold Schmeltz

Yvette Pottier
Tatiana Sessler-Toami

Colonel
Viorel Suciu

Soldier
Daniel Ghidel

Sutler
Dana Borteanu

Peasant woman
Isolde Cobeţ

Soldier - woman
Enikö Benczö

Soldier - girl
Daniela Török

The TGST orchestra:
Valentina Kohonicz (piano), Robert Kiss (clarinet), Emil Zău (trumpet), Sorin Şteia (acordeon), Emil Gheorghe Zoltan (saxophone), Anton Baranyai (percussion)

Soldiers:
Andrei Hansel
Silviu Muntean
Dacian Predan Hallabrin
Călin Bleau

Children:  

Noemi Suru
Andreea Feraru
Daniel Florea
Alexander Graf
Daniela Stan
Susanna Toth
Miro Diaconu

Choreography
Liana Iancu

Scenography
Adriana Grand

Director
Victor Ioan Frunză

Technical direction
Laurence Rippel

Photos

You know this ain't just a show!