The German State Theatre Timisoara announces the start of a new production - Aristophanes' "Lysistrata 3.0", directed by Niky Wolcz - which will premiere on 23 April 2023, starting at 7.30 pm. This is not Niky Wolcz's first collaboration with the German Theatre, as he has also been invited to stage Leonce and Lena (in 2021), based on a text by Georg Büchner, and Lowlands (in 2012), based on the book by Nobel Prize-winning writer Herta Müller. Joining him on the production team will be set designer Helmut Stürmer, who has worked several times with the German Theatre, most recently on Leonce and Lena and The Incredible and Sad Story of the Candidate Eréndira and Her Soulless Grandmother (directed by Yuri Kordonsky), for which he won a UNITER award for set design. They are joined by Ioana Popescu, the set designer of the German Theatre, awarded by UNITER in 2018 for her costumes and live sand drawings in the same show.
Do we really know the authors of classical antiquity? The honest answer to that question would be no. Nor, therefore, do we know that these authors, among other things, have spoken out on the issues of their time, some of the questions reaching to the present day and even being of pressing relevance in the light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Aristophanes witnessed the Peloponnesian War and wrote plays about it. What's more, he even managed to write a comedy about it, "Lysistrata". It's about the men who start the war and the women of Athens and Sparta who want to bring peace by refusing to have sex with their husbands. After a few twists and turns, the women's strategy is successful. Niky Wolcz, who staged "Leonce and Lena" at GSTT more than a year ago, has not only rediscovered the play "Lysistrata" for the German State Theatre Timișoara, but is also directing it. While another theater magician, Helmut Stürmer, does the set design.
Starring Ioana Iacob, Enikő Blénessy, Daniela Török, Olga Török, Isa Berger, Tatiana Sessler-Toami, Alma Diaconu, Simona Vintilă, Aida Olaru, Dana Borteanu, Maria Gagea (guest), Jacqueline Kohl (guest), Boris Gaza, Franz Kattesch, Harald Weisz, Daniel Ghidel, Richard Hladik, Rareș Hontzu, Alexandru Mihăescu, Yannick Becker, Robert Bogdanov-Schein, Radu Brănici
Director: Niky Wolcz (guest) • Set design: Helmut Stürmer (guest) • Costumes: Ioana Popescu • Dramaturgy: Rudolf Herbert • Musical preparation: Roxana Ardeleanu (guest) • Stage direction: Gabriele Chiteală (guest) • Set assistant: Zsolt Fehérvári (guest) • Assistant director: Isolde Cobeț • Make-up: Bojita Ilici • Technical direction: Costinel Stănescu
Niky Wolcz was born in Timisoara and studied acting at the Academy of Theatre and Film in Bucharest. He started his acting career at TGST, later he also acted at the renowned Bulandra Theatre in Bucharest and appeared in Lucian Pintilie's film "Reconstituirea", which made history in Romanian cinema. After leaving the country in 1975, he directed plays at many important theatres in Germany, including Bochum, Frankfurt, Essen and Freiburg. His directing credits include W. Shakespeare's "Macbeth", S. Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" and W. A. Mozart's opera "Don Giovanni". Since the mid-1990s, Wolcz has taught acting at Columbia University in New York with his wife Ursula Wolcz and Andrei Serban. He has worked as a director and choreographer at New York's La MaMa Theatre, Boston's American Repertory Theatre and New York's Metropolitan Opera.
Helmut Stürmer was born in Timișoara and in 1967 he completed his studies at the Nicolae Grigorescu Academy of Art in Bucharest. He worked for almost a decade as a set designer at the theatre in Sibiu and at the Bulandra theatre in Bucharest, as well as at the theatres in Brasov, Cluj-Napoca and Timișoara. In addition to this activity, he has also designed the sets for several films, including "The Stone Wedding" by Mircea Veroiu and Dan Pița, and "Tănase Scatiu" by Dan Pița.
At the same time, he was making a name for himself abroad. In 1971 and 1975 he collaborated with the Cologne Municipal Theatre and created the sets for productions of texts by Georges Feydeau and Lew Tolstoy/Heinrich Böll. He also collaborates with the Kammerspiele in Munich and the Old Tote Theatre in Sydney. In 1977 he left Romania and settled in Germany. He collaborates with many theatres in different European countries; after the fall of communism he often returns to Romania, where he collaborates again with theatres and is honoured with numerous awards.
Ioana Popescu graduated in 2003 from the University of Arts in Bucharest, Faculty of Decorative Arts and Design - scenography section. She made her debut as a set designer in 2001, with her first performance as a set designer, Arnold Wesker's Fries with Oryx, directed by Cornel Popescu, staged at the National Theatre in Târgu Mures. Later, after graduation, she worked as a set designer for 8 years at the National Theatre of Targu Mureș. Since 2011, she joined the artistic team of the German State Theatre in Timișoara, working as a set designer on a lot of shows. Here are a few of them: "The incredible and sad story of the candid Erèndira and her soulless grandmother" (costumes and live sand drawings), "Spring Awakening" (costumes), "Leonce and Lena" (costumes), "Europa" (set and costumes), "Titus Andronicus" (set and costumes), "Bremen" (set and costumes).
She collaborates with several theatres in the country - Hungarian State Theatre "Csiky Gergely" Timișoara, National Theatre Bucharest, Hungarian State Theatre Cluj, Classical Theatre "Ioan Slavici" Arad, Luceafărul Theatre Iasi, Theatre "Sică Alexandrescu" Brasov, and works with top Romanian and foreign directors: Radu Alexandru Nica, Yuri Kordonsky, Alexandru Dabija, Brian Michaels, Răzvan Mazilu, Charles Muller.
For a period she worked as assistant costume designer and assistant set designer at Castel Film and later at Libra film. She is part of the production team of the film "Undeva la Palilula", directed by Silviu Purcărete, as assistant set designer to Dragoș Buhagiar. In 2018 she wins, together with Helmut Stürmer, the UNITER award for the best scenography, (costumes and live sand drawings) for the show : "The incredible and sad story of the candid Erendira and her soulless grandmother", directed by Yuri Kordonsky, a production of the German State Theatre Timișoara.