The Romanian International Shakespeare Festival was founded in Craiova, Romania, in 1994, and took place every three years during its first five editions. Since 2006, it has taken place every two years. The main organizers of the festival are the National Theatre Craiova (represented by its General Managing Director, Mr. Mircea Cornisteanu) and the “William Shakespeare” Foundation (Presided by Mr. Emil Boroghina), and, since 2006, it has also taken place in Bucharest, in collaboration with Arcub, the Centre for Cultural Projects of the Bucharest City Hall and General Council. Another important partner is the Romanian Cultural Institute.
In 2008, the Romanian Festival’s motto was “Great Directors, Great Performances, Great Theatres of Europe and of the World”, and it gathered on its poster the names of some of the most famous international directors such as: Peter Brook, Robert Wilson, Declan Donnellan, Lev Dodin, Eimuntas Nekrosius, and Silviu Purcarete. The 2010 Festival was dedicated to only one play: “Hamlet”. The presentation of Shakespeare’s masterpiece in different directorial visions and interpretations (Thomas Ostermeier, Oskaras Korsunovas, Monica Pecikiewics, Yoshihiro Kurita, Yun Taek-Lee, Elizabeth LeCompte, Eimuntas Nekrosius etc.) represented an opportunity for theatre professionals and audiences to compare, discuss, comment, and debate. The motto of the 2012 International Shakespeare Festival in Romania will be: ”The world’s a stage, and we are the players”.
The Festival also includes seminars and conferences; workshops on acting, directing, design and criticism; film projections of famous performances; symphonic concerts; theatre design, painting, photographic, and philatelic exhibitions, as well as theatre book and DVD launches. The numerous foreign and Romanian theatre critics attending the festival along the years have talked about the high standard of this event and placed it among the best thematic European festivals. The Romanian Theatre Association UNITER granted the International Shakespeare Festival its most important award, the Prize for Excellency.