Born in Bucharest, Romania, Mircea Cornisteanu graduated from the National Academy of Theatre and Film and also from the University of Bucharest where he studied Romanian language and literature. After a short career as a teacher, he was a director at the National Theatre of Craiova where he staged memorable prize winning performances, between 1973 and 1990, and he became the general managing director of this theatre later, in 2000, after a fruitful experience as a director and a managing director at different other theatres. He was also a theatre directing teacher at the National Academy of Theatre and Film between 1995 and 1999. He has staged both classic and contemporary plays, from the national and international dramaturgy, in Romania and abroad, and has directed more than 150 successful drama theatre, puppet theatre, TV, opera and operetta performances. He is also the author of several drama, film, and TV scripts and adaptations.
Mircea Cornisteanu was the General Secretary of the European Theatre Convention from 2005 to 2009, and a member of the Senate of the Romanian Theatre Union (UNITER) between 1996 and 2002. He has coordinated several important cultural events, and substantially contributed to the Romanian Shakespeare Festival, as the National Theatre „Marin Sorescu” is one of the main organizers of this renowned international event.Mircea Cornisteanu has been awarded more than 20 national and international prizes, the most recent of them in 2010, for lifetime achievements, awarded by UNITER.