Although I had written before, I am almost sure that I have truly become a playwright, the moment that I’ve started to direct. I seldom direct my own plays, but others’ new plays, when and if I find a play that I love.
I write about History and histories, about Life and the lives of my characters, about their reality, may it be outer or inner reality. I love to work with the actors, they inspire me and are my strongest allies and fiercest critics. I strongly believe that, even if the director is generally considered the author of a performance, a performance based on a new play is a special case, and it has two authors: the writer and the director.
See below all the activities involving Alina Nelega in the frame of Fabulamundi.
Alina Nelega, born December 18, 1960 is based in the Transylvanian city of Tirgu Mures. From 2010 is Professor of the Arts University, where she runs playwriting workshops. Her plays were translated, published, performed or presented in Romania and internationally. She participated in festivals and cultural exchanges in Europe and in the USA (New York Fringe Festival, Lark Play Development Centre, hotINK festival, New York Theatre Workshop). She is a fellow of The International Writing Program, Iowa (USA) and participated in the The Royal Court Theatre residency. She also directs new writing. Her awards include the Play of the Year 2000 (UNITER) and European Author (Heidelberg Stueckemarkt, 2007).
1993 / Una Cosa Mentale; published in 2002, Theatre and Short Stories, UNITEXT, Bucharest
1996 / Nascendo; first staged: 1996, National Theatre Tg. Mures, Studio; published in: 1999, Eastern Promise, Aurora Publishing House, London
2000 / www.nonstop.ro; first staged: 2001, Ariel Theatre; published in: 2000, UNITEXT, Bucharest
2003 / Hess; first staged: 2003, Ariel Theatre; published in: 2003, Ariel Theatre
2004 / Es; first staged: 2004, Ariel Theatre; published in: 2007, Cartea Romaneasca, Bucharest
2005 / Amelia Takes a Deep Breath; first staged: 2005, Radio Tg. Mures and Ariel Theatre; published in: 2007, Cartea Romaneasca, Bucharest
2007 / Kamikaze; first staged: 2007, Ariel Theatre; published in: 2007, Cartea Romaneasca, Bucharest
2008 / Just Vinyl; first staged: 2008, Ariel Theatre
2008 / My Battery is Running Down; first staged: 2008, Radio Romania Cluj
2010 / Graffiti.drimz; first staged: 2010, Teatrul Odeon, Bucharest; published in: 2011, revista Vatra
2012 / The Genovese Effect; first staged: 2012, National Theatre Tg. Mures, Studio
The Genovese Effect
Silvana, a journalist-student, has always had a good relationship with her father, a famous tv journalist, and a distant one with her mother, an obscure music teacher. One rainy night she comes home to confront her father, about his past. Working on her thesis, she had entered the Securitate archives and found her father’s Securitate file, realising he had been an informer. The action takes place one evening, before and after Silvana’s parents prepare to go to a ceremony of awarding the prize for “Best Journalist”. She asks him to tell the truth, but he demonstrates her that the truth has no relevance in Romanian society, that nobody cares about the truth.
Characters: 4 (2 male and 2 female), chorus
– Extracts from The Genovese Effect –
Silvana enters. She wears jeans and boots. She carries a backpack, and is all wrapped in a huge hooded raincoat. She is also wet. She comes to the center of the room, treading lightly. Adina notices her too late, she turns and cries out loud.
Mother…what the…why are you yelling…? (Beat)
ADINA Silvana… dear God! (Beat) What’s the matter?
SILVANA Nothing’s the matter – I’ve come home…mother! Swimming in the mud. Got a taxi that ripped me off and the driver would’ve asked for double if I hadn’t put out my ID. The one that has PRESS written all over.
ADINA You should have called, I would’ve picked you up.
ADINA Well, daddy…
SILVANA Right. (Beat) I didn’t want to disturb you. I knew you were SO busy.
ADINA Don’t start…
SILVANA Actually, I thought you’d left already.
ADINA For the great ceremony? You are well informed.
SILVANA (looking around) You have changed the furniture. And you got your new fireplace, eventually. Cool. It’s from that British magazine, right? ‘Cause I need a place to dry my boots, right? But you still haven’t installed an intercom. Aren’t you afraid of burglars?
ADINA It’s good to see you, though. Even if you’re so spiky. (Beat) Why don’t you take off your raincoat?
SILVANA Right, your expensive rug is getting soaked.
ADINA You don’t need to be sarcastic. I was thinking about you…
SILVANA I can take care of myself. (Reluctantly, she takes off her raincoat, puts down the backpack and sits on it.)
ADINA Yes. I’ve heard.
SILVANA He can’t keep anything for himself, can he?
ADINA You can’t blame him for taking his daughter flowers on her birthday and lo! at eight o’clock in the morning, the door opens and there is this gadabout barely in his underwear…
SILVANA He could have called. Or you should have.
ADINA You have always been the apple of his eyes. He used to be so proud of you! Ever since you were a baby, you were so springy, like a little monkey – and you used to laugh a lot. You loved salty biscuits. You used to draw on the walls and he’d never let me whitewash them. He even thought you had talent. We never forbade you anything.
SILVANA I grew up.
ADINA He used to take you to school. He used to bring you home from school. He went to those stupid parental meetings. And, because you are born on St. John’s Day, every year, on your birthday, he wakes up at four o’clock in the morning, goes into the forest to pick up woodruffs. You never woke up without fresh woodruffs on your birthday.
He was always the first one to get you flowers. Did you need to be called to remember that?
SILVANA It was my birthday. Mine! Not his, not yours!
How was I supposed to know that he would knock on my door in his best Pierre Cardin suit with his trousers full of grass, his cuffs soaked with dew, that pathetic face, and his arms full of those tacky flowers?
I could never put them in a vase, they never lived, not even for one day, I tried so hard to keep them alive, with aspirin or sugar, I kept them cool, once I spent all my morning singing to them…but they were dead.
ADINA There lies their beauty.
SILVANA And that smell…they stink. I’ve always hated them.
ADINA You never told us.
SILVANA I’m telling you now. I hate them, I hate them, I hate them. (Beat) I owe you nothing. (Pause)
ADINA Are you going to hang your raincoat or what?
SILVANA Don’t you tell me what to do!
ADINA ok, suit yourself. Stay wet. Will you take your backpack in your room, or shall I do that?
SILVANA Where is he? He’s left already? Is he seeing the important guys? He is riding big horses…I read on the net that last week the finance minister had his first poetry book published and he did his laudatio at the book launch. (Beat) Is it any good?
ADINA I wouldn’t know. Probably, since Mihalcea wrote the foreword.
SILVANA The guy on the telly, the one wo speaks with the peculiar “R”?
ADINA Yeah, and two actors from the National Theatre read them. You realise he couldn’t say no…
SILVANA Why, the minister couldn’t read them by himself? Is he illiterate?
ADINA Ugh, cut the crap… The BBC was there, lots of TV people…
SILVANA That’s so impressive. But no one knows if he has any talent.
ADINA This has nothing to do with talent. (Beat) He is the finance minister, he can have his poetry published.
SILVANA Seriously? This looks normal to you?
ADINA Why not? Anyone can publish a poetry book. (Beat) You’re ruining your backpack. May I…
SILVANA (jumping) Don’t touch it!
ADINA Sil, are you all right? Is anything wrong?
SILVANA Yes. Can’t you see? (Beat)
ADINA Are you pregnant?
SILVANA (laughs) That’s the first thing that comes to your mind. I wonder – were your parents also that interested in the sexual life of their children?
ADINA I thought… (Beat) You know we love you. And you can always count on us. You can tell us everything. You’re our only child and we…
SILVANA I don’t think I can tell you every thing.
ADINA But of course you can! We are both women and…by the way, would you like a drink… what about some tea? It’ll make you feel warm. (Beat) I think you can trust me that much.
SILVANA This is not about trust, mother.
ADINA But what is it then?
SILVANA It’s complicated. (Beat) Don’t look so scared, I’m not getting married. And I haven’t killed anyone.
ADINA Are you ill? That’s ok. Anything is manageable. I know good doctors, or even better, we can go abroad, to Vienna…(Beat) You’re HIV positive. Oh, my God!!!
SILVANA Mother, I am not HIV positive! Focking hell, stop supposing!
ADINA Thank you, God! (Beat) Then what – what’s so serious? (Beat) I am your mother, I have the right to know. I only want to help. What’s this all about? Please, let me get you some dry clothes…
SILVANA It’s not about me, mother..
ADINA …Is it about that boy…?
SILVANA No, mother. I told you. It’s complicated. Stop making suppositions.