“I WANT TO SEE THE IMPACT OF THE PUPPET THEATER ON ADULTS” – INTERVIEW WITH IOANA EMILIA LUCULESCU
Ioana Emilia Luculescu, is a graduate of the Faculty of Theater and Film in Cluj, the acting section, a former member of the high school theater group “Here” from Constanța and a founding member of HalArt Cluj, an independent theater company, which wants to promote the puppet theater for grown ups.
What started HalArt from?
HalArt started from the desire to have the opportunity to teach others what I already know, namely to help people from different fields develop through the theater. Many people need voice exercises, to know how to direct the sound, people who already have other professions, outside the artistic area, but who still need these skills. In the second year of college, I met Iulian Lungu. He finished puppet college in Iasi, and at that time he was doing his master’s degree in directing. He is very passionate about everything that puppet theater means, so I proposed him to build our own place in which to do our shows. From there everything started great, on fast forward. I knew of an unkempt place in an abandoned building that had nothing. We managed to put this place together, even though we went through some terrible flu and it wasn’t always easy for us. From this, all started, from the desire to teach people, but also to promote the puppet theater for adults, because it is present abroad but it is not the same in Romania.
Why did you choose Puppet Theater for grown-ups?
It is also necessary for the people to build their constructive ideas in a more complex perception, in order to be able to access pure imagination, while they are accustomed to “mass” shows. When we were small and see that someone was moving an object at that time we imagine that object was brought to life, but when we are old we see just a polystyrene ball and is not interesting anymore. We are losing this availability. This theater-type develops creativity, imagination, spontaneity, and relaxation. Of course, it is not just for adults, it can be attended by children over the age of 12, but it is not suitable for younger children, it can tackle more serious topics, dramas, which the little ones and wouldn’t understand them.
How do you want to develop Halart?
First of all, I want to see what impact the puppet theater has on adults, and I hope that by summer we will expand through the Silence Theater. My goal is to change the mentality a little, to change the prejudice that puppet is only dedicated to children’s theater. If I’m not mistaken, the animated theater started with horror stories for adults.
How did the first personal development workshop through the theater go?
In addition to all the adult puppet theater shows, we, HalArt, also do personal development workshops and theater courses for adults who have no connection to this field. People of any age, from 12 years old and up, can come here. For example, we had a 48-year-old mum sent by her son to get out of her comfort zone and did very well. The workshops are very good for anyone who wants to develop through the theater and relax. There were 3 days of workshops after which a 20-minute mini-show came out. After it was over I stayed for an extra half hour, during which the participants asked questions, asked for advice. They played the show twice on the same day. We had to film them, to have a memory of them, but the first time the camera didn’t work. In the end, I asked them if they want to play again. At first, they were a little scared, but in the end, they accepted. It was very beautiful. Even though there were ordinary people who are not connected with the theater, I think we managed to work at a high level. They told me that most workshops do not offer such complex exercises and are not explained why they do them; or the basic ones are offered, which you can find at all personal development workshops. I feel really satisfied when I see someone who I work with for self-development and I can help him to be more excited to enjoy life.
What are the next projects of HalArt?
We have now become familiar with the 3D printer and started to make puppet with it. Among other things, we made some hands that eventually led to some old people puppets. I thought it would be good to do a show that would not only identify young people but a wider audience. The show is called “Happily ever after” and follows the story of the two old people and their true love which made them do not that happy things. We also have a show – Oscar and Lady in Pink, who I dramatized and it’s called “13 letters + 1” and “The theory of energy”, based on the idea of Pixar, where we have modified some lamps to be able to handle them and I really hope to catch them in the public because it has in the foreground a simple, everyday object, to which we give life.
Where can we find HalArt?
The HalArt is located in Cluj, on Brassai Samuel Street nr.7, on the 2nd floor, and on the social networks you can find us very simply: HalArt on facebook or on Instagram: @halartcluj. The official site is HalArtCluj.com.
And now, in the end, can you describe the HalArt from your point of view?
For me, HalArt is a home, a place where I can be relaxed, do what I like and when it is full of people I enjoy it. A place where you can see shows, you can do personal development courses through the theater. It represents a dream that has grown from a thought to something material, and when you enter it is such a comfortable feeling, with a quietness similar to my grandparents’ house, in the mountains; a place that is intended for all people.