Two graduates built dolls of natural size and propose a unique show

Artist Ioana Luculescu and Iulian Lungu want to introduce the puppet theater for adults in Cluj.

“We are unique in the world in what we do,” they boast, “we have built some puppets with the help of design programs and they are printed at 3dprinter. I want to mention that the puppets also have new mechanisms and are human size, with eyes, eyelids, mouth, individual fingers. I finished last year the faculty and last year we worked on their construction and improvement ”

says actress Ioana Luculescu

To understand their approach we publish an interview with this:

Why the puppet theater?

We chose the puppet theater because unlike Romania where there is a direct connection between the puppet theater and children, abroad the puppet theater is addressed to the adult audience, with much more complex thinking, where topics with a stronger emotional impact are treated. The puppet theater by definition implies the story of an object, be it wood, plastic, paper, metal, which can most often take a human or animal form, whereby the artistic act of handling and the imagination of the spectator a direct identification of the human with the character making a direct partner to his story. Abroad the puppet theater is intended for both young audiences, where shows are dedicated to children and the deep approach is removed/avoided, as well as to the adult, rational audience, where the shows can deal with more sensitive topics for the spectator, where the metaphor has its role and meaning. Many times I happened to go to a theater show and not put myself “in the skin of the character” maybe because the actor’s play or the character’s construction did not resemble my choice or emotion. I think that through the puppet theater it is possible to break down the barrier between the spectator and the character through the simple innocent and nostalgic idea of ​​identifying in childhood with the puppet. 

Why big puppets?

We chose to build the puppets in natural size, close to the human proportions because we wanted to be seen clearly even by the last seat spectator, because a glance, a blink, a touch transmits much more than a word. The show is a non-verbal one because we want to address an audience regardless of its nationality, and through gestures we can express a greater variety of feelings. If we speak from a technical point of view, the size of the puppets is also due to the fact that the mechanisms are complex and unique and cannot be reduced at the moment. And from an artistic point of view, we chose the size of the dolls to be about the same as the human one so that the love story of the main characters, the two old people who, as the name of the show says, are “Happily ever after” can be or become the story of anyone. 

Tell the readers of the site something about you …

We are Ioana Emilia Luculescu, actress and Iulian Lungu managing actor and director, former students of the Faculty of Theater and Film at the Univ. “Babeș Bolyai” Cluj and of the “George Enescu” Theater Faculty, Iași, who through work and creation try to introduce the puppet theater for big people in Cluj-Napoca and a unique thing in Romania, the complex construction of puppets with the help of 3d printer. We have become versatile in several arts and have also become self-taught in the use of technology for the evolution of the craft of sculpture.

What does such a show entail?

The puppet show involves the directorial construction, the technical construction of the puppets, here we are talking about sculpture, painting, costume, mechanisms and their handling. Unlike a theatrical performance where the actor transmits the message directly, in the puppet theater the message is transmitted through the animation of the puppet, where the handler is the one who directs the message through the puppet.

Really unique in the world? Isn’t that a bit exaggerated?

Because the term “unique in the world” is very often used, when it is true the world no longer believes. Being at the beginning of the road we want people to discover the dolls and see their impact on them, at the last performance we had spectators who told us that they had never seen a puppet show since kindergarten and that this show made them to become nostalgic, older people told us that it had a therapeutic effect. What made us feel confident was the moment when at the end all the spectators started a storm of applause at the same time, which made all the work for months worthwhile. We want to evolve from representation to representation, to walk the show all over Romania and in the world, to have as many spectators as possible to tell this beautiful story!