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Ariel Theater for Children and Youths

     The Ariel theatre's name was given in 1991, by the former director, a remarkable politician and member of Romanian intelligentsia, Smaranda Enache, who wanted to enlarge the restricted field of puppeteering in Romania, as it was at the time, to the larger zone of experiment and artistic adventure.

     Founded in 1949, in Targu-Mures/Marosvasarhely, a city of mixed communities (Hungarian and Romanian), by an Austrian writer and a Jewish sculptor, as an alternative puppet theatre, having one company that was, at the beginning, playing in both Romanian and Hungarian, the theatre becomes a section of the Hungarian State Theatre in 1950, only to break free again, in 1952, as an independent repertory puppet theatre, located in a building owned until this very day, by the Reformed Church of Targu-Mures/Marosvasarhely.

     The Romanian company was formally initiated in 1964, and since then the theatre has been functioning with two permanent ensembles: a Hungarian and a Romanian one. The Ariel theatre is locally subsidized, and its employees are, beside the 24 actors of the two ensembles, two literary managers, technicians, workshops personnel, and other staff, the total number being of 52 persons.

     Throughout the years, the Ariel theatre has become a real cultural centre, entertaining and educating both children and teenagers. In the long run, the audience enjoyed different kinds of plays: liric and parodic, baroque or commedia dell'arte, Romanian and Hungarian classic and contemporary authors, old and new, foreign and local.

     National and international festivals awarded prizes to the theatre, and benefitted from the tourings of the Ariel productions for children. In Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Pakistan, Jordan, France, Italy, Serbia, Switzerland, the theatre has been acclaimed for its funny and imaginative productions.

     From 1998, when Gavril Cadariu, an inovative and enlightened director was appointed to run the theatre, Ariel has begun a new period in its life as a theatre. Adjusting both to the needs of renewal of the means and practice of theatre performance, and to the market economy, the Ariel theatre functions on programs that include, for the first time in its history, the explicit experimental dimension, and an underground space, opened in 1999, with the contribution of the Dramafest Foundation (The Romanian New writing Programme) and The Foundation for the Development of Civil Society.

     Thus, the theatre is currently producing shows for both children and adults, addressing to all cathegories of public, also works with children with special needs, developing a programme of educational theatre, supported by The European Cultural Foundation, The Concept Foundation (a member of the Soros Open Network), and Dramafest Foundation, and is now preparing the setting of a Regional Resource Center for Educational Theatre.

     The Ariel Theatre of Tirgu Mures encourages young directors and playwrights to find their voices, in the warm and friendly environment of this uniquely small, but vailliant, theatre entreprise.

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