Mrs Alving vs Osvald: "Ghosts" in the Romanian theatre
In-House webinar: Associate Professor Gianina Druta will present how the combined analysis of classical theatre historiological resources and digital data helps to clarify the context in which Ghosts was performed on the Romanian stage in the first half of the 20th century.
From a Ghost rehearsal in Bucharest during WW2
A hundred years ago, Mrs. Alving and Osvald fought a tough battle for their position as main characters in Ghosts at the crossroads between East, West, North and South on the cosmopolitan Romanian stage. It was here that many of the European faces of Ibsen found rich soil, while simultaneously creating an extraordinary site of theatrical diversity that resisted the aesthetic melting pot. The establishment of Henrik Ibsen’s play Ghosts in the Romanian theatre repertoire in the first half of the 20th century was no exception. The numerous theatre traditions that shaped the Romanian practice of acting influenced the interpretation of the leading roles in Ghosts, which created two different approaches focusing either Osvald or Mrs. Alving.
Based on visual and statistical information provided by IbsenStage Performance Database, her approach uses as starting point Digital Humanities tools such as maps, graphs, and frequency lists. She further investigates the topic through Romanian theatre history inquiries, biographies and memoires, as well as information from theatre reviews and archival material.
The analysis sheds light upon the uniqueness of the Romanian stage practice at the time and upon the audience reception of the performances of Ghosts. Finally, it reveals the contribution of Constantin Nottara, Aristide Demetriade, Ion Manolescu, Agatha Bârsescu and Mărioara Voiculescu as the most prominent interpreters of Osvald and Mrs. Alving in the Romanian theatre in the first half of the 20th century.
Gianina Druta Obtained her PhD from the University of Oslo in June 2020. She is currently associate professor at the Centre for Ibsen Studies.