Transylvanian theaters are canceling their shows one after another, as several coronavirus cases have recently appeared among staff and company members, wrote the foter.ro news portal. This week, a theater in Székelyudvarhely (Odorheiu Secuiesc), one in Marosvásárhely (Târgu Mureş), and most recently, the Hungarian State Theater in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) have canceled their performances.
It was to be expected that this year’s theatrical season would not be the same as it was in previous years, and the gloomy expectations proved to be accurate. The activity of these venues has been overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic, which seems to be spreading at an alarming rate in Romania.
The Hungarian State Theater in Kolozsvár posted a communiqué on its website last Thursday saying that four people from the technical staff had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus; therefore, performances scheduled between October 9 and 24 will be postponed until November. The director of the Hungarian State Opera of Kolozsvár, which shares a building with the State Theater, told local media on Friday that two choir members, a soloist, a member of the orchestra and a prompter had tested positive for coronavirus as well. With regard to the epidemiological situation, the opera has canceled all performances scheduled for October.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Sándor Tomcsa Theather in Székelyudvarhely canceled two shows that were set to premiere this week, as a member of the company had been taken ill with coronavirus. The National Theather of Marosvásárhely decided to suspend its activity temporarily because four employees had become infected with coronavirus, and the Ariel Children’s Theatre in Marosvásárhely also postponed this week’s performances, wrote foter.ro.
Nevertheless, Romanian Minister for Culture Bogdan Gheorghiu said in a communique last Wednesday that he will not recommend the closing of cultural institutions in the country. “According to the data of the National Health Service, there were no coronavirus hotspots in any of the cultural institutions, and the audiences generally act responsibly, and respect epidemiological provisions,” the minister reasoned. Instead, Gheorghiu suggests more thorough controls at performance venues and cinemas, also noting that only 30 percent of the auditorium capacities should be used instead of the presently allowed 50 percent.
Title image: The coronavirus pandemic has postponed the October programs of several Transylvanian theaters. The photo is an illustration