Master VLAD MUGUR - the Mark of Perfection
SHORT BIOGRAPHY (1927 - 2001)
Master Vlad Mugur was born on 22nd June 1927 in Romania. His father, Valeriu Mugur, was Artistic Director, Journalist and Lawyer. His motner, Luiza Grigoriu, was the daughter of Constantin Grigoriu, tenor and founder of the Romanian Opera House.
In 1949, Vlad Mugur graduated as the Head of the Series from the Bucharest Theatre Institute (Directing Class), with the play "Uncle Vanea" by A. P. Chekhov. Apart from graduation he earned himself the title of Master, amongst actors and professors alike. After graduation he was hired by Alexandru Finţi at the Army's Theatre (nowadays Nottara Theatre). Vlad Mugur marked his debut with the play "The Usher Doctor", who had actors like George Vraca, V. Maximillian, C. Ramadan in distribution. The most important performaces were: Gogol's "MARRIAGE", with over one thousand performances, having the Set Design signed by Liviu Ciulei and Music by Pascal Bentoiu; Beaumarchais' "FIGARO'S WEDDING".
At the same time with the theatrical activity, Vlad Mugur worked as a Lecturer of the Faculty of Theatre in Bucharest, being responsible for Aura Buzescu's and N. Băltăţeanu's classes, at the two artists' demand. This way he could work with actors Gina Patrichi, Silvia Popovici, Sanda Toma, Anca Vereşti, Gheorghe Cozorici, George Constantin, Victor Rebengiuc, C. Rauţchi, Amza Pellea, Mircea Albulescu and D. Rucăreanu. Fo the graduation's exams, Vlad Mugur stafe two plays: "The Barber of Sevilla" and "The Optimistic Tragedy".
In 1956, Vlad Mugur was hired as First Director, together with almost the entire class of actors, he used to work with, at the National Theatre of Craiova, who with their help wiil become the best in the country ever since. The most important performances at the time were: Oscar Wilde's "BUNBURY", a big public and press success in Bucharest, Beaumarchais' "THE BARBER OF SEVILLA", V. Vişnevski "THE OPTIMISTIC TRAGEDY" (earning a Directing Prize Award in 1968), Shakespeare's "HAMLET" (having Gheorghe Cozorici as Hamlet).
Two years later, in 1958, Vlad Mugur was hired at the National Theatre of Bucharest, where he staged: "THE OPTIMISTIC TRAGEDY" by Vişnevski, "THE REVIVAL" by Tolstoi and "ROMEO AND JULIET" by Shakespeare. At the same time, Vlad Mugur staged in other four theatres: at the Magyar Theatre of Tg. Mureş (magyar section - "THE TRIUMPH ARCH" by A. Baranga), at Bulandra Theatre ("ORESTIA" by Eschil), at State Theatre of Galaţi ("THE IRKUŢK STORY" by Arbuzov), at the Regional Theatre of Bucharest ("THE ARMOURED TRAIN" with Stefan Ciubotăraşcu and Benedict Dabija in distribution.
Between 1964-1971, Vlad Mugur was the Director of the National Theatre of Cluj, staging plays like: "SOLNESS CONSTRUCTOR' by Ibsen, "IFIGENIA IN AULIS" by Euripide, "THE SUMMER OF THE IMPOSSIBLE LOVE" by D.R. Popescu, "LADY WINDERMERE's FAN" by Oscar Wilde, "CALIGULA" by Albert Camus, "MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM" by Shakespeare, "THE CAT IN THE NEW YEAR"S NIGHT" and rehearsals with a New "HAMLET", having I. Marinescu as Hamlet.
These HAMLET's rehearsals were interdicted later by the Communist political regime of Nicolae Ceauşescu, the play remaining unfinished and marking a crossroad in the artistic destiny of Master Vlad Mugur. In the summer of 1971, as a result of his rehearsals being censored and forbiden, Vlad Mugur self-banished in protest, leaving Romania for new horizons in a cultural exile. Together with his wife, actress Magda Stieff, he went to Italy, joining the immigrant life at 44 years of age, establishing later at Munchen in Germany, where he started to work at the hugely praised and censored radio in Eastern Europe: FREE EUROPE RADIO STATION. For a year and a half, Vlad Mugur produced a cultural radio programme at the German radio station, as well as mastering a Practical Course for Wissenschaftuniversitat Theatre students and a Summer Course at Grena for the Conservatory of Stockholm.
Later on, Master Vlad Mugur managed to establish himself as a Theatre Director in Germany, staging in Constanz, Hanovra, Munchen, etc. His most important staged plays were: " THE CASTLE" by I. Klima, "THE IMAGINARY PATIENT" by Moliere, "THREE SISTERS" by Chekhov, "THE HOUSE FROM THE BORDER" by Mrozek (world premiere), "THE GOOD MAN FROM SECIUAN" by Brecht, "CJOGGIA'S QUARRELS" by Goldoni, "WAR ON THE THIRD FLOOR" by P.Kohout, "THE ALCHEMIST" by Ben Johnson, "THE SEAGULL" by Chekhov, "LA DOUBLE INCONSTANCE" by Marivaux, "TWO VENICIANS TWINS" by Goldoni.
Ten years later, in 1981, Vlad Mugur was hired at Badewurtenbergishe Landesbuhne (Resslingen), where his most important staged plays were: "JUST CHILDREN, CHURCH, KITCHEN" by Dario Fo, "THE BEAUTIFUL VIEW" by Odon vorn Horvath, "MISS JULIA" by Strindberg, "THE ART OF COMEDY" by Eduardo de Filippo, "ENDGAME" by Samuel Beckett and "THE MARRIAGE" by Gogol.
Meanwhile, Vlad Mugur was invited to Berna, in Switzerland, and he moved at the Theatre of Wurzburg, where his most important performances were: "PUBLIC RELATIONS" by Dario Fo, "THE TURKEY" by Feydeau, "THE CHERRY ORCHARD" by Chekhov, "DER UNTERGANG" by Walter Jens (great audience and press success in Germany).
In parallel with his activity in the German subsidised theatre system, Vlad Mugur founded his own ensemble in Munchen: "Vlad Mugur's Ensemble" and sfter the performance with "SLAUGHTER IN THE ROOM" by Marin Walsen (having Magda Stief and Emmerich Schaffer as main actors and Helmuth Sturmer as Set Designer), the Vlad Mugur's Ensemble was subsidised by Munchen city council.
Being in Munster between 1990 - 1995, Vlad Mugur staged again "DER UNTERGANG" by W. Jens, followed by "THE TRILOGY OF MEETING AGAIN" by Botho Strauss, "DEAR ELENA SERGHEEVNA" by Ludmila Razumovskaya, "CALIGULA" by Albert Camus, "THE NIGHT'S SHELTER" by Gorki, "ANDORRA" by Max Frisch, "ALPENGLUHEN" by P. Turrini.
Later on, as the Communist regimes disappeared in Eastern Europe after 1989, Vlad Mugur came back to stage in Bucharest and Budapest (at the Art Theatre): "TWELFTH NIGHT" by Shakespeare, "THE LIAR" by Goldoni, both performances having as Set Designers Helmuth Sturmer and Lia Manţoc; "JUST CHILDREN, CHURCH, KITCHEN" by Dario Fo (1998). In Bucharest, Vlad Mugur took over the management of Giuleşti Theatre, whose name was changed by Vlad Mugur to the Odeon Theatre. Here he made Majestic Hall functionally (including workshops, rehearsals' halls, cabins and a second hall). While in Romania, he went on and staged: "THE LIAR" by Goldoni (in his own translation, performance that was invited at the Goldonian Bicentenary in Venice and Florence), "THE TROIA'S ENDING" by W. Jens at the Small Theatre (1994), "THE CHAIRS" by Eugene Ionesco (1996) and "TWO VENECIANS TWINS" by Goldoni at the Magyar National Theatre in Cluj, "SCANDAL WITH THE AUDIENCE" by P. Handke (1997) and THE MURDER ON LOURCINE STREET' by Labiche (1998) at the Youth Theatre of Piatra Neamţ (1997), "THE CHERRY ORCHARD" by Chekhov at the Magyar National Theatre in Cluj (1998), "SERVANT FOR TWO MASTERS" by Goldoni (1999) and "RIGHT YOU ARE, IF YOU THINK YOU ARE" by Luigi Pirandello (1999) at the National Theatre of Craiova (Piradello being staged later one year later at the Magyar National Theatre of Cluj, as well), "GOSSIPS' CARNIVAL" by Goldoni (2000) at the National Theatre of Craiova and his final masterpiece, following in old wounds of memory: "HAMLET" by Shakespeare at the National Theatre of Cluj (2001).
With his unique mise-en-scenes, Master Vlad Mugur won many awards both in his native country Romania, as well as abroad, among which the latest ones stay as testimony to his incontestable mastery of the theatrical craft:
- UNITER Award for the Entire Activity (1999);
- UNITER Award for the Best Production (2000), with the play "SERVANT FOR TWO MASTERS' by Carlo Goldoni, staged at the National Theatre of Craiova in 1999;
- "Theatral Personality of the year 2000" awarded by Tofan Foundation;"
- UNITER Award for the Best Production (2002 - postume), with the play "HAMLET" by William Shakespeare, staged at the National Theatre of Cluj in 2001.
Vlad Mugur passed away in his sleep on the night of 21st of July, only a month later after the Dress Rehearsal/Preview with spectators of "HAMLET" in Cluj, being 74 years old and after a few years of battling a cruel illness.
Although named a Master before starting his professional carrer, Vlad Mugur didn't have too many persons that he could call his Apprentices. But in 1999 he met the one that will become his Last Apprentice, at the National Theatre of Craiova, and who followed him and his creative team for the last three years of his Mastercraft on two different stages and four different productions. Veronica Lazar, our producer, was Master's Vlad Mugur Last Apprentice.
Vlad Mugur's last production - HAMLET - opened in Cluj on 2nd October 2001, without the presence of it's director, who was "watching" it from a shadow... But, Veronica managed to carry on her Master's last wishes, opening the testimonial "HAMLET" on schedule on the stage of the National Theatre of Cluj, for having the second performance in a the National Theatre Festival of Arad; managing to record on pelicula the Opening Night and later a recording for the national television TVR1 Channel l; guide every performance of the production for another year at the National Theatre of Cluj and at Mythos Europa Theatre Festival in Karlsruhe (Germany); have the Directing Papers published two years later and lauched in the Shakespeare International Festival of Craiova, after a HAMLET performance night.
This short biography is not enough to express what Vlad Mugur meant for the Romanian and German theatre or his impact on individuals. But we want to carry on his artistic legacy in any way we can and our company is bowing to his eternal memory.
Vlad Mugur - the professional
LAST TV INTERVIEW in 2001 at TVR 1 - in Romanian language