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The First Theatrical Version of Herta Müller’s ”Lowlands” Opens the Rehearsal for Truth Festival

Updated: 3 days ago

A haunting depiction of the moral decomposition of the terminal years of Communism


We are excited to open (and close) the Rehearsal for Truth Festival in New York with the workshop production of ”Lowlands” by the German-Romanian, Nobel Prize winner author, Herta Müller, a haunting depiction of the moral decomposition of the terminal years of Communism seen through the eyes of a child from the German minority of Romania. The workshop production, directed by Ana Mărgineanu on a stage adaptation by Mihaela Panainte, will be followed by a talk on topics related to the play. The Romanian presence at the Festival, which carries on the vision and legacy of the great Václav Havel, is complemented by a screening of ”Here Moscow Calling”, directed by Catinca Drăgănescu, a production of the Unteatru company of Bucharest.


May 17, 7:30 PM: “Lowlands”, Rehearsal for Truth Festival (staged reading)

June 22, 7 PM: “Lowlands”, Voices International Theatre Festival, New Jersey (workshop production, as part of the Rehearsal for Truth Festival)

June 23, 4 PM: ”Here Moscow Calling” by Catinca Drăgănescu (screening)

June 23, 7 PM: “Lowlands”, Rehearsal for Truth Festival (the play is first presented as a staged reading and then followed by a more elaborate workshop production)


“Lowlands” was originally published in the volume “Plays from Romania: Dramaturgies of Subversion”, edited and translated by Jozefina Komporaly, Bloomsbury, 2021

“Lowlands” is an Untitled Theater Company No. 61 production possible with the support of the Romanian Cultural Institute

Adapted for stage by Mihaela Panainte after the homonymous book by Herta Müller, translated into English by Jozefina Komporaly

Directed by Ana Mărgineanu

Cast: Annabel McConnachie, Susie K. Taylor, Calaine Schafer, Miguel Loyola, Vas Eli, and Maria Müller

Originally a volume of short stories, ”Lowlands” by Nobel Prize for Literature winner Herta Müller, born in Romania in the sizeable German (Schwaben) ethnic group of Banat Region, offers a poignant portrayal of life under the repressive regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu, from the perspective of the German minority in Romania. Seen through the eyes of a child narrator, using both poetry and frankness to convey the harsh realities of the time, the book captures the malaise of an existence suffocated by the constraints of both a dictatorship and a closed off community.

”Here Moscow Calling” (screening)

An Unteatru production

Written by Iulia Pospelova (translated in Romanian by Raluca Rădulescu)

Directed by Catinca Drăgănescu

Cast: Nicoleta Lefter, Alex Călin, Liviu Romanescu, Răzvan Rotaru

Cinematic creation and stage movement by Simona Deaconescu

Set design by Gabi Albu

Photography by Carmen Tofeni

Video editing by Bogdan Giurcă

Lighting design by Dragoș Mărgineanu/ Alexandru Medveghi

A daughter's relationship with her father is always special, but how does it change if the father is a famous dictator? How does it feel when Dad is a monster? Which reality is the real one? Between family attachment and political conscience, the show proposes a live dissection of a controversial character in the history of the 20th century, the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.


Ana Mărgineanu is a theater director who works both nationally and internationally. She graduated from The National University of Theater and Film of Bucharest, Romania. She is co-founder of PopUP Theatrics, a partnership creating immersive theatrical events around the world and in collaboration with international theater artists. Ana Mărgineanu is a past resident of Women's Project Theater, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center and an alumnus of The Lincoln Center Directors Lab. Her work has been presented and/or developed at the WP Theater, The Kennedy Center, Juggerknot, 3LD Art & Technology Center NY, Working Theater, Urban Stages NY, New York Theatre Workshop, The Lark, Ensemble Studio Theater and in numerous theaters and festivals in Europe, most notably: New Plays from Europe Wiesbaden, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, National Theatre Festival Bucharest, Sibiu International Theater Festival. She has also directed, taught and facilitated workshops at Colleges and Universities like: The New School, SUNY Purchase, Pace University, Wesleyan University, Queens College, National Theater and Film University of Bucharest. Called "one of the reigning queens of New York's highly intimate, one-shot-only, conceptual-based theater" by the NYC critic Randy Gener, Ana Mărgineanu is known for close cooperation with the local communities who are audiences for her work, highly metaphoric visual style, and ability to draw raw, visceral performances from her actors.


PHOTO GALLERY by Madeline Windland | PERFORMATIVE READING | Bohemian National Hall, Friday, May 17, 2024


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