a short history
Sibiu International Theatre Festival
In 1993, a group led by Constantin Chiriac, actor at the “Radu Stanca” National Theatre in Sibiu, decided to present the city with a theatre Festival. An action exclusively driven by the love for the city, love for theatre and the desire to offer the community a landmark, a reason to be proud and joyful.
It was March and there were snow drifts. For many who had never seen snow but in movies, Romania seemed a fascinating country. The guests carried garlic in their pockets, to protect themselves from vampires. However, the great performances of the Romanian theatre and of the theatres invited from abroad gave the Festival the quality of a remarkable event in the international cultural landscape.
Every year, the Festival grew and grew, gaining ever bigger proportions, as the number of the participating countries reached 68, in 2005, as compared to eight, in the second edition. No less than two thousand participants were present at Sibiu in 2005, preparing the cultural agenda for the Sibiu European Capital of Culture Programme - 2007. The year 2007 marks an exceptional edition of the Festival: in recognition of this event’s contribution to the title of European Capital of Culture, together with Luxembourg and the Greater Region, this special edition brought together more than 2,500 guests from 70 countries.
Internationally renowned personalities, artists, directors, ambassadors, premiers and presidents were present at the Sibiu International Theatre Festival throughout the years. The fact that the biggest celebration of the performing arts takes place in a small town in Transylvania attracts, now as in the past, tens of thousands of culture enthusiasts, in a pilgrimage that fills the city of Sibiu with an effervescent joy. Streets, plazas, cathedrals, churches, parks, fortresses, industrial halls and theatre halls are all jam-packed with guests coming from all over the world to enjoy this festivity.
Almost a tradition for a few years now, the news that the Festival starts with all the tickets already sold is not a surprise for anyone anymore, as well as the fact that the accommodation venues in the city are, too, completely sold, way before the first day of the Festival. It is a sign of normality, a confirmation of a fact: culture changes communities, it brings people together and it can modify, fundamentally for the better and for always, the history and the architecture of a city, as in Sibiu the derelict industrial halls were transformed into a real Culture Factory.
The Sibiu International Theatre Festival represents, besides a celebration of arts, a perfect combination of theatre, dance, circus, movie, book, conferences, exhibitions, performance, music, and an opportunity to learn and perfect themselves for thousands of Romanian and international volunteers who have joined the event annually, forming, sometimes, lifelong friendships.
Moreover, FITS continues the development of a performing arts market and creative dialogue by supporting the independent theatre, the meeting of theatre schools and academies, and the new dramaturgy of theatre books and the creative experiment.
Additionally, the Sibiu Performing Arts Market offers all professionals in Romania and all over the world the chance of developing the language of the free market, in a world that needs dialogue ever so often.
In 1993, a group of individuals started a Festival. Out of love for the theatre, the city, the community. Today, the whole world acknowledges with great appreciation that, for ten days, during the International Theatre Festival, the World’s Cultural Capital is in Romania, at Sibiu.
Come be part of the story!
Each edition of the Festival is held under a slogan, generous themes around which the artistic planning takes shape:
1995 - Tolerance
1996 - Violence
1997 – Cultural Identity
1998 - Links
1999 - Creativity
2000 - Alternative
2001 - Challenges
2002 - Bridges
2003 - Tomorrow
2004 - Legacies
2005 - Signs
2006 - Together?!
2007 - Next
2008 - Energy
2009 - Innovations
2010 - Questions
2011 - Community
2012 - Crisis. Culture makes a difference
2013 - Dialogue
2014 – Uniqueness in diversity
2015 - Growing smart/ Smart growing
2016 – Building Trust