UT prof works with noted directorWritten by John Dorsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Local theater director Cornel Gabara made good use of his summer vacation. Gabara, who is the head of acting at UT’s Department of Theatre and Film, recently returned from Bucharest, Romania, where he worked as an assistant to renowned director Andrei Serban on his all-female production of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” at the Teatrul Bulandra.
This most recent production marked a turning point in the artistic collaboration between Gabara and Serban, who have collaborated since 1990.
“Whenever I’ve worked with Andrei in the past, it has been as an actor. I approached him about assisting on this production, and he was very receptive. While most assistant directors are busy getting coffee, Andrei let me take on various responsibilities,” Gabara said. “I really didn’t look at this production in terms of the gender of the cast, but simply from a human point of view. I will say though that this cast did bring a much different sensibility to the play and an added richness in terms of their prospective.
“The project was researched by 15 to 20 people for well over a year. That research included not only the history involved with the piece, but past productions as well. The rehearsal period, on the other hand, was very quick; it lasted about nine weeks. Our actors really had to adapt, as actors in Europe may rehearse for certain roles for as long as two or three years.”
Gabara began his career in 1988 at the National Theatre of Bucharest, where among others he performed in Serban’s “Fragments of a Greek Trilogy.” He is also the artistic director and a founding member of the Glacity Theatre Collective. He has directed the company’s productions of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” “Breathing Corpses” and Sarah Ruhl’s “Eurydice,” which is currently running in the Maumee Valley Country Day School’s Millennium Theatre.
Serban has been a professor of theater at the Columbia University School of Arts since 1992. He received the Obie Award for the 1974-75 theater season. He has been given grants for his work from the Ford, Rockefeller and Guggenheim foundations and is noted for his 1971 production of “Medea” at New York City’s LaMaMa, E.T.C.
Visit www.utoledo.edu/as/theatrefilm/faculty/gabara.html for more.