Hidden next to the city center in Cluj-Napoca, REACTOR is a privately owned theatre, founded by an energetic couple, Doru Taloș and Oana Mardare. REACTOR has been finding shelter in a former typography for the last three years, out of the idea of developing theatre projects in a space where they could engage a continuous dialogue with their colleagues and the audience.
Currently almost 40 actors, directors and play writers are actively developing performing projects, bringing to life their works on revisiting classics and contemporary theatre. An average of 10 events take place every month.
The venue itself was a white space, a furniture and machinery deposit, so after making it empty, the crew painted the walls as they needed a black box. They also installed the light and heating system and changed the windows. All investments started with own resources, saved by renouncing to the wedding after a stay in Spain.
REACTOR is the name of the space; not of the company. They picked it after a brainstorming, to induce the idea of something dynamic. The purpose is to have an open and horizontal organization, to ensure a boiling atmosphere and an open access to new talents and ideas.
The private owner, who agreed on having a theatre in the premises, is supporting as it is a cultural adventure. The main goal of Doru and Oana is to perform here in their own place and they welcome foreign initiatives by being present in different international networks matching them with other companies sharing their vision and values. The operation is fully sustainable by the sales of tickets.
After 3 years, there renting contract is going to expire in January 2017, and – as much as they are satisfied with the spot – the renting fee may adjust following the growth in the local real estate market.
They manage to engage the audience also in not-mainstream projects and supporting emerging artists, even if through time they have been adding some criteria to select the performed projects. For example, they never do a classic text in a classic way, as they focus on modern, poste modern theatre, and post-dramatic theatre.
The neighbors stop by now and then, attracted by the generous welcome of the tenants as well as looking for the previous shop.
For more information, visit http://reactor-cluj.com/
Text by Boris Meggiorin from SAMOA Nantes; pictures by Cătălin Grigoriu and Robert Puțeanu