IN THE PRESS:
'You move from room to room in a mansion, experiencing acts of kindness like being gently led in a ballroom dance or receiving a hand massage. Or, blindfolded, you set out on a journey in five segments with different themes: you can remove the blindfold at any point, but that's where the journey ends. (…)
These are all theater pieces meant to be experienced by an audience of one. High-concept and immersive, intimate theater has been cropping up for years, but now in Europe it has reached such a critical mass that the Battersea Arts Center in London, known for innovation, hosted the largest one-person-audience festival this month.(…) And in New York on Thursday night "The Blind Trip" — the five performances based on different themes — will be presented as part of an international festival at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in Long Island City, Queens. (…)
Ana Margineanu, the 31-year-old Romanian theater and television director who will direct "The Blind Trip" at LaGuardia, had similar sentiments.
"I created this out of my need to offer people the chance to really experience something, to feel alive," she said. She walked a visitor through the spaces in the performing arts center where the performances, roughly 10 minutes, take place. The 25 actors work with scenarios written by playwrights from various countries. About 50 people can be accommodated on Thursday, and will watch a film as they await their turn to take the five-part journey. Forcing the blindfolded audience member to choose whether to remain in the experience shows that "we cannot have it all, but we are not aware of this," said Ms. Margineanu, who now lives in New York. She added, "Being blindfolded, you know where you are but you're not sure, you have to redefine the world around you."
Theater for Audiences of One, by Felicia Lee, The New York Times
"Under Ana Margineanu's astute direction, the story plays out in a series of short staccato scenes enhanced by appropriate slides and videos. Bucharest Calling brings a fresh, welcome voice to the festival."
Irene Backalenick, backstage.com
"Bucharest Calling (directed by Ana Margineanu) reminds us that the Fringe is international in its scope. I would venture to guess that this prompts some people to narrow the field by winnowing their choices to foreign works."
Ginia Bellafante, The New York Times
"Director Ana Margineanu is equally comfortable with Bucharest Calling's tricky brand of pathos, and avoids the all-too-easy trap of wallowing in it. She keeps the play relatively light and matter-of-fact, leaving the audience to endow it with meaning and heft (even though it has plenty of both already)."
Michael Criscuolo, www.nytheatre.com
"A fully realized staging of an innovative play, Bucharest Calling is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys quality Off-Off-Broadway theater."
Valerie Work, offoffonline.com
"The direction from Ana Margineanu is thrilling: for all the small gestures, there's a sense of excitement in each nuance, and even a few surprises, too. That final scene, anything but happy, follows logically and completely from everything before, and the whole Monday Theater team has done us a service by bringing this play here." (about The Sunshine Play)
Aaron Riccio, New Theater Corps
"The Sunshine Play is about disaffected people yearning for romance, honesty, success—just like any romantic comedy—and it shows us a perspective on Eastern Europe that we rarely get to see. It also showcases all three actors and their director doing rich, emotionally resonant work—and in a non-native language. (…)all three actors, under Margineanu's astute direction, find ways to ground their roles. (…)So the final scene, in addition to being the comic payoff, is also a tribute to director Margineanu's inventiveness; she's still finding ways to keep the relationships physically engaging and fresh, even adding a sense of danger in the last moments."
Loren Noveck, www.nytheatre.com
"Story-telling - particularly acting - is make-believe, and great story-telling keeps an audience unaware of such artifice until they find themselves crying, laughing or gasping at a moment of danger that they know is unreal. The Sunshine Play (written by Peca Stefan, directed by Ana Margineanu), set on the roof of a building in Romania, is an example of great story-telling. (…)). This is a great little play that deserves to be sold out for the rest of its run."
John Hayes, The Irish Theatre Magazine
'The best thing I saw on the Fringe - straight theatre with good story, character and plot - no gimmicks, no clichés'. An inspired cast and crew created theatrical magic in this delightful love-triangle variation, set on a sloping roof in Romania where people meet to smoke.' (about The Sunshine Play)
Colman Higgins, London Fringe Report
"This show is a welcome delight." (about The Sunshine Play)
Karen Fricker, The Irish Times
"The unexpected hit of the final week [of the Festival] was The Sunshine Play"
The Irish Independent
" I was pleasantly surprised by the strong cuts in assembling the script, I was touched by the her perspective about our communist history, and by the way she knew how to work with actors .(…) The balance between the comic and the dramatic, always on a razor edge, the echilibristica made to avoid any clishees, the nuances, everything function impeccably in 89, 89."
Marina Constantinescu, The Literary Romania
" In 89, 89…hot after '89, the director makes incisions in the paralyzed body of postcomunist Romania. But not only the novelty of the writing or of the theme is what makes this show intresting, more is this new inter-textual approach, wich eradicates the theatrical conventions. (…) The dynamic of the show is nourished by the annihilation of the distance between performance and audience, not only fisically, but also as an under-structure element."
Mihaela Michailov, The Cultural Observer
"In her debut on a big stage, Ana Margineanu approaches a difficult play (Dead or Alive), and treats it with wise finesse, knowing well to delimitate the different plans, and to alternate the rhythms between what it is and what seems to be…"
Magdalena Boiangiu, The Literary Romania
" …the viewer is amazed, confused, and deffenetly can not forget for a long time the moment when the corps gets out from their cases in morgue and start to sing and dance…" ( about Dead or Alive)
Cristina Modreanu, The Artistic and Literary Truth
"Vitamins brakes conventions, combines theater with cinematography, is ironical, sarcastic and engages the audience. (…) The show offers an insight to the real world we are living in, a world suffocated by commercials, TV- shopping and soap-operas."
Iulia Popovici The Day