The National Theatre “Marin Sorescu” of Craiova holds a special place in the history of Romanian theatre. Founded in 1850, it continued to function, despite the turmoil that characterized the history of Romania. In the first decades of its existence the National Theatre of Craiova produced only musicals and vaudevilles. In the years following 1900 the emphasis was placed on dramatic shows, representing mainly the universal classics, especially Shakespeare and Molière. In 1956, prestigious actors entered the doors of the theater (George Cozorici, Amza Pellea, Silvia Popovici, Constantin Rauţchi, Victor Rebengiuc, Dumitru Rucăreanu, Sanda Toma), together with their professor, Vlad Mugur, and marked a turning point. Those actors were considered to be the Golden generation of Romanian theatre. The team spirit manifested itself through an uncommon creative force, refreshing the means of expression of the actors and of acting itself.
Well-known actors and directors, such as Silviu Purcărete, Vlad Mugur, Tompa Gabor, Mihai Măniuţiu, Mircea Cornişteanu and other directors propelled the theatre in a privileged position within the Romanian and international theatrical movement. The theatre presents a contemporary repertoire and invited productions by Eimuntas Nekrosius, Robert Wilson, Lev Dodin or Peter Brook. The collaboration between the TNC and Silviu Purcărete, which started in 1989, was and still is a moment of reference in shaping this institution, creating new performances recognized on national and international levels. The theatre gained international visibility thanks to the Shakespeare Festival, organized in collaboration with the “William Shakespeare” Foundation, under the direction of Emil Boroghină. With six editions, the festival succeeded in gathering the best companies and performances from all over the world and creating a space for debate on Shakespeare’s work.