The Goleşti Museum, in collaboration with the Alexandru Davila Theatre, organized yesterday, February 12, 2024, a symposium in which the personality of the playwright Alexandru Davila was evoked.
The event was attended by Iustin Dejanu, manager of the Golești Museum, Cristina Boțoghină, head of the History and Pedagogy Section of the Golești Museum, Camelia Călin, scientific researcher at the same cultural institution, students from the Military School “Basarab I” from Pitești, accompanied by Marian Burcea, and Carmen Bobițoiu, as well as Mrs. Eugenia Zgreabăn, professor of Romanian language and literature, at the “Zinca Golescu” National College.
Cristina Boțoghină and Camelia Călin presented the most important milestones of the life and work of the well-known playwright and director of the National Theatre.
The son of doctor Carol Davila and Ana Davila, Dinicu Golescu’s granddaughter, Alexandru was born in Golești, on February 12, 1862. He grew up on the estate of his ancestors, where he began his education, at the communal school. His upbringing as a man of honor, with a vast culture was strictly supervised by his parents. Carol Davila insisted that his son be conscientious, disciplined, well-educated, because education was the only safe and solid asset that he could bequeath to his children.
Al. Davila continued to study at the Lutheran School in Bucharest, then at V. A. Urechia’s boarding school, a happy era about which Al. Davila remembered that: “There were 12-14 schoolchildren there, and the best teachers… taught us with an understanding and love… that made us adore them”.
Between 1875 and 1881 he studied in Paris, at the Lycée Saint Louis. He was a colleague of Take Ionescu, Nicu Xenopol, N. Filipescu, Vasile Morţun, Dr. I. Cantacuzino, Jacques de Ferandy, Georges Feideau. With them, Davila attended the Parisian theaters, gaining rich knowledge in the field. Back home, he was appointed for a short time as a diplomat and civil servant, qualities he preferred to give up in favor of an artistic activity: he published poems, prose, plays and theater chronicles, edited magazines, etc.
On January 29, 1905, Minister Take Ionescu signed the decree appointing Alexandru Davila as director of the National Theater in Bucharest. He was a profound reformer of the Romanian theater repertoire and organization. He was twice the general director of the National Theater in Bucharest. Between the years 1905-1908 and 1912-1914. In this capacity, he took a series of measures to strengthen discipline and order in the theater, paid attention to the Romanian repertoire, Romanian dramaturgy, ordering that each season of the National Theater be opened with a Romanian play. He took measures to pay the actors throughout the year, thus attracting their sympathy. During the time he was director, the prestige of the National Theater increased, supporting over 250 performances and increasing the theater’s budget three times.
Alexandru Davila died on October 19, 1929, in Bucharest, leaving posterity a masterpiece, the play Vlaicu Vodă, as well as institutional reform of the theater, along with the refreshing of interpretive and directorial techniques.
The play Vlaicu Vodă premiered on the evening of February 12, 1902, when its author, Alexandru Davila, was 40 years old and at the peak of his creative power. The first staging had C. I. Nottara (Vlaicu Vodă) and Agatha Bârsescu (Doamna Clara) in the main roles. Then followed big names who gave life to the characters imagined by Davila.
In 1913, Aristide and Constanța Demetriade were cast in the play, then, in 1925, when the play recorded 100 performances, George Calboreanu embodied the ruler. During the communist period, the play was staged, screened and recorded for radio theater. George Vraca, Aurel Rogalski, George Motoi, Ion Pavelescu ș. a gave life to the ruler who had to defend his country in an unfavorable historical context, such as the second half of the 14th century, when military expansionism of the Hungarian Kingdom was a serious threat to the Romanian statehood.
Vlaicu Vodă is a masterpiece of our dramaturgy, which speaks to all generations about generally human problems: trust, betrayal, love, duty, choices and decisions that, to a greater or lesser extent, have were or are touchstones in people’s destinies.