Timișoara & Arad

Once I turned in my final grades and had a last meeting with my chair, I headed off to the far western side of Romania to visit Timișoara. The flight on BlueAir is cheap and takes approximately 30 minutes. Timișoara is the third largest city in the country and is home to West University, which was…

SibFest

I spent the last ten days at SibFest, an international theatre festival in the picturesque city of Sibiu, located in the center of Romania. I took the regional train from Cluj south for four hours, enjoying the beautiful hills and farms of Transylvania. Since I was staying for an extended period and being joined by…

Georgia & Armenia

During the week between my last lecture and final exam, I went to Georgia and Armenia. I flew from Cluj to Istanbul to Tbilisi with an overnight layover on the return trip. I rented a studio near the city center, which proved more convenient than comfortable, but c’est le vie. This wasn’t one of my…

Iași

Once my production opened, I had several days free, so I headed to Iași, the largest city in northeast Romania (Moldova) and the home base for three of my Fulbright colleagues. The city’s location makes it seemingly less accessible, and the cheap train and bus rides are too long; however, there are plenty of short and…

The Big Night

After 19 consecutive days of rehearsal, we finally premiered The Fantasticks last night at Fabrica de Pensule (“Paintbrush Factory”). With only a hundred or so seats, the house filled to capacity with an audience comprised primarily of the actors’ friends and family members along with a handful of UBB professors and several of my Fulbright colleagues. With outside…

Brașov Report

The final Fulbright meeting with the Commission will be in Brașov next week, the same week as the premiere of my musical, so I will not be able to attend. The grantees have been asked to prepare a short presentation summarizing their experiences in Romania. This post will serve as my “public” report. I greatly regret that I won’t…

Back in the Saddle

Part of my Fulbright grant and my primary assignment to UBB is to provide a musical theatre module (an “intensive”) for the eight first-year Masters students in the acting program. I claim no expertise in musical theatre and have only limited experience, but this is one distinctly American topic that the UBB theatre admin thought I could…

Spring Break

Our spring break at Babeș-Bolyai University fell the week after Easter Sunday; consequently, my classes scheduled for Good Friday were forfeited. Those students told me in advance that they would be going home, and they asked that I reschedule their class, which I did. The result was that I effectively ended up with two weeks for spring…

Travel vs. Grant

I’ve been asked many questions about my travels in light of my grant and responsibilities here in Romania, so I’d like to share the following. For my first semester in Bucharest, I taught on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; the other days usually were unscheduled and, therefore, available for traveling. Here in Cluj, the first half of my…

Terrific Tuesday

This past Tuesday, I got to guest lecture for a Fulbright colleague. The class was “American Culture & Civilization: Schooling America,” and I focused on how we might understand traditional gender roles using David Ives’ short comedy “Sure Thing” from All in the Timing. The class was comprised of English majors and minors, all of whom will graduate…

Turda: Town & Saltmine

Earlier this week, I visited nearby Turda to visit the town and historic salt mine. Reaching the town is simple: a FANY (public) bus runs from Cluj several times each hour, takes 30-45 minutes depending on traffic, and costs only 7 RON (less than $2) each way. Once in Turda, you must hail a taxi…

New Term Begins

Term II finally began this past week at Babeș-Bolyai University  in Cluj, and I am delighted to have something productive to do again. As it stands now… I will teach all of the graduating English minors in the Faculty of Letters in a Seminar in Modern American Drama. My roster lists 138 students who have been divided…