The “History of Romanian Theatre” Collection offers a complete view on the dramaturgy in Iași, and the “Mihai Ursachi” Culture House of Iași, from the same complex, represents a meeting point of arts.
In 1976, a unique collection in the country was opened, with approximately 22.000 exhibits, in the former Museum of Theatre on the Vasile Alecsandri Street, a historic monument building in which the playwright Vasile Alecsandri had spent his childhood. Since 2009, the exhibits were moved in the current location, on the first floor of the “Mihai Eminescu” Museum founded in 1989 in Copou Park.
The collection of theatre performances posters cover the entire evolution of the dramatic phenomenon, including the first poster which has the title of “Iași National Theatre” on it, dating from 1840. The manuscripts and original documents are proof of the involvement of famous names of the Romanian culture in the theatre of Iași . Some documents are signed by the playwright Vasile Alecsandri himself or by the poets Mihai Codreanu or George Topîrceanu.
The main attraction remains the section dedicated to the show world. The visitor can imagine scenes played by Matei Millo, the first Romanian actor who played as travesty. Some of his costumes were exhibited here. Millo is known for the part of Chirița in Vasile Alecsandri’s plays, but also for the first Romanian operetta wrote by him in 1848 – “Baba Hârca”. If you are an opera fan, you will discover here a part of the costumes worn on stage by the Romanian soprano Hariclea Darclée, considered a genius artist by the composer Giacomo Puccini.
You can interact with the artistic world in multiple ways in the same building of the “Mihai Ursachi” Culture House of Iași, which has a show hall with over 200 seats, exhibition room and creation rooms. Several events are organized here, such as photography exhibitions, book launches, art exhibitions, musical events, charitable concerts, international theater festivals and shows which are part of the International Education Festival.
The “Mihai Ursachi” Culture House also hosts the Film Fans Club, which dedicates each month to a director and weekly projects an art film in the show hall. An event which promotes European multiculturality is the Multicolour Festival, taking part on the building’s esplanade, each year in June. Each year, at the end of June, there is also the great National Ceramics Fair “Cucuteni 5000”, when artisans from all around the country and from the Republic of Moldova exhibit traditional or artistic ceramics, and Copou Park becomes quite crowded.
Visiting hours – Theatre Collection: TUESDAY – SUNDAY: 10:00-17:00
Matei Millo – The first modern actor
Matei Millo was an actor, director and playwright from Iași, dramatic arts teacher and manager of the Iași National Theatre. He had his debut in 1834, in the play “Celebration of Moldavian Shepherds”, directed by Gh. Asachi, playing alongside M. Kogălniceanu. In 1840, he departs to Paris to learn economy and engineering, but he abandons them and begins taking acting classes, becoming the first Romanian actor with a university degree în acting. In 1846, he is named manager of the Iași National Theatre and becomes famous through his plays in which he dressed as travesty – Madam Chirița or Baba Hârca – despite the critics of the time. The Copou Park museum commemorates his intense activity and his bust can be found in the Theatre Park.