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a candle for my son!

Andrei Serban, Stage Director

Stage Director

Born: June 21, 1943, in Bucharest. Son of Gheorghe Serban, photographer and Elpis Serban, teacher

Married, two children


  • 1961-1968 - Theatrical and Cinematographic Art Institute, Bucharest, where he staged widely acclaimed productions. At age 19, Serban's production of Julius Caesar won several first prize awards at international theater festivals

  • Received major grants from the Ford (1970), Guggenheim (1976) and Rockefeller (1980) Foundations.

Professional Career

  • A disciple of Peter Brooks.

  • As stage director navigated between theatre and opera in and out of thirty-nine countries, working, among others, with following theatres:

  • In USA (since 1970) he was associated with Robert Brustein's American Repertory Theatre Company for more than twenty years. Worked also with LaMama Theatre, the Public Theater, Lincoln Center, Circle in the Square, Yale Repertory Theatre, the Guthrie Theatre, A.C.T., and the New York City, Seattle and Los Angeles Operas.

  • In Europe: at Paris, Geneva, Vienna, and Bologna Opera Houses, the Welsh National Opera, Covent Garden, Théâtre de la Ville, Helsinki Lilla Teatern, the Bucharest Municipal Theatre (1990-1993, as general manager), Comédie Française, among others

  • In Japan: with the Shiki Company of Tokyo

  • Staged, among others:

  • At Robert Brustein's Theatre: 

    • The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, The King Stag, Sganarelle, Three Sisters (1983)

    • The Juniper Tree, The Miser (1988)

  • A.R.T. 

    • Twelfth Night and Sweet Table at the Richelieu (1989)

  • Yale Repertory Theatre

    • Ghost Sonata

    • Mad Dog Blues

  • Ellen Stewart's LaMama Experimental Theatre Company, New York

    • Fragments of a Trilogy (Medea, Electra, The Trojan Woman - 1974)

    • As You Like It (1976)

    • The Good Woman of Setzuan and Uncle Vanya (1979)

  • for The New York Shakespeare Festival 

    • The Cherry Orchard (1972)

    • Agamemnon, Master and Margarita, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1980)

    • Cymbeline and The Seagull (1981)

    • Hamlet (2000) etc.

  • In Romania

    • Ubu Roi (1966)

    • Julius Caesar (1968)

    • Jonah (1969)

    • An Ancient Trilogy (Medea, Elektra, The Trojan Women, 1990) a.o.

    • As Director of the National Theatre in Bucharest for three years after the 1989 Revolution (1990-1993), he restaged, within five months, Fragments of a Greek Trilogy with three separate casts and directed Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Country's Good, also with three casts. In addition, he produced a musical, Auditia, based on Michael Bennett's A Chorus Line. The Romanian production of Fragments of a Greek Trilogy has been invited to international theater festivals in Milan, Paris, Sao Paolo, Salzburg, and Edinburgh

  • Staged also operas

    • Eugene Onegin (1980) at Welsh National Opera (first lyric production)

    • Turandot (1984)

    • Norma (1985)

    • Fidelio (Covent Garden - 1986)

    • Paris Opera: The Puritans (1997), L'Ange de feu (1991), Lucia Di Lammermoor (1995), L'Italienne a Alger (1998), Les Indes Galanates (1999)

Teaching Activity

  • Taught acting and directing at at various universities and international and national theatre institutes, including the Yale School of Drama, Harvard University, Le Conservatoire de Paris, the Stockholm Dramatic School, the Theatre School of Tokyo, University of California - San Diego, the Pittsburgh Theatre Institute and San Francisco State University, Carnegie-Mellon, Sarah Lawrence, the Paris Conservatoire d'Art Dramatique, and the A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theatre Training
  • Currently Director of the Oscar Hammerstein Center for the Performing Arts at Columbia University, New York (since 1992)

Prizes and Awards

  • 1965 - Prize for the Best Performance" with "Head of the Souls' Sector", written by Alexandru Mirodan, on the Occasion of the World Students' Theatre Festival in Zagreb
  • Obie Awards
  • Tony Award
  • The Society of Stage Directors & Choreographers' prestigious "George Abbott Award," honoring 21 artists who have made a major impact on the theater during the twentieth century
  • Prizes at the Avignon, Belgrade and Shiraz Festivals
  • Several of his productions nominated for Broadway and off-Broadway awards

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