by Mihaela Michailov
Play-writing in the 50s and 60s centers on the image of the worker and on the new geography of labor in factories, enterprises and mines. The worker and work undertaken in often precarious conditions represent the themes of playwrights such as Lucia Demetrius, Mihai Davidoglu, Ion D. Sârbu, Maria Banuș etc., playwrights for whom the theatre functions as a means to mobilize class consciousness and create contexts in solidarity with the realities of the times. The workers in the plays of the aforementioned authors believe in the Communist ideals, in the value of the labor shared by all workers and in the strength of the social cohesion generated by common needs and desires: “Workers represent the human heritage that gains increasing visibility in the theatrical space. The society of workers gains consistency in the play-writing of the 50s and 60s, play-writing which documents the world of workers who are alienated from the goods they produce and who are fighting for their rights and common ideals. It is a world in which the unity of actions is reflected in the unity of decision-making; a world in which passing down the value of labor from one generation to the next becomes a common good.”
The plays of the 50s and 60s, in which the new heroes of labor gain a space of expression and increasing social influence, develop a repertoire of situations and contexts which deserve a theatrical, as well as directorial, reconsideration. Read nowadays, the plays maintain their value as social and artistic documents of a period which loses significance if analyzed through the lenses of clichés. Mihaela Michailov offers an analysis of the context which generates these plays and of the themes and motives which they develop.