Posted by: colombocalling | July 20, 2009

‘Colombo Calling’ in the news

Salut Colombo fans,

We have received some fantastic press in the recent weeks. Cristina Bejan was asked to speak about her life, approach to theatre and the birth of ‘Colombo Calling’ in Bucharest in a recent interview with and Evenimentul Zilei.

And while links are being posted, we include the program that Colombo was a part of last November in NYC, the Internationalists 24 Hour Play Festival:

This global event was produced by the Internationalists’ Directors Collective. We are honored to collaborate with them! (

That’s it for now . . . Thank you for your support and interest!

numai bine 🙂

the Colombo team

Posted by: colombocalling | January 17, 2009

message from Director and Playwright

It has been brought to our attention that people are curious for more information about our project and artistic approach.  So we decided to publish the program notes by both the director and the playwright below. These programs were distributed at both readings: Teatrul Foarte Mic and Museo Cafe.

Director’s Note
From the first reading of the play I’ve been struck by the great amount of passion hidden beneath the character’s smiles and polite dialogues: a passion, provoked by the search of identity. It both unites and divides the characters. “I’m a Tamil and I’m a Sri Lankan” or “I’m not British, I’m still Tamil” or “Would it have been different if I were brown?” or “How can I leave, my roots are here?” are lines that describe a universe where people love, hate, laugh and cry according only to their identity. This is what a cosmopolitan, raised in a top multicultural place like London, finds out when he returns to his home country torn by a latent civil war. With this, Karthi discovers that passion lies not only in his mathematics research but somewhere else, in a hidden place inside him, where his identity lies. – Alex Mihail

Playwright’s Note
Following in the tradition of ‘Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest – a play from Romania’ (1990), ‘Colombo Calling – a play from Sri Lanka’ was inspired by stories I heard whilst I lived in Sri Lanka in 2006. The play explores such topics as civil war, diaspora, international relief work, racism, forbidden love and identity. However, for me this play is ultimately about a family, struggling to love one another and forgive one another across countries, cultures and generations. I dedicate this ‘spectacol – lectură’ to my own family in both the USA and Romania and to the memory of Henry Ciocca. – Cristina Bejan

Posted by: colombocalling | October 26, 2008

Well, it’s all about friendship..

Colombo Calling. A Play from Sri Lanka, by Cristina Bejan

@ Museo Cafe

June 19th 2008

Posted by: colombocalling | October 8, 2008

I feel “Most Myself” when…

… I walk around the city in my snickers, a t-shirt and large pants, no bra, no make up… I feel most myself when I smoke in my bathtub, when I sleep naked, when I laugh with my friends on a Sunday afternoon in a cheap joint in Bucharest… I feel most myself when I can do things I’m really passionate about and I get appreciation for that, when people laugh at my jokes, when my friends need me, when I have brilliant ideas about totally unpractical things. i feel most myself when someone falls inlove with me and I really fall in love with him too, when I can find myself in someone else, when I meet people as oldfashioned as I am in sentimental mathers… i don’t know… nu stiu… voi cand va simtiti cel mai voi insiva/inseva?

Posted by: colombocalling | October 8, 2008

part two

Collombo was just the start of something beautiful (this reminds me of a great song i`ve been listening to lately, so here it is). A part of the old team is back again, rehearsing these days, preparing the next show, which is due to take place very soon. More precisely, on Friday, October 10th, same place as the last time, that is Museo Cafe, at 8.00 pm, a new performance.  Most Myself – “An Evening of Feminine Writing / Seara de Scriere Feminina.”  The ideea came of course, from the very “mother” of Collombo, Cristina. She had a text that she wanted to perform but after some talking with friends about it, guess what? She got hold of another 3 texts, all of them revolving around the same theme – feminism, feminists, female body, mind, soul. 2 texts in English, 2 texts in Romanian. So, Cristina said, let`s do something really cool about this. Of course, working with Alex (Mihail) had been a pleasure so he got happily involved in the new project. And also, another woman was needed, so here she goes again: Isabela Neamtu.

Cristina and Isabela will perform in English and Romanian.

The texts are written by Slavenka Drakulic, Maria Ellis, Maria Manolescu and Suzanne Richardson and they all are snapshots of feminine thinking, living and feeling. They are great.

Thank all the authors for having agreed upon performing the texts, we would like Slavenka Drakulic to know how much we love her text and also having her invited at the show.

Here is the flyer:

Posted by: colombocalling | June 21, 2008

The point is that we’re just gettin’ started!

Colombo Calling was read again thanks to a whole bunch of lovely people who participated for free in making this project possible: the actors, the marketing crew, the host of Thursday night, Mr. Amarjit Sidhu from Museo Cafe who cooked for everybody there. Excellent food! Thank you Amarjit!

A very special thank to Ms Maia Morgenstern who supported the young crew of actors and felt at home among us all! Thank you Ms Morgenstern for your enthusiasm and charisma that you added to this project!

I haven’t insisted before in telling you that this was a no-budget play. And still is. No one involved in this project, a crew of about 20 people, gained any money. Everything was done for fun and for the art’s sake. This is a special category of theater in Romania that is called the no-budget theater. And we’re not the only ones, don’t you worry. The no-budget theater is a very interesting species that feeds itself only with enthusiasm but doesn’t live very long though. Because love and enthusiasm come for free, but are never enough.

But guess what? The people there were also enthusiastic to see something like that in Bucharest: a play about Sri Lanka, played in English by Romanian actors and written by an American playwrite. You see, there is a group of people in Bucharest that are no theater’s target group: the expats. I bet everyone of you reading this blog has one or two foreign friends. What do they do when everybody of the gang goes to the theater? They watch CNN at home I presume.

Well, we thought of an alternative. An English theater here in Bucharest. Budapest has one, Prague has one, Warsaw has one too. So that is why we’re just getting started. Bucharest needs an English theater, not only for the foreigners here, but for everyone who appreciates a good show and some deep feelings in any language!

We want to thank everyone who came, it was really a pleasure to have you there and talk to you all. The topics you started were very intriguing indeed, maybe next time we’ll chat even more.

Coming soon on this blog the movie of the play and of course photos, photos, photos!

Posted by: colombocalling | June 16, 2008

Ladies and Gents! See you on Thursday!

It’s “play” time @ Museo Café

Mosquitoes, sweat, mango, blood, forbidden love, spices, tea, Tamil Tigers…

Cristina Bejan, a Romanian – American playwright invites you to
Colombo Calling. A Play from Sri Lanka

With a special guest appearance by
Maia Morgenstern

Join us on a ride to this fractured paradise – the reading of the play directed by the young UNITER awarded director, Alex Mihail.

Also featuring:
Pavel Bârsan – Karthi
Isabela Neamţu – Molly
Gabriel Călinescu – Shahan
Anca Constantin – Thushanti
Gabriel Pricop – Lasantha
Ana Popescu – Claudia
Cătălin Iliescu – Prateek and others
Alexandru Mike Gheorghiu – Dr. Igor

Museo Café, Kiseleff 2
For reservations please call: 0751690690
Thursday, June 19th, from 8:30 pm

An event proudly supported by Museo Cafe

Partners: Hydra Society & Muzeul de Geologie

Posted by: colombocalling | June 16, 2008

And they played happily ever after…

The first reading of Colombo Calling was on May 24th, at Teatrul Foarte Mic and this is what happened then… A real success, even the wife of the Indian Ambassador in Romania was there.. Excellent audience! We thank you very much for coming!

This is Cristina and Lia Perjovski

This is the play… 🙂

…and the silence afterwards.

Posted by: colombocalling | June 16, 2008

Cristina and Alex – playwright and director in action :)

Beauty and the play… 😛

With actors….

I think the tiger was this big….

Ohhh that big… I see, I see…

What?? Never seen a tiger before??

The director – the eyes and ears of the play

Well, Anca, I think you should be more allusive and introspective… No shit!

It was the third paragraph on page 76, the one colored in red, wrote originally in hindu… remember Alex? 😛

Yeah… no, actually, no…

I think they all need a break… don’t you, Cristina? I know I need one…

Posted by: colombocalling | June 15, 2008

The Crew of Colombo Calling

PAVEL BARSAN is Karthi Tissainayagam, a Cambridge PhD in mathematics, who returns to Colombo after 22 years to handle some left family affairs. His clash with the Balakrishnans, his relatives from his mother’s side, is at least intriguing.

So let’s meet Pavel / Karthi:

GABRIEL CALINESCU is Shahan Balakrishnan, son of Varthini and a deeply troubled young man, officially working in an NGO, but secretly, a fighter in a guerrilla squad in Colombo. A dynamic character indeed…

Meet Gabriel / Shahan

ANCA CONSTANTIN is Thushanti Balakrishnan, sister of Shahan and daughter of Varthini, a young girl with a very intense social life, the soul of the parties in Colombo. But actually, a very disoriented woman, in search for her roots and true values.

Let’s meet Anca / Thushanti

ISABELA NEAMTU is Molly Brown, the New Zeelander girlfriend of Shahan. She tries to deal with all the unwritten rules of Tamils in Colombo, as she loves Shahan and she is very passionate about her work at the American medical NGO, where she met Shahan.

It is a delight to introduce you Isabela / Molly

GABRIEL PRICOP is Lasantha, Shahan’s best friend. He is a lawyer. He is the most relaxed character in the play.:)

Check out Gabriel / Lasantha

ANA POPESCU is Claudia, Lasantha’s girlfriend, from Germany. She could have stayed in the more civilized West. But she prefers Colombo. Interesting to find out why…

Lovely Ana / Claudia, ladies and gents:

ALEXANDRU MIKE GHEORGHIU is Dr. Igor. He is Russian. Funny guy. Excellent accent. But he’s got a temper, like every respectable Russian fellow.

Enjoy Mike / Dr. Igor

CATALIN ILIESCU is Prateek, the assistant of Dr. Igor and also a very loud character that you will surely recognize in the end of the play…

There he goes, Catalin / Prateek

CRISTA ANDRIESCU is the narrator of the play. Equilibrium and serenity…

That’s Crista:

The guy who composed and played the music for the play, the talented Daniel Beers aka DJ Beers:

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