Cristina Bejan

Cristina Bejan

Cristina Bejan (Founding Executive Director of Bucharest Inside the Beltway, bucharestinsidethebeltway.com) is a theatre artist and scholar based in Raleigh, NC. Currently a lecturer at Duke University and Wake Technical College, Bejan has also had professional appointments at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Wilson Center, Duke University, Georgetown University and UNC-Greensboro. She has authored...
Cristina Bejan (Founding Executive Director of Bucharest Inside the Beltway, bucharestinsidethebeltway.com) is a theatre artist and scholar based in Raleigh, NC. Currently a lecturer at Duke University and Wake Technical College, Bejan has also had professional appointments at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Wilson Center, Duke University, Georgetown University and UNC-Greensboro. She has authored 15 plays, one book (Intellectuals and the Rise of Fascism in Interwar Romania: the History of the Criterion Association) and numerous essays and poems. For a photo montage of her theatre work over the past ten years, please scroll below. Selected play titles by Bejan include: Districtland, Colombo Calling – a play from Sri Lanka, To Those Who Haven’t Stopped Thinking and In Search of Couches. Two of her plays (Finally Quiet in My Head and Etrangere) were selected as finalists in the Oxford University Dramatic Society New Writing Festival and Buchenwald has been published in Romania. Bejan has also directed for the theatre and film in the US, UK, Romania and Vanuatu: DC credits include Zalmoxis (Georgetown), The Journals of Mihail Sebastian (WWC) and Dirty Laundry (Ticket to Bollywood). Bejan was the creative consultant for Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest directed by Lila Neugebauer at the 2014 Williamstown Theatre Festival. As an actress, she has trained at Interlochen, Northwestern University and DC's Studio Theatre and performed in countless productions since childhood. Bejan is a certified Yoga Instructor and integrates yoga, movement, dance and meditation into her rehearsals. She also is passionate about sound design and dramaturgy. Bejan's theatre work has been featured in Evenimentul Zilei and Observator Cultural. In her creative career, Bejan is honored to have worked with such distinguished theatre artists as Maia Morgenstern, Isabela Neamtu, Lou Stein, Henry Goodman and Rosamund Pike. She has also had the pleasure of producing plays to sponsor such causes as the LiteracyLab DC, International Medical Corps, Ovidiu Rom and UNIFEM. From 2005-2008 She was the Aristic Director of Théâtre Fille de Chambre, a 'feminine' theatre company in Oxford, UK. Bejan developed and directed "Ol Woman Naoia", a collaborative production with female artists in the South Pacific archipelago Vanuatu about women’s rights and empowerment. Out of the success of that project Bejan was approached by the World Bank to write plays for development for the northern islands of Vanuatu.

Plays

  • Lady Godiva
    A play about sexual assault and the crimes of Romanian communism. A one-woman show set to spoken word poetry.

    Selected as part of the 2016 Mead Theatre Lab Program. Workshop production at Source Theatre DC.
  • Buchenwald
    Buchenwald explores man's hunger for power and the fight for something greater than the individual. Set in 1946, the show discloses the continued use of Nazi concentration camps as Soviet extermination camps for the Germans. Imprisoned by the Soviets, Nazi SS Colonel Max Richter reaches out to save the future of his young Soviet guard, Sasha Novsky.

    Produced at the Struble Theatre, Northwestern University 2004
  • Colombo Calling - a play from Sri Lanka
    Having recently received a PhD from Cambridge, Karthi returns to Colombo for the first time in twenty-two years. He comes to settle family affairs as his mother lays on her death-bed in London. His male cousin, Shahan, is a loud, vocal Sri Lankan with a very strong Tamil identity, and Shahan's sister, Thushanti, is Colombo's most famous and desired party girl. Shahan works for an American NGO set up...
    Having recently received a PhD from Cambridge, Karthi returns to Colombo for the first time in twenty-two years. He comes to settle family affairs as his mother lays on her death-bed in London. His male cousin, Shahan, is a loud, vocal Sri Lankan with a very strong Tamil identity, and Shahan's sister, Thushanti, is Colombo's most famous and desired party girl. Shahan works for an American NGO set up post- Tsunami through which met his white girlfriend, Molly. Karthi's aunt, Varthini, has difficulty accepting Karthi's family's rejection of their homeland, her own children's erratic behavior and the extreme changes happening in Sri Lanka due to never-ending civil war, natural disaster and international humanitarian intervention. Facing discrimination and racism even as a visitor, Karthi learns what it means to be Tamil in 2006 Sri Lanka.

    Colombo Calling appeared as a live-reading in Bucharest, Romania, in 2008 At Teatrul Foarte Mic And Museo Cafe, starring Maia Morgenstern as Varthini, and directed by Alex Mihail. Produced as a staged reading by Bucharest Inside the Beltway in the 2016 Page to Stage Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Produced as a staged reading at Imurj in Raleigh, NC in May 2018 starring Seema Kukreja.
  • Credo
    On Christmas eve, 16 year-old Jonas is called upon by God (in the form of Ozzy Osbourne) to be the next Messiah. Jonas' Israeli-Jewish father, lapsed-Catholic mother and troubled adolescent sister are more than reluctant to believe him. Jonas struggles with self-doubt but ultimately accepts the challenge when visited by Jesus Christ himself who emerges out of a poster in Jonas' room, as Kurt Cobain....
    On Christmas eve, 16 year-old Jonas is called upon by God (in the form of Ozzy Osbourne) to be the next Messiah. Jonas' Israeli-Jewish father, lapsed-Catholic mother and troubled adolescent sister are more than reluctant to believe him. Jonas struggles with self-doubt but ultimately accepts the challenge when visited by Jesus Christ himself who emerges out of a poster in Jonas' room, as Kurt Cobain.

    Produced the Moser Theatre, Oxford, UK 2005
  • Curious or Insecure in Odessa (a backwards love story)
    Curious or Insecure in Odessa is a backward love story told backwards. It begins with the final conversation held between Rose, an Ukrainian-American PhD student, and her lover, Stellan, a Swedish ex-pat short story author living in Odessa. This play as an attempt to better understand what makes us take the destructive leap of faith necessary to fall in love. the overarching question 'Curious or Insecure...
    Curious or Insecure in Odessa is a backward love story told backwards. It begins with the final conversation held between Rose, an Ukrainian-American PhD student, and her lover, Stellan, a Swedish ex-pat short story author living in Odessa. This play as an attempt to better understand what makes us take the destructive leap of faith necessary to fall in love. the overarching question 'Curious or Insecure?' is relevant to both Rose and Stellan when considering why the two were drawn to each other, as an unlikely pair of misfits in an east european barren urban landscape. the play does not aim to give an answer, but does suggest that Rose is mainly curious, whilst Stellan is primarily insecure, and that we all are, when it comes to love, a bit of both.
  • DISTRICTLAND
    A day in the life of group of young DC go-getter types, living in a shared house in a transition neighborhood. Frank interns on Capital Hill, Dave is an unemployed Georgetown Law grad, Charity is a former Peace Corps who works for an indigenous NGO and Maria is a Cuban-American Rhodes scholar at the State Department. Professional and relationship Drama ensue including Frank's unrequited love of the lone DC...
    A day in the life of group of young DC go-getter types, living in a shared house in a transition neighborhood. Frank interns on Capital Hill, Dave is an unemployed Georgetown Law grad, Charity is a former Peace Corps who works for an indigenous NGO and Maria is a Cuban-American Rhodes scholar at the State Department. Professional and relationship Drama ensue including Frank's unrequited love of the lone DC native, A'isha. the script is a glimpse into the various DC worlds the characters interact with: including the IMF, World Bank, McKinsey, spoken word poetry (e.g. Busboys and Poets), an Afghani cabbie's quest for literary fame and an absolutely absurd lobbying group called Saving the Dogs of Bucharest.

    World premiere took place in July 2014 at the Capital Fringe Theatre Festival in Washington DC, directed by John Dellaporta. The show sold-out its entire extended run. Script optioned by Russell Max Simon for development into a TV series. DISTRICTLAND TV Pilot has been shot and will appear at the DC Independent Film Festival in March 2016. Both the play and the TV show have been featured favorably in the Washington Post.
  • Etrangere
    A stark exploration of both sides' of the Atlantic inability to understand one another. a play about the ultimate alienation of the individual, set against the back-drop of a decaying love story in London and a terrorist kidnapping in Paris.

    Semi-finalist in the Oxford University Dramatic Society New Writing Festival 2005
    Produced in the Burton Taylor Theatre, Oxford, UK
  • Finally Quiet in My Head
    "Finally Quiet in my Head" tells the story of native Washingtonian Morgan and her unlikely friendship with Gerard, the Senegalese man whose humor and kind spirit might have saved Morgan inside the hospital. It explores the struggles Morgan’s family and friends face when coming to terms with Morgan’s mental illness, and the inability for her loved ones and doctors alike to understand what it means for...
    "Finally Quiet in my Head" tells the story of native Washingtonian Morgan and her unlikely friendship with Gerard, the Senegalese man whose humor and kind spirit might have saved Morgan inside the hospital. It explores the struggles Morgan’s family and friends face when coming to terms with Morgan’s mental illness, and the inability for her loved ones and doctors alike to understand what it means for her. This play examines the intersections between mental illness and race, gender-based violence, and socio-economic status, all within the context of the District of Columbia.
  • Gateway to Heaven
    Bohemian Karl rubs elbows with Ronald Reagan and Madonna in the waiting room to Heaven, as Joan of arc presides as the registrar/St. Peter's personal secretary.

    Produced at the Moser Theatre, Oxford, UK 2005
  • The Happiness Business
    Radu moves out of his NYC apartment he shares with Jeni, to find an environment more conducive to his creativity. He goes to South Carolina where he helps his uncle, Eugene, set up a travel agency in Myrtle Beach. Conversations with Eugene and a client, Leonora, reveal that home is not necessarily where the heart is, and that much of life is about getting back to business.
  • Neighbor, Nympho, Fighter, Friend
    One-woman's take on a bizarre family living next door when their lives are destroyed by an incomprehensible murder.
  • Ol Woman Naoia - tri blong hanred plis
    Ol Woman Naoia: tri blong hanred plis (Women of Today - three shells of kava please) chronicles one day in the life of three young wome who work at the same non-profit in Port Vila, the capital city of Vanuatu, an island archipelago in the South Pacific. Leipakoa suffers from domestic violence. Ana wins a scholarship to study abroad but struggles with the prospect of leaving her young daughter. Dawn is the...
    Ol Woman Naoia: tri blong hanred plis (Women of Today - three shells of kava please) chronicles one day in the life of three young wome who work at the same non-profit in Port Vila, the capital city of Vanuatu, an island archipelago in the South Pacific. Leipakoa suffers from domestic violence. Ana wins a scholarship to study abroad but struggles with the prospect of leaving her young daughter. Dawn is the expat volunteer who feels out of place in ni-Vanuatu society, as well as the expat world. She has a very awkward lunch with Hilary, a typical racist expat. the script is in english, Bislama (the local pidgin dialect) and French, sufficiently representing the melange of languages spoken in Port Vila. there is also a chorus of women who open and close the show, and participate throughout when the scene calls for extras. This project was created in the spring of 2010 in Port Vila, Vanuatu, by a group of local women, Ni-Vanuatu and expat. the group collaborated with VANGO, the central headquarters of all NGOs in Vanuatu, the University of the South Pacific and UNIFeM, which sponsored the post-show talk-back on opening night.

    A theatre play created by women living in Port Vila : Alison Donley; Anna Naupa; Anthea Toka; Charlotte Pitts; Cristina Bejan; Ellenson Taurakoto; Geraldine Tavoa; Hanna Lindley-Jones; Jani Moon; Josiana Jackson; Olivia Johnson; Rebecca Olul; Sally Carter; Tracey Martin

    Club Vanuatu, Vanuatu Amateur Theatrical Society (VATS) Apr 2010
  • To Those Who Haven't Started Believing
    the sequel to 'To Those Who Haven't Stopped Thinking.' Same characters, Same place. the Politician has been assassinated. Hannah and Vlad stand on Vlad's balcony and survey the destruction of the city. they kiss. Now what? Religion begins to infiltrate the Universe in a seemingly unstoppable way. Hannah attempts to 'help' and Vlad gives up in favor of serving the system.
  • To Those Who Haven't Stopped Thinking
    a play about philosophy, love and saving the Universe. Set in a desolate post-apocalyptic land called 'the Universe' characters Hannah (a young philosopher from 'the Beyond') and Vlad (an older teacher from 'the Beyond') come together to 'help' the people of the universe: the Citizens and the Givers. Six Actors/actresses Are required to play the Citizens And Givers, each...
    a play about philosophy, love and saving the Universe. Set in a desolate post-apocalyptic land called 'the Universe' characters Hannah (a young philosopher from 'the Beyond') and Vlad (an older teacher from 'the Beyond') come together to 'help' the people of the universe: the Citizens and the Givers. Six Actors/actresses Are required to play the Citizens And Givers, each role can be played by either gender.

    Produced at the Burton Taylor Theatre, Oxford, UK 2003