Mihai Mălaimare

b. 1950, Botoșani

Mihai Mălaimare stuied in the class of professors Moni Ghelerter, Zoe Anghel Stanca, and Geta Angheluță at the Institute of Theatrical and Cinematic Arts, graduating at the top of his year in 1973 and being assigned to the National Theatre in Bucharest. He has appeared in Richard III (1975), Twelfth Night (1984), Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac (1976), Terence’s Andria (1977), Durenmatt’s Romulus the Great (1977), Stoenescu’s Alexander Lăpușneanu (1978), de Fillippo’s Filumena Marturano, Gogol’s The Overcoat, Răducu Ițcuș’s White Arab, and many more. He wrote and directed the plays The Actor and The Clowns. As well as his work in radio and television theatre, he has also appeared in numerous films. In 1981, he was awarded a scholarship to the Jacques Lecoq School of Theatre in Paris.

In 1990, Mihai Mălaimare founded the Masque Theatre, Romania’s only venue for gestural theatre and pantomime. He was head of the theatre until 2017 and has directed a number of productions. The Masque Theatre has developed in two main directions: street theatre (performances featuring clowns, commedia dell’arte, mediaeval theatre, living statues) and more elaborate indoor performances inspired by great authors such as Gogol, Márquez, Goldoni, Brusov, Borges. At the Masque Theatre he has appeared in Mediaevalia, The Clowns, The Overcoat, Oina, The Merry Guards, The Cabaret of Nations, Fior d’Amor in Bucuresci, The Café and others. He has directed Prom Concert, The Cabaret of Nations, At the Romanians’, The Merry Guards, Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, The Parade, Gammer Gurton’s Needle, Cocktail, The Comedy of Errors.

He made his début at the National Radio Theatre in 1974 in V. Ion Popa’s The Fly in the Window, followed by D. R. Popescu’s Ballad for Nine Stags, the musical The Key to Success, Tudor Mușatescu’s Titanic Waltz, Ovidiu Dumitru’s The Bohemians, Ben Jonson’s Epicoene, or the Silent Woman, and others. He has also appeared in numerous radio variety shows and broadcasts for children.

He made his big-screen début in 1976, appearing in Unwilling Doctor, which was followed by Network S, Old Man Mărin the Billionaire, The Applecart, The Migratory Birds Arrive, The Red Rats.

Mihai Mălaimare has a doctorate in the history of theatre. He taught acting at the National University of Theatrical and Cinematic arts from 1984 to 1989 and at the Ecological University, Bucharest. He has taught pantomime at the Pygmalion School of Theatre in Vienna and the History of Romanian Culture at Gallaudet University (Washington, U.S.A.). His books include Theatre Vacant Lots (1998), The Resignation (2004), and The Opportunity (2007).

In 2002, Mihai Mălaimare was awarded the National Order for Loyal Service in the rank of Chevalier. In 2008, he was awarded the UNITER Prize for Nonverbal Theatre. In 2010, the Masca Theatre was awarded the Order of Culture in the rank of Chevalier for services to the performing arts, which came as confirmation of the excellence of Mihai Mălaimare’s theatre company and the type of theatrical discourse they have introduced to Romania. His other distinctions include the Romania 2000 Diploma of Excellence and Trophy, awarded at the twelfth Romania 2000 Laureates Gala in 2013 ‘for his outstanding career and for promoting the Romanian dramatic arts at home and abroad at the highest standards of artistry’, and the title of Doctor Honoris Causa, bestowed by the Chișinău Academy of Theatre and Plastic Arts at Class Fest in April 2014.

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Mihai Mălaimare reads poetry by: