BÉZNĂ, BEZNE, NOUN ( OFTEN USED FIGURATIVELY ) ABYSS, DARKNESS, IMPENETRABLE DARKNESS, PITCH BLACK - FROM THE SLAVIC BEZDŬNA, бездна
бeз = without дно = bottom / deep
"BÉZNÁ Theatre [ functions ] according to the principles of that 'theatre-scourge' for which Antonin Artaud had militated to delusion about seven decades ago - theatre that burns like the plague, purified of clichés and, in turn, purifying humanity of the filth of hypocrisy.”
— Oana Medrea (original review in Romanian)
BÉZNĂ Theatre is a British-Romanian interventionist political theatre collective formed in London in 2013 by Sînziana Koenig and Nico Vaccari who were brought together by the need to make a political theatre that investigates societal inequalities and confronts institutional and normalised violences. Central to Sînziana and Nico’s practice with BÉZNĂ is the close collaboration with activists and experts as part of the research and creation process. All BÉZNĂ productions are accompanied by an act of interventionist activism led by an activist that campaigns against the violence that the respective production is opening a dialogue about. BÉZNĂ is committed to interventionist activism through theatre in artistic and educational environments and within communities throughout Romania and the UK.
We consider theatre a powerful platform for grassroots activism.
We create socially driven interventionist theatre that challenges inequality through new artistic forms.
We aim to promote empathy, empower our audiences and inspire change.
Does our programming look a little strange? That’s because we work between two different theatre systems. In the UK shows run usually run for a few weeks every day, while in Romania shows enter a repertory system and play once a month for a number of years. By clicking on PRODUCTIONS you can see a list of the shows we have produced and in WHAT’S ON you can see what upcoming shows we’ve got on.
WHO WE ARE
Sînziana Koenig - Co-artistic director
Sînziana is a theatre director, playwright, dramaturg and activist. Trained as a theatre director at Drama Centre London, she co-founded BÉZNĂ Theatre with Nico in 2013. Sînziana directed BÉZNĂ’s debut production in London which explored the dynamics of violent power structures in a prison environment (Deathwatch by Jean Genet). As director Sînziana has also tackled rape culture and online misogyny (boyz and girlz) and the relationship between capitalism, consumer apathy and the climate crisis (VINOVAT,-Ă) and she has worked on BÉZNĂ's last 5 productions as dramaturg and/or writer. Sînziana is an animal rights activist and is also responsible for BÉZNĂ’s video teasers, trailers, dramaturgy and translations.
Nico Vaccari - Co-artistic director
Nico is a theatre director, playwright and activist. He trained in Theatre Directing at Drama Centre London and co-founded BÉZNĂ Theatre in 2013. His work with BÉZNĂ has investigated the destructive impact of unfettered capitalism and mass-privatisation in post-communist Europe (CRIME), the relationship between interrogation techniques [war], hardcore heterosexual pornography [entertainment] and interpersonal relationships [love] (CUNTHATE [ URĂ ]), patriarchal violence and femicide in Romania (112) and the relationship between capitalism, consumer apathy and the climate crisis (VINOVAT,-Ă). Nico’s production CRIME won special jury prize for best play and best male actor at the FIST festival in Suceava, Romania.
Oana Pușcatu - Actor
Oana trained at the National University for Theatre and Film 'I. L. Caragiale' in Bucharest, Romania and since graduating has worked constantly in both independent and state theatres throughout Bucharest. As well as having worked with BÉZNĂ since Sînziana and Nico moved to Bucharest in 2014, Oana is also employed as an actor at Teatrul Mic (The Small Theatre) in Bucharest and is the lead singer of the band AVENUE.
Claire Gilbert - Company producer
Claire is an independent theatre producer with a focus on new, political theatre. As well as working for BÉZNĂ Theatre she is Producer for Squint Theatre, a London-based theatre company that asks big questions about the world through exhilarating and provocative new work and Associate Producer for Out of The Forest Theatre, an ensemble-based theatre company that attempts to redefine the traditional narrative structure of the theatre. She has previously worked for Complicité on The Encounter, A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer and Lionboy and for Wayward Productions on Grief is the Thing with Feathers.
Dan Balfour - Company Sound Designer
Since graduating from Theatre Sound at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, Dan has been working solidly designing sound in theatres across the UK. Besides his work with BÉZNĂ, Dan has most recently worked on Effigies Of Wickedness at the Gate Theatre, London and Will Self’s Great Apes at the Arcola Theatre, London. Dan has also worked as Associate Sound Designer for productions like Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny & Alexander at The Old Vic, London and the UK Tour or Duncan Macmillan’s People Places & Things. Dan is a current nominee for best sound design in the 2018 Off Westend theatre awards.
Ángel López-Silva - Actor
Ángel López-Silva is a Mexican actor/performer. Trained in acting at Drama Centre London, clowning with Phillippe Gaulier in France and musical theatre in Kingston college. After graduating in 2014 he was given a role in Nico Vaccari's CRIME with BÉZNĂ Theatre. In 2015 he joined the theatre group Complicite to do a world tour of the play LIONBOY by Zizou Corder (dir. Clive Mendus and James Yeatman and adapted by Marcelo dos Santos), performed at The New Victory Theatre (Broadway), The Tricycle Theatre (London), Baxter Theatre (South Africa) and The National Theatre of Korea (Seoul). He has won "BEST NEWCOMER" awarded by Complicite.
UK company number: 11253771