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When indefatigable alternative arts doyen Molly Ruppert landed Studio Theater’s latest SecondStage offering for her downtown warehouse arts space (Studio is renovating at home), she felt properly gratified—but not completely happy. Ruppert’s space (in a couple of adjacent buildings her family owns on 7th Street NW near Mount Vernon Square) is composed of three large interconnected rooms, and Studio is only using one big, rough-timbered former storage area for its production of Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest: A Play From Romania.
So, with Churchill’s play in mind, Ruppert got on the phone to the Romanian embassy and asked if there were any good Romanian-born painters living in the U.S. It turns out that the East Coast is now home to some of that politically tumultuous country’s best painters, among them Washington’s Irina Horsia. A few more phone calls and several studio visits later, Ruppert had filled her two remaining rooms with a show of contemporary Romanian art that runs alongside the play to Aug. 18.
By coincidence, says Ruppert, the art show is stamped by a theatrical motif. “Klara Tamas does these big, powerful works that were originally created for theater posters,” she explains. “And Daniela Codarcea Kamiliotis is a set and costume designer, and in her paintings she often uses characters from Italian commedia dell’arte.” Anton Ciobanu, on the other hand, is a ceramic sculptor with no ties to the theater at all. “But then we noticed that he has quite a few masked figures in his work,” says Ruppert. “So we thought that was good enough, and chose those.”—John DeVault
At 1019 7th St. NW. Thursday through Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.