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Vera                         Vera Marianciuc

Jack                         Roland Muldoon

Svetlana                  Lucia Pogor

Michael                    Charles Portz


Man in Black #1 Igor Nedoseichin

Man in Black #2 Igor Karas

Man in Black #3 Alexander Shichkin

Man in Black #4 Edward Lovett

Policeman Viorel Kolesnik

Waitress #1 Nelly Kazaru

Waitress #2 Adela Kalistru

Widow Alla Menshikow

Svetlanaís Father Vladimir Zaiciuk

Svetlanaís Mother Eugenia  Todorashco

Svetlanaís Daughter Irina Caras

Minister of Health Igor Guzun

Minister of Agriculture Valentin Kukuruzak

Moderator #1 Andrei Porubin

Moderator #2 Igor Kobilianskii

Girl in Church   Aglaia  Roshka

Mr. Zawada Vasile Zubku

Wine Merchant Valentin Todercan

Marshall Konstantin Adam

Victimís Sister Galina Roshca

Auto Mechanic Anatol Durbala

Old Man Vasilii Konstantinov

Old Woman Valentina Izbeshiuk

Victimís Mother Angela Sochirca

Night Guy #1 Ivan Sholtoianu

Night Guy #2 Alexei Tsurcanu

Doctor Ion Mocanu

Gypsy Boy Andrian Shutca

Cheorny Vasile Lucian

Master of Ceremonies Iurii Suveica

Old Man at Cafť    Rev. William Robbins


Roland Muldoon, "Jack" Interview by Bette Craig on July 6, 2001

Roland Muldoon was born in Weybridge, Surrey, England. He studied stage management at the Bristol old Vic theatre school. In 1964 he co-founded the Cartoon Archetypical Slogan Theatre (C.A.S.T.), for which he wrote, produced and appeared in productions, touring Britain and Europe until 1985. In 1980, Mr. Muldoon was awarded the Village Voice OBIE for Full Confessions of a Socialist, presented in association with The Labor Theatre of New York. In 1984 he created the New Variety circuit, an outlet for new wave comedy and entertainment. In 1986 he re-opened Britain's famous 1,500 seat Hackney Empire Theatre. Most recently, Mr. Muldoon successfully headed a campaign that raised 15 million pounds for the restoration of the Hackney Empire Theatre. Currently, Mr. Muldoon serves as the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Hackney Empire Theatre, London. Roland Muldoon has made numerous appearances on stage as a comedian, actor and authority on Popular Theatre. He is married to Claire Muldoon, actress and artist.

RM: I've been writing my own material since I was a child.

BC: So, how does it feel saying someone else's words? RM: Fortunately, Chuck has let me have a lot of input into the lines I say. It makes it easier to remember them.

BC: How did you get involved in this production? RM: Just last September I read an earlier version of the script with Chuck when we were visiting him in the United States. It was the first time he'd heard it read aloud, and lo and behold, just a few months later I get a phone call saying "Do you want to come to Moldova to act in the film?" The timing was good because the theater I run in London, in the East End, just closed for renovations. We have a smaller space that just opened called the Bullion Room, that we're keeping going meanwhile. My wife, Claire, who works with me at the Hackney Empire, is keeping the ship afloat while I'm away. Actually, it's wonderful to just be performing without worrying about all the other stuff the way I usually do.

BC: You've known Chuck Portz, the director and writer of this film, for a long time? RM: Yes, he came to London in 1978 on an exchange fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the British Council. He was actually being given money to spend time in England meeting people like us doing alternative touring theater. Claire and I were suspicious that he might be a spy for the Arts Council at first - sent to find out how we were spending their money. We were going to hide and pretend we weren't home when he knocked on our door, but instead we had a meal and a lot of drinks together and really got on. We wound up collaborating on all kinds of projects between our theater and his Labor Theater in New York City. We always shared this mission to try to bring good theater to the working class.

BC: Had you heard of Moldova before? RM: Very much so. You see, at the Hackey Empire, we present the Moldovan Opera Company twice a year. They sell out. I went to see them perform here.

BC: Are you working on any of your own writing now? RM: I'm writing a book, actually. It's a book about the Hackney Empire. It's quite a famous place. Charlie Chaplin performed there. You can feel the history when you walk inside. Someone here asked me if I had known Charlie Chaplin. I guess I was looking a little old. Not one of my better days.

BC: What about theater? RM: For the past few months I've been meeting regularly with three women I met at the Hackney Empire. They're Black women, of Afro-Caribbean descent. They used to sit in the same seats every week watching our variety shows. I started talking with them and I thought here's a play. It's stand-up theater about three Black women who work for the Department of Health and Social Security. They've made mistakes on their jobs and this is their last chance to become hard-hit commandos and get their clients off the welfare roles and into jobs. The play will deal with how they come to realize that their jobs are making them lose their humanity.

BC: So, Bucharest Express is kind of in the tradition of the popular theater you've always done - it's about an issue. RM: Very much so. And I don't want Chisinau to lose any more of its young women. I have never seen so many beautiful young women in one place before in my life. Do you think it's the water?

Vera Marianciuc Interview with Vera Marianciuc on July 6, 2001 by Bette Craig.

"My first career choice was to be an airline stewardess. When I was a child that seemed the epitome of glamor, to look pretty and fly to faraway places," said actress Vera Marianciuc as she took a break toward the end of the first week's filming of Bucharest Express. The setting for the interview was the cool and lovely backyard of a house built 60 years ago by sculptor Joseph Poniatovski that is serving as one of the locations for the film. There are ripe cherries on several trees, and the first apricots are being picked from another. Moldova is famous for its fruit.

Vera Marianciuc, who is playing a Moldovan journalist hot on the trail of a story of the disappearance of thousands of young women, was born in Chisinau, Moldova, where her parents settled after finishing their studies in Odessa, Ukraine. They were both trained as engineers. She began studying English when she was a small child, but she has never learned to speak Romanian (now the official language of Moldova) fluently. Russian is her first language.

BC: When did you become interested in acting? VM: When I was in high school. I studied the violin. I went to music school. Then my last two years in high school, I worked with a theater group. We performed short plays. I took the examination to study at the Moscow Art Theater, and I was accepted. I spent six years in Moscow, four years in the theater program. We studied literature, history, art history and acting, voice and movement, of course. I went to Moscow when I was 18 and I loved it. Moscow is full of life. I would be there still, but my husband hates it.

BC: You sound like a character out of Chekhov. VM: My favorite role has been Masha in Three Sisters. I was living in Moscow during Perestroika. In the supermarket there was no food - ten eggs, three hens. I was very worried about my family here in Chisinau. There was civil war in Moldova. Transnistria (a highly industrialized region of Moldova near the border of Ukraine) was trying to break away to be an independent state. I came back to Chisinau in 1996.

BC: How did your parents feel about your being an actress? VM: In Soviet Union times, it was a good choice, because you could earn as much money as an actress as you could at any other profession. The Soviet movie industry used to produce more than 100 films every year. Now, it is not such a good career choice. I studied at the Moscow Art Theater free of charge. Now, you have to pay. Very few scholarships are available.

BC: So, you worked in Moscow as an actress after you finished studying? VM: I worked at the Hermitage Theater in Moscow, where we did 10 plays in repertory, including musicals and classic plays and plays for children. It was a large company, 50 actors. One of my first important roles was in Offenbach's musical, Paris Life. One of the things I loved about working in Moscow was that there were many more opportunities for performing and many directors. You know how important it is for an actor to find the perfect director. In Chisinau there is only one Russian-language theater.

BC: Have you ever acted in English before? VM: No. It's hard to learn lines. I am constantly translating in my head, but it is not hard to act with actors from another country. There are many things that you can understand without words.

BC: What other films have you done? VM: Two films directed by Vassily Brescanu, Keep Me Just For Yourself, a story about two young people who are trying to commit suicide - there are only two actors in the entire film - and Soap Opera. Igor Caras (who is also in the cast of Bucharest Express) was in it also. And, then I was in Ricochet, a film by Russian director Igor Talpa. Igor Guzun did a small comedy role in it. He was wonderful. (Igor Guzun is Assistant Director of Bucharest Express.)

BC: It seems as though there are an awful lot of Igors here. There are five of them working on this film. There's Igor Sound, Igor Electric, Igor the Driver, and all of the acting Igors. VM: Igor is a popular name in Moldova.

Lucia Pogor, "Svetlana" Interview with Lucia Pogor on July 4, 2001 by Bette Craig.

"Becoming an actress was altogether an accident in the first place," confessed Lucia Pogor, interviewed at a location during the first week of filming for Bucharest Express. Ms. Pogor plays the part of "Svetlana" in the film, an artist/herbalist of Gypsy descent.

"Music was my love. I started studying piano when I was six years old, and after 12 years, I was planning to take the examination required for entrance to the conservatory in Chisinau when my best friend, who wanted to be an actress, convinced me to take the exam in acting, which was being given on the same day, instead. I was accepted, but my friend wasn't. This event changed my life."

BC: Was the conservatory free at the point when you attended? LP: Yes. No longer, except for some scholarships, but then it was.

BC: You gave up the piano? LP: Yes. I still miss music.

BC: Did you have to leave your home to study at the conservatory in Chisinau? LP: Yes. I lived in the small town of Hijdieni, in the north of Moldova.

BC: What was the acting program at the conservatory like? LP: It was a four-year program, with classes in acting, speech, movement, rhythmics, fencing and stage fighting.

BC: What acting technique? LP: Stanislavski and Michael Chekhov.

BC: What we would call "method" acting? LP: Yes.

BC: When did you first start to work as a professional actress? LP: Actually, I starting getting work when I was in my third year at the conservatory. Liaisons Dangereuses, that was my first professional engagement, at the National Theater. I did Ophelia in Hamlet and Elmira in Tartuffe. Now, I am part of the company at the Luceafaru Theater, where I recently acted in Smiles of A Summer Night, a play based on Ingmar Bergman's film of the same title.

BC: Is this your first time acting in English? LP: Yes, and it's difficult, but interesting. I think in Romanian and then I have to translate. It is a different intonation.

BC: Have you done other films? LP: Two short films and one feature.

BC: You're married to an actor, I understand. One of our young translators working on the film just told me that your husband is one of Moldova's most famous actors and that she went to see him play Hamlet five times. LP: His name is Vlad Ciobanu. I met him when I was at the conservatory. He was one of my teachers. We have a five-year-old daughter. She spends a lot of time backstage and knows everyone's lines.

A SawHorse Productions (LLC) motion picture © Copyright 2004

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