Basca Theatre was founded in 2017, in a hall of the former Paltim Hats Factory. The troupe, consisting of Ana-Maria Ursu, Oana Bajka, Andrei Ursu and Victor Dragoş, has moved to a new space in Traian Square, one of the older districts of Timișoara. They organise theatre, film and music workshops, as well as shows, concerts, film screenings and other cultural events. Through their activities, they want to make us more aware of the social realities around us, giving a voice to Roma people, migrants, victims of violence and vulnerable groups. 

The name “Basca” (“Cap”) symbolises not only the space where the project was initiated, but also the founding artists’ desire to represent not the bourgeois elite wearing top hats, but the common people with a worker cap. 

How is Basca different from any other group of the same kind? The community is part of the cultural life, and artists are part of the community. The theatre is actively involved in the life of the community; they listen to people’s problems and try to solve them. A strong community is one in which differences between people are understood and accepted.

Theatre for All, a project born to fulfil the desire of disadvantaged groups to take part in cultural activities, started from a coincidence; during a performance, members of the theatre  related was happening on stage to blind spectators. Basca, working with the Ceva de Spus (Have a Say) Association and the Solidart Association, aims to make theatre performances accessible so that they become common practice, especially for people who cannot afford to see them.

The play Butterflies Are Free by Leonard Gershe, directed by Ana-Maria Ursu, was presented under this project as the first show in Timisoara dedicated to the public. It was adapted for people with visual and hearing disabilities, through narrative translation and textual-mimetic interpretation. The play was made into a radio show. In the age of podcasts, the actors have managed to create a complex performance that plays with the listener’s imagination. Following this project, the organisers published an online guide on how to make theatre performances accessible to people with disabilities. In 2021, at the Uniter Gala, Basca won the British Council Award for Theatre for All.

Solidart Association and Basca Theatre are the initiators of the in:v z b l festival, whose first edition took place in 2019. With this festival, they set out to draw attention to the vulnerable groups, to facilitate dialogue, understanding, respect and solidarity, to become a platform for addressing taboo topics such as human rights, people with disabilities, pollution and sex work. The second edition of the festival is taking place in the Traian Neighbourhood, between August and November 2021. The focus of this edition is on residencies and art laboratories, the main themes being the current local situation and community.

In the autumn of 2021, Basca Theatre launched a unique project in Timisoara, Theatre of the Deaf, giving young people with hearing impairment the opportunity to play on stage. The actors, ten young people from the “Constantin Pufan” School Centre for Inclusive Education and the “Gheorghe Atanasiu” Special Technological High School Timișoara, attended storytelling and theatre workshops held by Andrei Ursu, co-founder and producer of Basca Theatre. This is how the play In the beginning there was silence was produced as a way to change silence into artistic expression.

The latest project, Theatre in Your Yard, produced by the Solidart Association with Basca, aims to bring the stage closer to people who live in villages and small towns and do not have access to the theatre. The shows Another Sunny Day and Monkey House will be played in Comloșu Mic, Făget, Banloc, Margina and three other localities in Timiș County.

Basca Theatre is a true example of theatre for everybody. By facilitating the access of people having physical disabilities and belonging to disadvantaged groups, its members contribute to the development of a healthy society based on support, coexistence and acceptance.