Meet Bucharest Inside The Beltway
Cristina Bejan (Founding Executive Director) is a theatre artist, scholar and writer based in Denver, Colorado. Currently teaching at Metropolitan State University of Denver, she has taught at multiple US universities, worked in research and worked internationally in the domains of consulting, emergency humanitarian relief and women’s empowerment. Her creative work has been produced in the US, UK, Romania and Vanuatu. Bejan has authored fifteen plays, one book and numerous essays and poems. Her play DISTRICTLAND sold-out at the DC Capital Fringe Festival 2014 and is currently being turned into a TV series. Another script by Bejan, Colombo Calling – a play from Sri Lanka, appeared in Bucharest in 2008 starring Maia Morgenstern and featuring Ana Popescu. This initiative first brought Bejan together with BiB’s Rucsandra Pop and Roxana Nicolaescu. She was the creative consultant for Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest directed by Lila Neugebauer at the 2014 Williamstown Theatre Festival. Bejan is also a spoken word artist who frequently presents her work at open mics throughout the District. For a full bio, please visit cristinaabejan.com. For more on her professional life, please check out her LinkedIn profile. "As soon as I give up despair, I feel the urge, the overwhelming desire to create." - Eugène Ionesco ... "Begin where you are." -Krishnamurti
Rucsandra Pop (Founding Artistic Director) writes prose, poetry and drama and she is very active in a number of independent cultural projects. Three of her plays were staged at lorgean theater, and the fourth one will have the premiere this summer. Rucsandra is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology and Folklore at Bucharest University. She graduated with an MA in Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology and Folklore at Bucharest University and a BA in Romanian and English Philology at Transylvania University (Brasov, Romania). She also attended graduate programs in Journalism at Academia Istropolitana Nova (Bratislava, Slovakia) and in Sociology at the Central European University (Warsaw, Poland). In 2011-2012, Rucsandra was a Fulbright visiting scholar at Indiana University. During her year in the United States, she documented her journeys. The result of her intellectual exploration of the American continent was the photo exhibition Random America – People & Places. Signs & Artifacts and the poem called America – a Poetic Tourist Guide. Rucsandra is a contributor to various academic and cultural publications. Photo Credit: Iulian Dumitru
Miles Folley (Development) is an actor both originally from and now based in Washington DC. He has performed Off Broadway and in the 2012-2014 DC Black Theatre Festival. BiB audiences might recognize him as Black Sea from Saviana Stanescu’s “For a Barbarian Woman” at the 2014 Alianta Inaugural Awards Gala in the National Museum of Women in the Arts. In 2015/16 you can see him perform in the Virginia Shakespeare Festival and Cristina Bejan’s “Lady Godiva” (BiB).
Roxana Nicolaescu (PR/Marketing, RO) is a theatre goer and a theatre lover from Bucharest, Romania. She is licensed in Cultural Studies and has a master degree in Advertising and Communication. Her daily life is divided between her job as an event manager in Romanian central bank and working for independent projects. She started her own cultural association www.gingergroup.ro , a web platform that helps young artists to express themselves as freely as possible. She first met Cristina Bejan back in 2008 when she worked PR for her play “Colombo Calling. A play from Sri Lanka.” That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Renu Ahluwalia (Production Contributor) began her career in theater production at the age of nine hosting shows in her uncle’s backyard and harassing neighbors to attend shows. As the years have passed she has studied acting at both George Mason University and Theater Lab; directed and produced Yoni Ki Baat, the DC version of the South Asian Monologues; and has been an extra in movies that have filmed in DC.
Haely Jardas (Social Media) Is a dual graduate from American University with vested interests in both theatre and media. Recently she concluded her reign as Miss District of Columbia 2015 where she competed for Miss America, fundraised for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, and advocated for mental health awareness. Haely is thrilled to join #BIB and to support artists in DC.