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  • Mihaela, the Tiger of Our TownA Mockumentary Play
  • Gianina Cărbunariu (bio)
    Translated by James Christian Brown


PROLOGUE: Documentary MakersTheir number will be the same as that of the actors in the production. At the premiere there was a cast of three actors, each of whom played a number of roles.

SCENE 1: Taxi Driver

SCENE 2: Homeless Person 1, Homeless Person 2

SCENE 3: Japanese Tourist, French Tourist, Translator

SCENE 4: Representatives of the Population of Pigeons, Crows, and Sparrows

SCENE 5: Pensioner, Documentary Maker

SCENE 6: School

SCENE 7: Owner of the Car, Car of the Owner

SCENE 8: Doctor

SCENE 9: Bank Branch Manager, Employee

SCENE 10: New Zookeeper

SCENE 11: Animal 1, Animal 2, Animal 3

The Animal and Bird Characters are not in any way to be played as actual animals or birds. These characters (animals, birds, the car) refer to certain social categories (some disadvantaged, others privileged), to certain majority or minority ethnic groups, to certain typologies in society.


Documentary Maker 1:

Good evening! Welcome to our play. The story we are going to present is the tale of a Siberian tiger born in a nice, average-sized European city. Two years ago, Mihaela the tigress escaped from our city’s Zoo and wandered free for almost five hours before the authorities managed to track her down. [End Page 89]

Documentary Maker 2:

We wanted to understand the circumstances in which this happened, so we have tried to document every step taken by the big cat, right from the moment when she left her cage. We have mainly used our own interviews, but there is also some material taken from the archives of a local TV station.

Documentary Maker 3:

What you are about to see is thus a documentary play, a play built up out of interviews with a good number of those who interacted with Mihaela and who were willing to share their experiences with us. We thank them all for their kindness and assure them that we have done our best to remain faithful to their statements.


Interview with a Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver:

So . . . what was it like? I’ll tell you what it was like. It must have been nine o’clock. Ten past nine. Twenty past at the most. I took a group of tourists to the Zoo. No sooner had the tourists got out of the car than I found myself with . . . What can I say? I didn’t even see when he got into the back seat. And once the customer’s in the car you can’t say no. A customer is a customer. You don’t even bother what they look like these days, do you? As long as they’re a customer, and they’ve got the money. I took it he wanted me to take him into the center. “All right if I leave you beside the pedestrian area?” I took it he agreed. To be honest, I did most of the talking on the way. I don’t know . . . about this and that. Oh yes, I know. About the city. About how nice it is here. Especially the center. Completely renovated. We have a very nice city, very quiet, and the people are welcoming and hard-working. We have a city . . . what can I say? . . . like any self-respecting European city should be. A real jewel. We’re all very proud of it. Of course there are parts that are rather . . . not so pleasant, so to speak. But that will be dealt with in time; you can’t tackle everything all at once. But these are small problems, nothing important. Like the problem with the . . . but that’s not the fault of our city; these are problems that come from outside. Oh yes. From the South. It’s from the South that all the problems come now. They were brought from there, from the...


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pp. 89-111
Launched on MUSE
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